A World Without Nuclear Weapons? Hardly.

Posted: February 28, 2011 in Songs of Space and Nuclear War
Tags: , , , ,

So does anyone really think we’re moving towards a world without nuclear weapons?  We know Pakistan isn’t and now we know the Chinese aren’t.

As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald via Wikileaks (and remember you can’t spell Assange without a-s-s):

HIGH-RANKING Chinese officials have declared there can be no limit to the expansion of Beijing’s nuclear arsenal, amid growing regional fears that it will eventually equal that of the US…

…US diplomats have repeatedly failed to persuade the rising superpower to be more transparent about its nuclear forces and that Chinese officials privately admit a desire for military advantage underpins the continuing secrecy.

Let’s look at this objectively: China is flush with cash, they have the necessary technology and human resources, and they want to become more powerful.  They’re going to do what they think is in their best interest, that ‘military advantage’ thing, and not necessarily what’s in the world’s best interest.

The Assistant Foreign Minister, He Yafei, told US officials in June 2008 there would be an ”inevitable and natural extension” of Chinese military power and China ”cannot accept others setting limits on our capabilities”.

Hmm…I guess this is a “He” said story?  (I couldn’t resist.) And remember to queue the gurgling sound from the global zeros.

Other cables reveal that Japan fears China’s nuclear arsenal will equal that of the US, and Tokyo has urged Washington to retain strong nuclear capabilities to deter an ”increasingly bold” China from ”doing something stupid”.

The “something stupid” would likely not be a weapons release but rather efforts which are anti non-proliferation, a part of China’s ongoing campaign to make friends and influence people.  That is, people with oil, food, water, minerals, and technology.

In nuclear policy talks in June 2009, senior Japanese Defence Ministry officials told US representatives Tokyo believed China ”is rapidly upgrading its nuclear capability … and is trying to reach parity with Russia and the US”.

In separate talks with US envoys, Japanese officials were concerned that the Obama administration’s plan to negotiate a cut in nuclear forces with Russia would encourage China’s build-up.

While that is a concern, again, China is going to do what they think is in their best interest.  In other words, their build-up would likely occur regardless of the status of US/Russian nuclear forces.  This is evidence of the non-usefulness of New START.

A senior Japanese official said that while China had declared a ”no first-use” nuclear weapons posture, ”no nuclear expert believes this is true”.

I’m not sure what constitutes a ‘nuclear expert’ in the above context, but some would believe China to hold to their stated policy.   They’d have to be pretty desperate (maybe losing badly in a Chinese initiated war with Taiwan with concurrent and massive internal turmoil) for a first-use to occur.

  1. Coyote says:

    “Those who hammer swords into plowshares will plow for those who don’t.”

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