This book offers an empirically rich study of Chinese nuclear weapons behaviour and the impact of this behaviour on global nuclear politics since 1949.
China's behaviour as a nuclear weapons state is a major determinant of global and regional security. For the United States, there is no other nuclear actor - with the exception of Russia- that matters more to its long-term national security. However, China's behaviour and impact on global nuclear politics is a surprisingly under-researched topic. Existing literature tends to focus on narrow policy issues, such as misdemeanours in China's non-proliferation record, the uncertain direction of
its military spending, and nuclear force modernization, or enduring opaqueness in its nuclear policy. This book proposes an alternative context to understand both China's past and present nuclear behaviour: its engagement with the process of creating and maintaining global nuclear order.
The concept of global nuclear order is an innovative lens through which to consider China as a nuclear weapons state because it draws attention to the inner workings -institutional and normative- that underpin nuclear politics. It is also a timely subject because global nuclear order is considered by many actors to be under serious strain and in need of reform. Indeed, today the challenges to nuclear order are numerous, from Iranian and North Korean nuclear ambitions to the growing threat of
nuclear terrorism. This book considers these challenges from a Chinese perspective, exploring how far Beijing has gone to the aid of nuclear order in addressing these issues.
Nicola Horsburgh is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow based at the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University. She is also affiliated to the Asian Studies Centre at St. Antony's College. Her BA project 'China and Nuclear Responsibility in the Global Nuclear Order' explores what it means to be a responsible nuclear armed state, with a special emphasis on China. Nicola holds a DPhil in International Relations and an MPhil in Modern Chinese Studies (Oxon), an MSc in International Relations (LSE), and a BScEcon (Hons) in International Politics and Strategic Studies (Aberystwyth).
Introduction: Global nuclear order in conceptual and historical perspective ; 1. Maoist China and the advent of the nuclear age, 1949-64 ; 2. China's nuclearisation and the emergence of nuclear order, 1964-76 ; 3. China 'joins to world' and engages with global nuclear order, 1976-89 ; 4. China becomes a fully-fledged member of the nuclear order, 1990-99 ; 5. Rising China and a weakened global nuclear order in the 2000s ; Conclusion: From outsider to valued member: Chinese contributions to nuclear ordering