6: Yin: POSSEVI: An Analysis of China’s No-First-Use Policy

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--the No-First-Use policy and its positive role in establishing the new type of China-US strategic stability

Since US President Obama made his speech in Prague in 2009, the heads of major countries, after one another, have declared their support for the proposal of “a nuclear-free world” and the global efforts in nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation seem to have been on a positive track.  Nuclear disarmament negotiations have returned to their traditional path and the United States and Russia, the two nuclear superpowers, have reached a new treaty on disarmament.  However, difficulties do exist and the path towards that is still full of twists and turns for the United States and Russia to be engaged in a deep-cut.  How to maintain strategic stability among major powers while the two nuclear superpowers are engaging in a long process of nuclear weapons reduction, and at the same time prevent the global nuclear non-proliferation mechanism from fall into crisis?  This issue has caused more and more attention from both the academic and the policy circles.  In this process, in addition to the expectation that the United States and Russia should maintain strategic stability in the traditional sense, the US Department of Defense issued respectively the Review of Ballistic Missile Defense and Nuclear Posture Review, and for the first time proposed that the United States should maintain strategic stability with Russia and China and engage in dialogue on strategic stability with China. [1]  Therefore, China-US strategic stability in the arms control and security fields was raised for the first time and generated a brand new subject.  It is expected that the type of strategic stability to be established between China and the United States is a new one. [2] And in the exploration to establish this new type of China-US strategic stability, China’s No-First-Use policy has its unique advantages and plays a positive role in enhancing mutual trust and maintaining crisis stability and arms race stability between China and the United States.  In view of all that, an in-depth analysis of China’s No-First-Use policy and the positive role it can play will provide new perspectives of how to establish this new type of China-US strategic stability.

[1] 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, US, http://www.defense.gov/npr/ &2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review Report, www.defense.gov/ bmdr/docs/BMDR_101_MASTER_2_Feb.pdf. (Accessed June 5, 2011).

[2] On the discussion of the new type of China-US strategic stability, see POSSE paper of the author. www.posse.gatech.edu