The nuclear balance of power between the United States and China will be a major security issue in the twenty-first century. On the one hand, China is rapidly expanding its offensive nuclear forces. According to the Pentagon, the Chinese are deploying a new generation of land- and sea-based strategic weapon systems. On the other hand, the United States has begun the deployment of a multitiered ballistic missile defense system. As Stephen J. Cimbala has observed, “Absent an unknown and unforeseeable technology breakthrough in offense or defense, we are in for a period of competition between the two kinds of technologies.” Indeed, the dynamics of the nuclear relationship between China and the United States will be driven mostly by the expanding offensive capabilities of the former and the current and future defensive capabilities of the latter.
|Title of host publication||Challenges to Chinese foreign policy : diplomacy, globalization, and the next world power|
|Publisher||University Press of Kentucky|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2009|
ZHANG, B. (2009). American nuclear primacy or mutually assured destruction : the future of the U.S.-China strategic balance of power. In Challenges to Chinese foreign policy : diplomacy, globalization, and the next world power (pp. 71-84). University Press of Kentucky.