China's Views on the Road Map to Nuclear Disarmament

By Jia, Wang | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - Reports, October 28, 2016 | Go to article overview

China's Views on the Road Map to Nuclear Disarmament


Jia, Wang, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - Reports


INTRODUCTION

The enormously destructive effects of nuclear weapons pose a huge potential threat to humans, and consequently these weapons have raised serious concerns since they were first developed. The nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union that occurred during the Cold War aggravated these worries, and as the competition intensified, more and more calls arose in favor of nuclear disarmament. The two superpowers themselves became worried that the nuclear arms race would get out of control and that they would be unable to bear the resulting heavy financial burden and risk of nuclear conflict. Thus, they agreed to develop certain rules to suspend it. Both countries gradually realized that there would never be a winner in a nuclear war. At the urging of people around the world, including citizens of both countries, the United States and the Soviet Union began to set limits on nuclear weapons and gradually moved to reduce their arsenals.

Faced with a nuclear arms race between the two superpowers, China both opposed their nuclear monopoly and nuclear threats and also made an unconditional commitment to no first use of nuclear weapons. It exercised self-restraint in the number and variety of nuclear weapons that it developed, and it did not engage in an arms race with any country.

After implementing reform and opening-up policies starting in the late 1970s, China began to participate actively in international arms control discussions and efforts, and it became a builder, participant, and defender of international arms control, disarmament, and the nuclear nonproliferation system. China has taken concrete actions to support multilateralism in the promotion of these goals.1 The government has always supported world peace, advocated disarmament, and opposed arms races. In terms of its strategic culture, China emphasizes being cautious in war, and that "harmony is the key."2 Therefore, China's development of nuclear weapons has been solely for the purpose of meeting its defensive needs. Chinese scholars, though affirming the active roles of the United States and Russia (and previously the Soviet Union) in nuclear disarmament, have also recognized that there has been no change in the substantive role of nuclear weapons as a status symbol in these countries. Indeed, the United States and Russia are still modernizing their nuclear arsenals and expanding the role of non-nuclear strategic weapons.

The route to nuclear disarmament that China has always advocated is relatively similar to that of chemical weapons disarmament. To start, this route would involve no first use of nuclear weapons, which would imply a diminished role. It then would move on to the non-use of nuclear weapons, which would suggest a further decline in their role. This eventually would lead to the complete and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons through negotiations. Although China has long advanced this staggered approach, the idea has yet to be fully accepted by other countries. The reality of the state of nuclear disarmament today is not consistent with China's ideal road map. However, China continues to support various existing nuclear disarmament efforts, and it also actively promotes and participates in the process of international nuclear disarmament through multilateral and bilateral forums.

THE EVOLUTION OF CHINA'S NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT POSITIONS

CHINA'S PRE-REFORM ERA POSITION ON DISARMAMENT

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the government has consistently and firmly pursued an independent foreign policy that is opposed to any form of power politics or hegemony. China's stance on nuclear arms control stems from this foundational policy. At that time, the United States and the Soviet Union held a monopoly on nuclear weapons. China exercised restraint in its own development of nuclear weapons and issued its unilateral commitment to no first use, while at the same time supporting the nuclear disarmament proposals of developing countries and making certain unique nuclear arms control proposals of its own. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

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 article

Cited article

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 article

China's Views on the Road Map to Nuclear Disarmament
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

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 article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

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.