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China's Nuclear Ambiguity and its Implications for India

Updated: May 23, 2022


China’s evolving security dynamics with the United States have compelled it to rethink its nuclear strategy to achieve effective deterrence. It is aiming to modernise its nuclear arsenal and increase its nuclear ambiguity through conventional-nuclear entanglement. Ambiguity will increase the risks of mischaracterisation and can have a destabilising impact on the Indo-Pacific region. This paper highlights two areas where India ought to be most concerned: the size of China’s increasing nuclear warhead stockpile, and its evolving nuclear posture that involves a growing number of dual-capable missiles. In response, India will not only have to consider a shift in its posture, but also supplement its current arsenal with non-nuclear strategic capabilities such as cyber, electronic and space weapons for establishing credible deterrence.

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