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China’s Nuclear Arsenal Is At Least Doubling in Size—But Under What Circumstances Would Beijing Actually Use It?

China’s Nuclear Arsenal Is At Least Doubling in Size—But Under What Circumstances Would Beijing Actually Use It?

From: National Interest

China has long maintained a much smaller nuclear arsenal than Russia or the United States for ‘minimum deterrence,’ meaning it had just enough nuclear firepower to assure Beijing’s retaliatory strike could still inflict unacceptable devastation. The United States for example actively deploys 1,550 nuclear warheads and has many more in reserve. Meanwhile, the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) inventory is estimated to count in the low hundreds. 

China’s stance was underlined by Beijing’s No First Use policy professing it would only use nuclear weapons in retaliation to an enemy’s nuclear first strike. 

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