China: April 14, 2001


China has had nuclear weapons for over 30 years, but they only have a dozen or so missiles that can deliver them to the United States. Until the Soviet Union fell apart, this was not a big issue. The Soviet Union was seen as the major danger and China's shorter range missiles could reach much of the Soviet Union. Now America is seen as the major foe and China is working hard to upgrade it's ICBMs and build nuclear submarines that can carry shorter range ballistic missiles to North American coastal waters. For all practical purposes, China can hit a few American cities with nukes. This would result in a U.S. response that would obliterate China, brings thousands of years of Chinese civilization to a fiery end. This is why China insists that America not build ICBM defenses. While the U.S. system is meant to stop a small attack from a small (and clearly suicidal) state, these defenses would also stop any Chinese ICBMs for some years to come. While China is unlikely to choose national destruction by firing nukes at America, it is felt that just having the possibility to do this provides a powerful diplomatic weapon. Actually, this "weapon" has already been used when a Chinese general publicly commented; "is America willing to trade Taiwan for Los Angeles" (meaning that U.S. coming to the defense of Taiwan during a Chinese attack could result in one of those Chinese ICBM's hitting one or more U.S. cities.) For the moment, Chinese nukes are more effective when used by their diplomats.


Article Archive

China: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close