China will build more nuclear weapons for stronger deterrence

China has a policy of striking back with nuclear weapons if they are hit first. Chinese experts have started to worry that this second-strike credibility is eroding. They believe China needs more and better nuclear weapons to show that it could still strike back if attacked.

US construction of missile defense and improving conventional precision strike weapons will require China boost nuclear capability.

China has about 280 nuclear weapons and 4 nuclear missile submarines. Four nuclear submarines are needed to keep one nuclear submarine at sea at all times.

If China expands to eight nuclear submarines, then this could mean about 48 more nuclear missiles. China already has four Type 094 nuclear missile submarines and is expected to build a fifth. The Type 096 is a projected class of ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) for China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy Submarine Force. The submarine is expected to begin construction in the early 2020’s and be armed with the JL-3 SLBM.

US conventional weapons are good enough to endanger Chinese nuclear weapons, if the US struck first.

International Security journal had a 2006 article The End of MAD? The Nuclear Dimension of U.S. Primacy.

The U.S. nuclear arsenal has steadily improved; the Russian force has sharply eroded; and Chinese nuclear modernization has progressed at a glacial pace. As a result, the United States now stands on the verge of attaining nuclear primacy, meaning that it could conceivably disarm the long-range nuclear arsenals of Russia and China with a nuclear first strike. A simple nuclear exchange model demonstrates that the United States has a potent first-strike capability. The trajectory of nuclear developments suggests that the nuclear balance will continue to shift in favor of the United States in coming years. The rise of U.S. nuclear primacy has significant implications for relations among the world’s great powers, for U.S. foreign policy, and for international relations scholarship.

36 thoughts on “China will build more nuclear weapons for stronger deterrence”

  1. 8 nuclear strikes is enough to cripple any country for at least a generation. A least case analysis would be a loss of millions of people and trillions in infrastructure. BTW, eight warheads is what a single submarine ballistic missile carry. A submarine can carry 24 missiles which is 192 warheads. Russia does not have 192 major cities. Does anyone have an idea the level of overkill nuclear weapons represents? It is not just we can kill everyone in Russia, it is that we can kill everyone a hundred times over. Does anyone remember the concept of nuclear winter? The firestorm caused by dozens of nuclear strike is enough to put so much soot into the atmosphere that it would block the sun for a few years which would be long enough for most of the world’s population to starve.

    Reply
  2. The US spends 100x what other nations spend on nuclear armaments and yet we don’t have enough? Anyone defending the Pentagon’s spending in 2018 is a monster.

    Reply
  3. 8 nuclear strikes is enough to cripple any country for at least a generation. A least case analysis would be a loss of millions of people and trillions in infrastructure. BTW eight warheads is what a single submarine ballistic missile carry. A submarine can carry 24 missiles which is 192 warheads. Russia does not have 192 major cities. Does anyone have an idea the level of overkill nuclear weapons represents? It is not just we can kill everyone in Russia it is that we can kill everyone a hundred times over. Does anyone remember the concept of nuclear winter? The firestorm caused by dozens of nuclear strike is enough to put so much soot into the atmosphere that it would block the sun for a few years which would be long enough for most of the world’s population to starve.

    Reply
  4. The US spends 100x what other nations spend on nuclear armaments and yet we don’t have enough?Anyone defending the Pentagon’s spending in 2018 is a monster.

    Reply
  5. 400kt for a Dam is a waste. Think of cities as concentrated infrastructure. $trillion dollar worth of asset, workers, factories, corporate HQs, government offices, warehouses, train stations, etc. Every year more than 2 million Russians die. It isn’t that disruptive. Destroy a major city now that’s disruptive.

    Reply
  6. Back in the mid-70’s, when the US and Russia each had around 15,000 warheads, we had enough to nuke every city in Russia with a population over 2,000. As you just pointed out, after several hundred, you begin to run out of useful targets. BTW, infrastructure (dams, power plants, airports, harbors, mineral producing regions, etc.) are far higher value targets than millions of people. Millions of people without food, water or power become a secondary tactical weapon for the attackers.

    Reply
  7. 400kt for a Dam is a waste. Think of cities as concentrated infrastructure. $trillion dollar worth of asset workers factories corporate HQs government offices warehouses train stations etc. Every year more than 2 million Russians die. It isn’t that disruptive. Destroy a major city now that’s disruptive.

    Reply
  8. Back in the mid-70’s when the US and Russia each had around 15000 warheads we had enough to nuke every city in Russia with a population over 2000. As you just pointed out after several hundred you begin to run out of useful targets. BTW infrastructure (dams power plants airports harbors mineral producing regions etc.) are far higher value targets than millions of people. Millions of people without food water or power become a secondary tactical weapon for the attackers.

    Reply
  9. Nonsense. The US spends 60% of the world’s nuclear weapons money, but you have to realize that purchasing power is higher virtually everywhere else, so adjusted for that, I wouldn’t say the US has an obvious spending advantage. I’m a Swede, and given Russia’s current behaviour, I’m happy if the US maintains its military supremacy.

    Reply
  10. Nonsense. The US spends 60{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of the world’s nuclear weapons money but you have to realize that purchasing power is higher virtually everywhere else so adjusted for that I wouldn’t say the US has an obvious spending advantage.I’m a Swede and given Russia’s current behaviour I’m happy if the US maintains its military supremacy.

