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China rethinks no-first-use policy

In what could be a departure from China’s declared stand of a ‘no-first-use’ policy, the Chinese military will consider launching a preemptive nuclear strike if the country finds itself faced with a critical situation in a war with another nuclear state, the Japanese media reported.

world Updated: Jan 07, 2011 00:39 IST
n letters@hindustantimes.com
n letters@hindustantimes.com
PTI
Hindustantimes
         

In what could be a departure from China’s declared stand of a ‘no-first-use’ policy, the Chinese military will consider launching a preemptive nuclear strike if the country finds itself faced with a critical situation in a war with another nuclear state, the Japanese media reported.

The newly revealed policy, called “Lowering the threshold of nuclear threats,” may contradict China’s strategy of no first use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances, and is likely to fan concern in the United States, Japan, India and other regional powers about Beijing’s nuclear capability, the media here said, citing secret internal PLA documents.

The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) strategic missile forces, the Second Artillery Corps, “will adjust the nuclear threat policy if a nuclear missile-possessing country carries out a series of air strikes against key strategic targets in our country with absolutely superior conventional weapons,” Kyodo news agency quoted documents obtained by it as saying. China will first warn an adversary about a nuclear strike, but if the enemy attacks Chinese territory with conventional forces, the PLA “must carefully consider” a preemptive nuclear strike.

The documents suggest that the Second Artillery Corps educate its personnel in worst-case scenarios for conflicts with other nuclear states.

First Published: Jan 07, 2011 00:36 IST

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