China has been largely overlooked in the global nuclear equationfor too long, argue the authors of this new Council report. Beginning with a comprehensive review of what is known in the open, unclassified literature about Chinas nuclear weapons and strategic modernization program, the authors consider the alternative trajectories ahead for Chinas force modernization as well as the interests and perspectives informing Chinas plans. Central to this analysis is an understanding of how the U.S.-Russian offense/defense relationshipand especially the movement toward ballistic missile defenses by the United Statesinfluences Chinas modernization program. The study goes on to explore how modernization affects U.S. interests. The authors then elaborate a preliminary agenda for exploring with China the requirements of strategic stability in the emerging era and of testing Beijings intention to continue some form of restraint in the years ahead. China, Nuclear Weapons, and Arms Control offers the kind of reasoned analysis and intellectual honesty that is essential if new challenges are to be dealt with in ways that secure U.S. interests.
Publisher: Brookings Institution