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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Nuclear Weapons

By 1953 the Chinese, under the guise of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, had initiated research leading to the development of nuclear weapons. The decision to develop an independent strategic nuclear force was made no later than early 1956 and was to be implemented within the Twelve-Year Science Plan presented in September 1956 to the Eighth Congress of the CCP. The decision to enter into a development program designed to produce nuclear weapons and ballistic missile delivery systems was, in large part, a function of the 1953 technology transfer agreements initiated with the USSR.

In 1951 Peking signed a secret agreement with Moscow through which China provided uranium ores in exchange for Soviet assistance in the nuclear field. In mid-October 1957 the Chinese and Soviets signed an agreement on new technology for national defense that included provision for additional Soviet nuclear assistance as well as the furnishing of some surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles. The USSR also agreed to supply a sample atomic bomb and to provide technical assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. The Soviets provided the Chinese with assistance in building a major gaseous diffusion facility for production of enriched uranium. Subsequently the Chinese accused Moscow of having abrogated this agreement in 1959, and having "refused to supply a simple atomic bomb and technical data concerning its manufacture."

China began developing nuclear weapons in the late 1950s with substantial Soviet assistance. Before 1960 direct Soviet military assistance had included the provision of advisors and a vast variety of equipment. Of the assistance provided, most significant to China's future strategic nuclear capability were an experimental nuclear reactor, facilities for processing uranium, a cyclotron, and some equipment for a gaseous diffusions plant.

The Soviets at one point seem to have promised China an "educational" bomb to copy; however, Soviet-Chinese cooperation, in nuclear matters as well as others, was never entirely smooth. During a summit meeting held at Beijlng, the Chinese leader horrified his Soviet counterpart with h1s facile talk about the need to destroy "Imperialism"; even at the risk of a nuclear war, and even if it should cost hundreds of millions of casualties which China at anyrate, was capable of replacing within a few generations. Now it is not necessary to take Khruschev's account literally. Not only was he trying to justify the role he played in bringing about the Sino-Soviet split, but he himself has put it on record that he never liked or trusted Mao.

The development of nuclear weapons is a huge systematic project involving many disciplines and various departments. In the early days of the undertaking, Mao Zedong explicitly indicated: "We must make concerted efforts to do this work." As long as necessary, the elites from all over the country are handed over to the nuclear industry; the nuclear industry system and nuclear testing base have always been closely coordinated with the Zhongwu Academy. In addition, when breaking the "two bombs", there were 26 departments (commissions) including the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Metallurgy, the Ministry of Chemical Industry, the Ministry of Communications, the Ministry of Water Resources and Electric Power, the armed forces of the PLA, the armed forces in 20 provinces , More than 900 factories and enterprises, research institutes and institutions of higher learning, etc., strongly support, coordination, involved in research and battle.

Though an exact date was not given, the meeting at the poolside in Beijing cannot have taken place too long before or after the Second Taiwan Crisis in which Mao, according to the best available sources, tested American resolve and got his fingers burned. In 1965, Mao is supposed to have told Andre Malraux that "all I want are six atom bombs - and then I know that nobody will attack me".

Moreover, even if Mao did say something of the sort there is no need to regard him as crazy. When everything is said and done China, thanks to its enormous rural population, always has been and remained, more capable of surviving nuclear war than any other country. This is a fact which the leadership clearly understood, and would be foolish not to exploit, at least for diplomatic purposes.

On April 21, 1986, Deng Jiaxian, Yu Min, Hu Renyu and Huthde reported on the Central Propaganda on nuclear weapons to step up miniaturization. At that time miniaturization theory has been a breakthrough, but the results had not yet got the last hand. The last atmospheric test was canceled again in 1985. Deng Jiaxian and Yu Minli's theory estimated that the design standards for nuclear weapons in the United States and the Soviet Union were basically close to the theoretical limit and accept the test ban treaty once the need arises. The plan was proposed because Lao Deng agreed with the 863 plan and the State Commission of Science, Technology and Industry Commission organized experts in various fields to study it. The "Proposal" came out smoothly and approved.

Afterwards, China conducted underground nuclear tests continuously and finally completed the test before the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. The treaty came into effect months later. After miniaturization, China's physical design level with the United States the same grade. The last nuclear test happened to be the tenth anniversary of Deng Jiaxian's death.

Atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs, neutron bombs, and miniaturization of nuclear weapons were the historic monuments that Chinese nuclear weapon developers write in a warmhearted spirit to inspire the national spirit! In the 1990s, Jiang Zemin visited the nuclear weapons research base and made important instructions on the cause of nuclear weapons. He also invited scientists such as Zhu Guangya, Yu Min, Hu Renyu, Qian Shaojun and Hu Sidhi to promote their knees in Zhongnanhai to discuss plans for the development of China's nuclear weapons industry.

The cordial concern of the party and state leaders injected a powerful impetus into the cause of nuclear weapons in China. General Secretary Jiang Zemin pointed out: "Our national defense construction, especially the development of some advanced weapons, is of paramount importance in safeguarding our economic construction and national security." He also repeatedly stressed the importance of strengthening national defense and encouraged the Central Academy of Sciences to "promote Two bombs, create a new performance."

A person can rely on the spine to stand upright, a country needs an iron backbone to stand up. At a meeting, General Secretary Jiang Zemin mentioned that if we did not have "two bombs and one satellite," today our spine in the world will not be so hard. The work of the Chinese Academy of Sciences can make the backbone of the Chinese nation stand even stronger.

China's nuclear forces, in combination with the PLA's conventional forces, served to deter both nuclear and conventional attack. Chinese leaders repeatedly have pledged never to be the first to use nuclear weapons, and they have accompanied the no first-use pledge with a promise of certain nuclear counterattack if nuclear weapons are used against China. China envisioned retaliation against strategic and tactical attacks and would probably strike countervalue rather than counterforce targets. The combination of China's few nuclear weapons and technological factors such as range, accuracy, and response time might further limit the effectiveness of nuclear strikes against counterforce targets. China is seeking to increase the credibility of its nuclear retaliatory capability by dispersing and concealing its nuclear forces in difficult terrain, improving their mobility, and hardening its missile silos.

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Page last modified: 18-10-2021 15:47:01 ZULU