International Relations

China reiterates its nuclear policy of ‘No First Use’

China reacted to a US report that said Beijing had significantly increased its nuclear arsenal. It claimed that it upholds its stance against using nuclear weapons as a first resort.

The news

  • Beijing would probably have 1,500 nuclear weapons, according to a study on China’s security that the Pentagon published every year.
  • Presently, China has 350 nuclear warheads.
  • Russia had 5,977 nuclear weapons in its arsenal as of 2022, compared to the US’s 5,428.

‘No First Use’ Doctrine: What is it?

NFU is a pledge to never deploy nuclear weapons first in any situation, including as a pre-emptive strike, first strike, or in reaction to any form of non-nuclear attack, according to nuclear ethics and deterrence theory.

Where do nuclear-armed countries stand on No First Use?

  • China is the only nuclear-armed country with an unwavering NFU policy.
  • India still adheres to its NFU policy, with the exception of a response to chemical or biological attacks.
  • According to their different policies, France, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the UK, and the US may use nuclear weapons first in a conflict.
  • Israel doesn’t have a position that is known to the public because it denies possessing a nuclear arsenal.

Why push for worldwide NFU commitments at this time?

  • After the US bombed Japan, there have never been any situations that may have led to a nuclear exchange.
  • We run acceptable high chances of nuclear weapons use between and in addition to the unstable situation on the Korean peninsula.
  • Putin and NATO amid the ongoing invasion by Ukraine
  • Pakistan and India Nuclear weapons are acquired by jihadists
  • US and China: As a result of provocations regarding Taiwan and the South China Sea
  • The likelihood that nuclear weapons will be used—whether intentionally, unintentionally, or as a result of error—is actually at its highest point since the darkest days of the Cold War.
  • The establishment of a worldwide NFU would make the world safer right away by eliminating confusion regarding what a nuclear-armed nation may do in an emergency.
  • It takes away the pressure and motivation for any one nation to “go nuclear” first in a crisis and impose a moral duty on others.

Consequences of nuclear war

  • Any nuclear weapon use would trigger severe retaliation.
  • Not to mention the terrible fallout from a nuclear conflict.
  • According to a 2014 study, a purportedly “limited” nuclear conflict in South Asia involving the use of 100 nuclear weapons would have global repercussions.
  • The atmosphere would be filled with millions of tonnes of smoke, which would cause temperatures to drop and harm the world’s food supply.
  • There would be a risk of starvation-related death for two billion people.

Way Ahead

  • Making nuclear weapons unimportant to national security would require the implementation of Global No First Use.
  • These measures would render nuclear weapons useless in the perspective of military strategists, open the way for future nuclear disarmament talks, and hasten the destruction of these weapons.
  • Additionally, it would act as a “confidence-building measure” to increase mutual trust between nuclear-armed nations.
  • As a result, cooperation is made easier in the effort to lower nuclear hazards and finally get rid of all nuclear weapons.
And get notified everytime we publish a new blog post.