At the dawn of the nuclear age, the United States hoped to maintain a monopoly on its new weapon, but the secrets for making nuclear weapons soon spread.
Four years after the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945, the Soviet Union detonated its first nuclear device. The United Kingdom (1952), France (1960), and China (1964) followed.
China never threatens any other country with its nuclear weapons.
It has never provided nuclear umbrella for any other country, never deployed nuclear weapons in any other country, never taken part in nuclear arms race in any form.
Chinese nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles remain a classified subject. China does not disclose any official information regarding its nuclear forces and their development programs. China is purported to have approximately 250 nuclear warheads.
This post is the last in the series of looking at the Nuclear Club members: China.
The PRC had spent an estimated $4.1 billion on its nuclear weapons program. The 1964 test made China the fifth nuclear power in the world. The weaponization of space, and cyber warfare capabilities will likely influence China’s future military development.
China’s nuclear weapons program began in 1955 and culminated in a successful nuclear test in 1964.China conducted 45 nuclear tests, including tests of thermonuclear weapons and a neutron bomb. The Chinese are widely understood to have supplied design information (including warhead design), and fissile material to the development of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program that were later transferred to Libya’s program. China has provided technology and expertise to the missile programs of several additional countries with suspected WMD programs, including Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, and Syria. China transferred 36 DF-3 medium-range missiles to Saudi Arabia in 1988, and supplied Pakistan with 34 DF-11 short-range missiles in 1992.
China is the first nuclear weapon state to adopt a nuclear “no first use (NFU)” policy and an official pledge not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states. China acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1992. In 2004, China joined the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). China ratified the IAEA Additional Protocol, making it the first nuclear weapon state to do so.
China is diversifying and modernizing its nuclear arsenal to ensure that China’s nuclear deterrent can reach the entire continental U.S., as well as a variety of other potential foes. China’s nuclear-armed submarines will be “useful as a hedge to any potential nuclear threats, including those from North Korea.
Much now depends on how China approaches the expansion, apart from the modernization, of its nuclear arsenal.
We probably aren’t headed back to the reality of the 60s and 70s, when the US and the USSR faced off with thousands of tactical and strategic warheads apiece but we all definitely need to take the NUCLEAR shades off.
We have arrived at the end of the series and there is no doubt in my mind that as long as there is one Nuclear Warhead there will be some idiot some where that will press the button. Whether it’s a terrorist, or what ever is of no consequence. There is no such thing as limited or no first use. (NFU)
If it was decided to eliminate ISIS by dropping a nuclear bomb, it would probably do the job resulting in a free for all.
The only valid argument for having them is an incoming Asteroid. The problem is who or where could we trust to keep a few and under whose authority would they be fired.
By the way if the Chines population had to migrate due to CLIMATE CHANGE IT WOULD BE just as Earth shaking as the fallout of any nuclear explosion.