Chinese General reiterates no first nuke use policy

"If no power presses for nuclear war with China, the Second Artillery Force will always keep silent," Gen Jing Zhiyuan, commander of PLA's Second Artillery Force that controls China's nuclear weapons stockpile wrote in an article published in the latest issue of China Armed Forces.

China's development of a nuclear arms capacity is limited to that of the lowest level necessary to safeguard national security, Jing insisted.

"We will firmly pursue a defensive nuclear strategy and resolutely implement the 'no first use' policy," he said.

"We, the Second Artillery Force, will always stick to the principle of limited development of nuclear weapons and we will not engage in a nuclear arms race," Jing wrote.

Numbers of China's nuclear weapons have been a matter of speculation as there is no definite official information about them.

According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, China may be having around 130 nuclear warheads deployed in missiles and aircraft with 70 more in storage.

China has also developed inter continental ballistic missiles with a range of 15000 km.
China began building its own nuclear arsenal after the country exploded its first atomic bomb in the deserts of north western China in 1964.

In 1971, the country became the fifth country in the world to launch a nuclear submarine.
China successfully tested a carrier rocket in 1980, shooting it from northwest China to the South Pacific to showcase its intercontinental strike capabilities.

It also conducted an underwater missile launch in 1982. In 1996, China declared it would suspend nuclear testing to promote nuclear disarmament.

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