China’s Nuclear Strategy and Its Position on a Nuclear Free World

ASIA FORUM with Major Lu Yin

Research Fellow at the Institute of Strategic Studies, National Defense University, PLA, China

Tuesday, January 26, 2010,10:00-11:30

China is not a nuclear weapon state in the Western traditional sense. China has demonstrated a unique position on nuclear weapons ever since it acquired nuclear capability in 1964. China’s nuclear force is intended for only one purpose, that is, to retaliate against a nuclear attack. In other words, any nuclear power that attempts to launch a nuclear strike against China must calculate the risk of China’s nuclear retaliation and the devastating loss the attacker may also receive. This will, hopefully, reduce the attacker’s intention of a nuclear assault. This strategy of China is typically self-defensive in nature. If one ever hopes to give a name to China’s nuclear strategy, it is perhaps best described as a nuclear strategy purely for self-defense.”

The above are the views of Major Lu Yin concerning China’s nuclear strategy. But following her rationale, there could still be many questions with regard to China’s position on nuclear weapons, which needs more clarification.

What is the quintessence of China’s nuclear strategy? Can No-First-Use (NFU) policy be verifiable? What’s the dialectical attitude of China towards nuclear weapons? Why does China not like to use deterrence to describe its nuclear strategy, like other nuclear weapon states do, although any military strategy, which is designed to attain military and security objectives through the use of military assets, has a deterrence effect? What are the new challenges that China is facing in its nuclear strategy in an uncertain international environment in the Post Cold War era? What is the attitude of China towards nuclear disarmament in general and the call for a world free of nuclear weapons in particular? And what can China do to contribute to multilateral nuclear disarmament in the future?

All these questions are vital not only to China’s security, but also to security of the world. Major Lu Yin will cover the above questions in her presentation.

Major Lu Yin is a research fellow at the Institute of Strategic Studies, National Defense University, PLA, China, and currently a visiting fellow at the Institute for Security and Development Policy of Sweden (ISDP).

Location: ISDP, Västra Finnbodavägen 2, Stockholm-Nacka. For a map and directions, please go here.

To attend: RSVP to Ms. Martina Klimesova at