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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Rethink China's nuke weapons strategy

(Global Times)

10:17, November 07, 2011

Having no idea that China does have nuclear weapons, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain suffered his latest mark on his foreign policy credentials this week. The GOP hopeful defended himself by dwarfing greatly China's nuclear capacity when compared to that of the US.

The US media might be surprised by Cain's ignorant remarks, but it is the Chinese people who will feel more astonished. Though Cain has successfully worked as the CEO of a big company, a radio host and columnist in the past, his ignorance of China's nuclear capacity is not alone among the US elites in respect of China.

In an era when more US politicians will join in the chorus of drafting policies related to China, their voices will become louder than ever. But Cain has taught us a good lesson: US politicians advocating to punish China have wantonly distorted the image of China in their mind. They have no idea what real China looks like.

Another facet surprises China: We have taken for granted China has enough nuclear stockpiles to play a strategic deterrent role. The attitude among US society as well as its politicians will influence US authorities in the drafting China-related policies.

Cain did not realize what a gaffe he has made, indicating China's nuclear capacity hardly leaves any impression among US society. That's very dangerous. The blurry image of China among the US public may mislead their decision-makers once bilateral conflicts escalated.

Aside from that, necessary action should be taken by the Chinese side in upgrading and expanding its nuclear stockpiles within the framework of international conventions and without breaking its promises to develop nuclear weapons. The strategic role played by nuclear weapons cannot be replaced by other armaments. Nuclear capacity serves the cornerstone of China's national security.

It turned out to be a shallow concept that China's nuclear deterrents have nothing to do with the quality and quantity of warheads. Two US researchers wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine in 2006, claiming the US is capable of destroying China's stockpiles or Russia's once and for all. Such an opinion, though questionable, has made worse instead of improved the neglect of China's nuclear capacity. As a result, the capacity of China's nuclear stockpile should be strong enough to dismiss the ignorance of Cain as well to stop the US people from resorting to military solutions when facing competition from China.

China's enhancement of its nuclear weapons does not mean it will alter its strategy from defense to offense. For China, there isn't necessity to do that. But we have to keep a detersive power for peaceful purposes, which demands rational and compulsory self-adjustment.

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Leave your comment5 comments

  1. Name

Overseas Chinese at 2011-11-30113.210.228.*
Got to let international public know for purpose of deterrence:China have 5,000km underground tunnel & over 2,000 nuclear missiles.
ABC at 2011-11-17101.171.203.*
Together it is also important to show the world that we are a peace loving country by using all kind of media and by our deeds, open ning our society, better reforms: put simple create our harmonious country where we do care for the poor, the older and disables (the less fortunate people). Wheter it is in china or outsideA very well thought and good piece of argument. Unfortunately it does not reflect what really happens "inside" China.
PD User at 2011-11-1342.109.226.*
KAMHUA at 2011-11-1291.86.51.*
China"s policy towards the U.S. should be one where we show our strength and determination. Whether this is in the military, finance or economics. We must remember that the U.S. is a war-loving country and history has proven it.Why?, i think it is embedden in their (recent?) history. Th U.S. became a rich/great country by first killing the native americans (indians) steal en betray them, later use the african-negro"s as slaves(at litle or no cost), then exploit the south american countries. By doing this they use different names/labels. The indians were savages, so you could use them at will. The negro"s where not-humans and they called the people from south america, where the U.S. multinationals use them as "slave", bandito"s when these poor people protest against their exploitation. Then in the cold-war period they call them dirty communist. Now the word terrorist/Alqaida is used and misused for everything what is not in the interest of the U.S. The same pattern is happening now, "How shall we call the chinese?", aha Yuan manipulators (dirty communist does not fit anymore). From the past to tody, when the U.S. cannot dominate a situation or a people they "invent" new labels that can help them to exploit other coyntries/people.Once more it is the old story:they want to get wealthy/mighty on other countries back. It is not only shamefull but very dangerous. War can be created by misunderstanding/miscalculation. That"s why china must show their determination that we will not bow for any U.S. demand when it is not in our interest. Together it is also important to show the world that we are a peace loving country by using all kind of media and by our deeds, open ning our society, better reforms: put simple create our harmonious country where we do care for the poor, the older and disables (the less fortunate people). Wheter it is in china or outside.Of course there is still a lot to do in china, we are develloping. But we created, say roughly in 30 years a new China to be the second largest economy of the world turn hundred of millions people from a poor existence to a reasonabl existence and leapfrogging a head in space tech. This is unparalled in world history AND we did it Without Exploiting other countries and their people.I am sorry for this long comment but i think i have to do it.
PD User at 2011-11-1060.54.90.*
China should be clear where US holds their nulear stockpiles. They have large quantities but they are also vulnerable when offended. So a clear knowledge of their whearabouts is a necessary deterrent strategy.Share information with Russia as US is always targetting China and Russia. When both countries are united and focussed in defending themselves, they could be a formiable force to ward off the biggest bully!Meanwhile, improve on the delivery capability and link it with space technology. Once efficiency has been improved you will have sufficent teeth to bite back when bullied.

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