July 26, 2023
Discerning the Drivers of China’s Nuclear Force Development: Models, Indicators, and Data
For decades following its first test in 1964, China maintained a small nuclear force and a doctrine emphasizing deterrence and no-first-use of nuclear weapons. China has recently embarked on an unprecedented campaign of expansion and modernization, which is changing the size, structure, and operational posture of its nuclear forces. The growing discrepancy between China’s restrained declaratory policy and advancing nuclear capabilities raises important questions about the status and future trajectory of China’s nuclear forces, with major implications for the United States.