Chinese Nuclear Proliferation: How Global Politics Is Transforming China's Weapons Buildup and Modernization

By Susan Turner Haynes | Go to book overview

1 A Typology of Nuclear Strategies

China is often considered the most opaque of the declared nuclear weapon states owing to the ambiguity surrounding its nuclear stockpile, force structure, and fissile material holdings. Fortunately, however, rather than stymie academic research, this relative dearth of information has spurred additional curiosity and caused scores of scholars to probe more deeply for answers. These explorations have resulted in several competing theories regarding China’s nuclear strategy. The primary debate involves whether China adheres to a strategy called minimum deterrence or whether it has transitioned to a more sophisticated strategy called limited deterrence.

Alastair Iain Johnston provides the best explanation of the difference between these two strategies. According to Johnston, minimum deterrence is characterized by the belief that deterrence can be achieved with only “a small number of warheads sufficient to inflict unacceptable damage on a handful of enemy cities.” Limited deterrence, by contrast, assumes nuclear weapons play a larger role in deterrence. This strategy, claims Johnston, requires that a state have “enough capabilities to deter conventional, theater, and strategic nuclear war, and to control and suppress escalation during a nuclear war.” The goal is not to threaten damage ex post, but to limit damage in the ensuing attacks, matching enemy force at every level.1

Since Johnston’s writing, many scholars have contributed to the conversation, yet no one has chosen to situate China’s nuclear position among the broader range of available strategies. This chapter aims to do just that by introducing five distinct types of deterrence. With a typology of nuclear deterrence strategies based on generalizable, identifiable, and measurable criteria, I am able to better explain China’s nuclear

-11-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Chinese Nuclear Proliferation: How Global Politics Is Transforming China's Weapons Buildup and Modernization
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Abbreviations x
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - A Typology of Nuclear Strategies 11
  • 2 - Force Structure Variance 44
  • 3 - China’s Nuclear Strategy 58
  • 4 - The Influence of America 91
  • 5 - The Influence of Regional Powers 107
  • 6 - The Influence of Prestige 127
  • Conclusion 136
  • Notes 149
  • Bibliography 165
  • Index 173
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 180

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.