The Future of Nuclear Weapons: A Chinese Perspective

  • Zhai Zhihai
Part of the Issues in International Security book series (IIS)


The events of the late 1980s and early 1990s in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have fundamentally rocked the world. Most Eastern European countries have cast away their socialist regimes and are accepting Western-type democracy and market economies. Communist parties have been banned and old bureaucracies have been dismantled. The Warsaw Pact, which had existed as a symbol and unified military institution of the Eastern bloc, was quietly dissolved. The Soviet Union, the prime player of the Cold War and America’s main rival, suddenly disintegrated into fifteen independent states and no longer is a heavyweight player in the world political arena. These developments have shaken the foundations of nuclear diplomacy and politics that have existed for forty years. The abrupt ending of the Cold War has left many questions about nuclear weapons that will not go away as easily as the war. What role, if any, will nuclear weapons play in this decade and early in the next century? Will nuclear weapons still be important in maintaining world peace as they have been during the Cold War era? Or will nuclear weapons be a destabilizing factor in the new world order?


Nuclear Weapon North Atlantic Treaty Organization Ballistic Missile Nuclear Disarmament Nuclear Deterrence 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Newsweek, October 29, 1990.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    New York Times, January 30, 1991.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Editor’s note: Such systems would eliminate the long “bussing” time of current ICBMs, during which they could be vulnerable to space-based defense weapons.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Washington Post, November 29 and December 3, 1990.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Richard L. Garwin, “The Future of Nuclear Weapons,” speech at the Second ISODARCO seminar, Beijing, April 1990.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Glenn H. Snyder, Deterrence and Defense (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1961), pp. 9–14.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhai Zhihai
    • 1
  1. 1.Amer-China Partners, Ltd.BeijingChina

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