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Translation: Chinese-US Strategic Stability

An Investigation of Chinese – U.S. Strategic Stability by Li Bin & Nie Hongzhen

The China Project of the Union of Concerned Scientists is collecting and translating credible Chinese voices on China's nuclear strategy, Chinese nuclear weapons, and Chinese views on nuclear arms control.

"An Investigation of China – U.S. Strategic Stability", by Li Bin and Nie Hongyi, examines the strategic nuclear relationship between China and the United States. It was originally published in October 2008 in the Chinese-language journal World Economics & Politics.

The authors conclude that recent American efforts to leverage substantial numerical and technical advantages in an effort to undermine Chinese confidence in the viability of their retaliatory capability and dissuade China from efforts to modernize their nuclear arsenal, have not succeeded.

There are three recent developments that the authors construe as evidence of an aggressive U.S. effort to change the strategic nuclear relationship between the United States and China in America's favor:

•  Shift of U.S. nuclear submarines to the Pacific

•  Deployment of missile defense interceptors

•  Effort to develop space-based radar.

The authors are concerned that U.S. decision-makers will place unwarranted faith in these developments, leading them to overestimate the degree to which they can try to exercise coercive military policies against China, and pushing them into a crisis. They are also concerned that if the U.S. continues to up the technological ante in search of a decisive advantage, China will be forced to hedge against possible technological breakthroughs.

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