China’s Growing Missile Force: What It Means for the Strategic Balance in Asia
According to the 2006 Department of Defense’s annual report on the military power of the People’s Republic of China, the country’s ballistic missile force is undergoing an expansion and upgrade. The report states that the People’s Liberation Army is fielding ÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂ¢?ÃÂ¬ÃÂ ?mobile, more survivable missilesÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂ¢?ÃÂ¬ÃÂÃÂ such as the DF-31A, a road-mobile, solid-propellant ICBM capable of striking the United States. Despite Beijing’s long-standing ÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂ¢?ÃÂ¬ÃÂ ?no first useÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂ¢?ÃÂ¬ÃÂÃÂ policy regarding nuclear weapons, Chinese military officials, scholars, and journalists have publicly argued in the past year that China should use nuclear weapons in response to a conventional U.S. attack on Chinese territory.
What does China’s continued missile buildup mean for the strategic balance in Asia and international efforts to cap proliferation in the region? Is Chinese nuclear doctrine shifting away from a ÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂ¢?ÃÂ¬ÃÂ ?no first useÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂ¢?ÃÂ¬ÃÂÃÂ policy? What can the United States do to hedge against possible Chinese efforts to use its growing missile force to determine Taiwan’s status on Beijing’s terms? On July 11, AEI will hold a panel discussion to address these and other questions related to China’s growing missile force.
Richard Fisher, International Assessment and Strategy Center
Daryl Kimball, Arms Control Association
Evan Medeiros, RAND Corporation
Henry Sokolski, Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
Dan Blumenthal, AEI