BLUFThe ASPI argues that China hopes to make it difficult for the USA to use nuclear weapons in response to any conventional Chinese attack on Taiwan.
This article from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) makes the following points:
The USA's 2021 China military power report, released by the US, makes for interesting reading.
The report is full of important analyses of myriad developments in the People's Liberation Army.
PLA Air Force H-6N bombers are now operational and can carry long-range air-launched ballistic missiles that can be nuclear-armed.
The H-20 bomber is still in development, as is a regional strike bomber.
These developments are significant when set against the context of a growing risk of military conflict over Taiwan this decade.
The pace of China's expansion of its nuclear forces, and a clear move away from a minimum-deterrence posture, would act to expand Beijing's choices on how it might annex Taiwan.
China can't carry out a disarming nuclear first strike, even with its projected larger arsenal.
Beijing aims to make the US much warier of either conventional or limited nuclear attacks against the Chinese mainland.
In a Taiwan crisis, China's nuclear weapons build-up should free up China to use conventional force more decisively without resorting to nuclear weapons.
- Apr 2021 Brookings An asymmetric defense of Taiwan
- June 2021 FOREIGN POLICY MAGAZINE No, China will not invade Taiwan
- Oct 2021 The American Conservative Peter Van Buren Taiwan Is Not About China
- Nov 2021 Foreign Affairs Why China Wants more and Better Nukes
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