    Reply
  11. Nonsense. The US spends 60% of the world’s nuclear weapons money, but you have to realize that purchasing power is higher virtually everywhere else, so adjusted for that, I wouldn’t say the US has an obvious spending advantage. I’m a Swede, and given Russia’s current behaviour, I’m happy if the US maintains its military supremacy.

    Reply
  12. Nonsense. The US spends 60{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of the world’s nuclear weapons money but you have to realize that purchasing power is higher virtually everywhere else so adjusted for that I wouldn’t say the US has an obvious spending advantage.I’m a Swede and given Russia’s current behaviour I’m happy if the US maintains its military supremacy.

    Reply
  13. 400kt for a Dam is a waste. Think of cities as concentrated infrastructure. $trillion dollar worth of asset, workers, factories, corporate HQs, government offices, warehouses, train stations, etc. Every year more than 2 million Russians die. It isn’t that disruptive. Destroy a major city now that’s disruptive.

    Reply
  14. 400kt for a Dam is a waste. Think of cities as concentrated infrastructure. $trillion dollar worth of asset workers factories corporate HQs government offices warehouses train stations etc. Every year more than 2 million Russians die. It isn’t that disruptive. Destroy a major city now that’s disruptive.

    Reply
  15. Back in the mid-70’s, when the US and Russia each had around 15,000 warheads, we had enough to nuke every city in Russia with a population over 2,000. As you just pointed out, after several hundred, you begin to run out of useful targets. BTW, infrastructure (dams, power plants, airports, harbors, mineral producing regions, etc.) are far higher value targets than millions of people. Millions of people without food, water or power become a secondary tactical weapon for the attackers.

    Reply
  16. Back in the mid-70’s when the US and Russia each had around 15000 warheads we had enough to nuke every city in Russia with a population over 2000. As you just pointed out after several hundred you begin to run out of useful targets. BTW infrastructure (dams power plants airports harbors mineral producing regions etc.) are far higher value targets than millions of people. Millions of people without food water or power become a secondary tactical weapon for the attackers.

    Reply
  17. Nonsense. The US spends 60% of the world’s nuclear weapons money, but you have to realize that purchasing power is higher virtually everywhere else, so adjusted for that, I wouldn’t say the US has an obvious spending advantage.

    I’m a Swede, and given Russia’s current behaviour, I’m happy if the US maintains its military supremacy.

    Reply
  18. 8 nuclear strikes is enough to cripple any country for at least a generation. A least case analysis would be a loss of millions of people and trillions in infrastructure. BTW, eight warheads is what a single submarine ballistic missile carry. A submarine can carry 24 missiles which is 192 warheads. Russia does not have 192 major cities. Does anyone have an idea the level of overkill nuclear weapons represents? It is not just we can kill everyone in Russia, it is that we can kill everyone a hundred times over. Does anyone remember the concept of nuclear winter? The firestorm caused by dozens of nuclear strike is enough to put so much soot into the atmosphere that it would block the sun for a few years which would be long enough for most of the world’s population to starve.

    Reply
  19. 8 nuclear strikes is enough to cripple any country for at least a generation. A least case analysis would be a loss of millions of people and trillions in infrastructure. BTW eight warheads is what a single submarine ballistic missile carry. A submarine can carry 24 missiles which is 192 warheads. Russia does not have 192 major cities. Does anyone have an idea the level of overkill nuclear weapons represents? It is not just we can kill everyone in Russia it is that we can kill everyone a hundred times over. Does anyone remember the concept of nuclear winter? The firestorm caused by dozens of nuclear strike is enough to put so much soot into the atmosphere that it would block the sun for a few years which would be long enough for most of the world’s population to starve.

    Reply
  20. The US spends 100x what other nations spend on nuclear armaments and yet we don’t have enough? Anyone defending the Pentagon’s spending in 2018 is a monster.

    Reply
  21. The US spends 100x what other nations spend on nuclear armaments and yet we don’t have enough?Anyone defending the Pentagon’s spending in 2018 is a monster.

    Reply
  22. 400kt for a Dam is a waste. Think of cities as concentrated infrastructure. $trillion dollar worth of asset, workers, factories, corporate HQs, government offices, warehouses, train stations, etc. Every year more than 2 million Russians die. It isn’t that disruptive. Destroy a major city now that’s disruptive.

    Reply
  23. Back in the mid-70’s, when the US and Russia each had around 15,000 warheads, we had enough to nuke every city in Russia with a population over 2,000. As you just pointed out, after several hundred, you begin to run out of useful targets. BTW, infrastructure (dams, power plants, airports, harbors, mineral producing regions, etc.) are far higher value targets than millions of people. Millions of people without food, water or power become a secondary tactical weapon for the attackers.

    Reply
  24. 8 nuclear strikes is enough to cripple any country for at least a generation. A least case analysis would be a loss of millions of people and trillions in infrastructure. BTW, eight warheads is what a single submarine ballistic missile carry. A submarine can carry 24 missiles which is 192 warheads. Russia does not have 192 major cities. Does anyone have an idea the level of overkill nuclear weapons represents? It is not just we can kill everyone in Russia, it is that we can kill everyone a hundred times over. Does anyone remember the concept of nuclear winter? The firestorm caused by dozens of nuclear strike is enough to put so much soot into the atmosphere that it would block the sun for a few years which would be long enough for most of the world’s population to starve.

    Reply
  25. The US spends 100x what other nations spend on nuclear armaments and yet we don’t have enough?

    Anyone defending the Pentagon’s spending in 2018 is a monster.

    Reply

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