China's Evolving Nuclear Deterrent: Major Drivers and Issues for the United States

China's Evolving Nuclear Deterrent: Major Drivers and Issues for the United States

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China's approach to nuclear deterrence has been broadly consistent since its first test in 1964, but it has recently accelerated nuclear force modernization. China's strategic environment is likely to grow more complex, and nuclear constituencies are gaining a larger bureaucratic voice. Beijing is unlikely to change official nuclear policies but will probably increase emphasis on nuclear deterrence and may adjust the definition of key concepts.