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China and Global Nuclear OrderFrom Estrangement to Active Engagement$
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Nicola Horsburgh

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198706113

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198706113.001.0001

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China Becomes a Fully-Fledged Member of Nuclear Order, 1990–9

China Becomes a Fully-Fledged Member of Nuclear Order, 1990–9

(p.97) 4 China Becomes a Fully-Fledged Member of Nuclear Order, 1990–9
China and Global Nuclear Order

Nicola Horsburgh

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 centres on the 1990s, a period of significant consolidation for global nuclear order following the indefinite extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1995 and the signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1996. In this high period, China sought to secure its stake in nuclear order as a credible and legitimate nuclear armed state in two main ways. First, China’s military modernization process and debates regarding nuclear strategy validated the nuclear deterrence element of nuclear order and bolstered the credibility of its nuclear deterrent. Second, through deeper engagement with institutions like the NPT, China reinforced elements of nuclear order related to non-proliferation, at the same time enhancing its image and legitimacy. Unfortunately, as the decade came to a close a number of less positive developments, in particular nuclear testing in South Asia, threatened to cast a shadow over global nuclear order.

Keywords:   military modernization, second-strike force, Non-Proliferation Treaty, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, South Asia nuclear tests, national missile defence

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