India a driver behind China’s nuclear modernisation, says Pentagon report

May 11, 2015

The Indian Express:

India’s nuclear force is an additional driver behind China’s nuclear force modernisation, a report by the US Department of Defence has said. The Pentagon report, titled Military and Security developments involving People’s Republic of China, was presented to the US Congress on May 8.

It has said China is likely to continue investing considerable resources to maintain a limited, but survivable, nuclear force to ensure that the PLA can deliver a damaging responsive nuclear strike despite its No First Use policy. The report comes just before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China on May 14.

“China’s nuclear weapons policy prioritizes maintaining a nuclear force able to survive an attack and respond with sufficient strength to inflict unacceptable damage…Similarly, India’s nuclear force is an additional driver behind China’s nuclear force modernization,” the report says.

According to the report, China’s nuclear arsenal currently consists of 50-60 Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles besides nuclear capable ballistic missile submarines — four commissioned and one under development with an eventual ability to carry ballistic missiles with a 7400 km range.

In what may interest India, the report suggests that China is pursuing “long term, comprehensive” military modernisation programme to fight “short duration, high-intensity regional conflicts”.

“China is seeking high-profile leadership in the region and globally and is taking initiatives to establish multi-lateral mechanisms such as the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank,” says the report. It observes that while the Chinese leadership officially supports the Deng Xiaoping dictum to “observe calmly, secure position…hide capabilities, maintain low-profile”, Chinese interests from “Deng’s era have changed”. Xi’s interpretation of Deng’s dictum is China defending its interests “especially territorial sovereignty,” the report notes…

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