Tuesday, October 30, 2007

China ingeminates "no first use" nuclear policy to US congressman

On Monday August 27, General Jing Zhiyuan, Commander of PLA Second Artillery Corps, reaffirmed "China's policy of 'no first use' nuclear weapons will be persistent and never be changed", when he met U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton, who is the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

Ike Skelton headed a seven-member delegation of US lawmakers to visit Headquarter of Second Artillery Corps in Beijing. The delegation is the first batch of us congressmen to visit the second artillery force.

During his visiting, Gen. Jing briefed China's nuclear policy & strategy, Nuclear Weapon Commanding system and the construction and application of nuclear forces.

"China and United States are constructive partners and 'stakeholders' in global world." Gen. Jing said, "At present, China holds a positive attitude toward the ties between two armed forces, and is willing to make joint efforts with the US side to push forward exchanges and cooperation."

Rep. Ike Skelton believed that both armed forces should strengthen the dialogues and exchanges for boosting friendship and peace between two countries.

China's policy of "no first use of nuclear weapons on non-nuclear countries and zones at any time under any circumstances" was stated in 1960s. In fact, PRC was the first to pledge no-first-use of nuclear weapons for possessing a minimal deterrent.

Under the context of China's rising, other great powers and western countries are always wondering whether China will alter its policy on nuclear weapon using. Although China has been announcing a unshakable adherence on "no first use" in several "White Papers", the aggressive officers are doubting the validity of Chinese previous nuclear policy designed by Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai.

Most of hawkish shade is from PLA academic organizations but not commanding officers like Jing Zhinyuan. Professor Zhu Chenghu, a military analyzer from PLA National Defense University, becomes most famous for comments of warning "U.S. to be prepared that hundreds of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese nuclear weapons" in 2005.

Actually, one year before, Jin Yinan (deputy director of the Strategic Research Department at the PLA National Defense University), addressed in a military college that China has to reconsider its nuclear policy because of a transformed world situation and PLA’s greatly improved nuclear Arsenal.

Since 2000, it usually believed that China has greatly enhanced its nuclear striking power, especially in ICBM, SLBM and nuclear cruise missile. Comparing land Second Artillery Corps’ medium rage missile aiming Taiwan, PLA’ sea-based nuclear weapon becomes greater role in deterrence to U.S. forces. The merge of Type 094 SSBN in “google earth” is just a hint of PLA’s intention.

Under western politicians’ criticism for being lack of transparency, PLA is trying to open some non-sensitive units for high-class generals and non-military-background lawmakers for getting a candid status.

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