The Chinese government has published details of its nuclear strategy for the
first time in a key policy document issued Friday, saying the ultimate aim of
nuclear development was self-defense.
In a white paper on China's national defense in 2006, the government
reiterates its stand of never being the first to use nuclear weapons, promising
not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon
countries and regions, and advocating the comprehensive prohibition and complete
elimination of nuclear weapons.
"China upholds a self-defensive nuclear strategy, which is embodied in the
state nuclear policies and military strategy. The ultimate aim is to deter other
countries from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against China," it
The concept of a "nuclear strategy" was raised for the first time after China
conducted its first nuclear test in 1964. The principle of never being the first
to use nuclear weapons was raised the same year.
The white paper says China upholds the principles of counterattack in
self-defense and the limited development of nuclear weapons, and aims at
building a lean and effective nuclear force capable of meeting national security
It says that China endeavors to ensure the security and reliability of its
nuclear weapons and maintains a credible nuclear deterrent force.
China's nuclear force can only be activated by the Central Military
Commission and the government exercises great restraint in developing its
nuclear force, it stresses.
"China has never entered and will never enter into a nuclear arms race with
any other country," the white paper says.
China began to develop limited nuclear weapons under special historical
circumstances to break a nuclear monopoly and win a safe and peaceful
environment for social construction, said Zhang Yunyu, former commander of
China's nuclear test base.
"Facts have proven that we've never changed our commitment to peace."
China joined the International Atomic Energy Agency in 1984 and a dozen
international conventions or agreements on nuclear issues, including the Nuclear
In 1996, China decided to halt nuclear tests.
"Raising the nuclear strategy publicly reflects China's growing openness on
the use of nuclear force," said military strategist Luo Yuan.