Nuclear policy a gift to world peace

Updated: 2014-08-12 09:12

By Hu Yumin (China Daily)

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To dispel doubts over its defensive defense policy, China is making its military more transparent, and the recent unveiling of China's new ballistic missile submarine was part of that effort. But the Western media reacted by saying that China's ballistic missile submarines are a destabilizing factor in the West Pacific region. It's ironic that China is singled out for criticism for developing ballistic missile submarines while the other nuclear powers are not.

Generally speaking, ballistic missile submarines can be regarded as a destabilizing factor only if they have the potential of triggering a new nuclear arms race or a new round of nuclear proliferation. Apparently, China's ballistic missile submarines will trigger neither.

The primary mission of ballistic missile submarines is nuclear deterrence and they maintain the threat of a second strike. They could also be seen as a stabilizing factor if they are used to replace some nuclear weapon systems with low viability and low reliability (especially if it reduces the nuclear arsenal).

Since nuclear powers are focusing on "extended nuclear deterrence" and developing missile defense systems that could undermine strategic stability in the Asia-Pacific region, developing ballistic missile submarines to maintain the effectiveness of China's self-defense nuclear power should be seen as a stabilizing, not destabilizing, factor.

Strategic "stability" cannot and should not be static. But the changes that take place should always be predictable and controllable, and take some positive or constructive directions, including achieving a new strategic balance. It is thus preposterous to ask China to give up its legal right to strengthen its self-defense capability, especially because some countries and blocs are upgrading or expanding their military with an eye to China.

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