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PacNet #36 – US-China Strategic Cooperation: Progress Continues, but Disagreements Remain

The cornerstone of China’s nuclear weapons policy is its pledge of no-first use (NFU). That has been a constant since Beijing acquired its first nuclear weapon and China’s call for others – particularly the United States – to follow suit has been the starting point of Chinese nuclear diplomacy. Not surprisingly, then, the failure to explicitly mention NFU in China’s latest defense white paper triggered an uproar among China watchers in the strategic community. This is much ado about nothing!