CHINA'S SECURITY POLICY: POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS OF GROWING CAPABILITIES FOR NUCLEAR CONFLICT
IpiormUMiuul. IM3 wun iKc monition ol ihii FaUrote.
THIS ESTIMATE IS ISSUED BY THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE.
THE NATIONAL FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE BOARD CONCURS. Tho foSowina mHrirjfenct oiQatuzaftotto partiapatod ifi tho propagation ol tho
Th* OnrdM*Wo-nt* Ao*ncy. th* rionond Saeurlfy Ao*ncy. and ft* lrtr*llQ*nt* rxaanliotlon olartin*nt of 5tot*.
Th* Attitfont OM ol Stall lorD^tartmnM of rh* Arm,r*or of Naval0*pcr*rn*nt ol th* Navy Th* Aitiitaf Chhrl olortmoril ot Ih* Air rare* Ih* Dhactaroanr*.Corn.
China 'a Past Security 9
Part Policies and Strategies To Achieve Security 9
The Current Security Envirooroent; Perceptions oi External
The ContinoiQft Sennet
lapan: Tbe Chief Economic
Turbulence In South
Principles of Defense
Instalment* to Military
Need for Foreign
Moderalmtlon of CcnvenMooal
Pollcka and Stratecles for EiploJUog Improved Nuclear
The Search (or Ivtajor Powereal at the
Advancing Toward Security
Streriiitbenlng the Nuclear
Countering Soviet Endideraent
Wreatlirej With the Vietnam
Mar^vertraf WtrJun the Strategic
Fostering Tie* With Japan and Western
Cultivating the Third
Recovering Hong Kong and
Chinese Nuclear Force Improvements and tbe Effect ofuclear Forces on Nonnucleu
Maneuvering Between the So per powers
Persisting Need for Access to Western Tcchnolcajy
China and Arms
Effects on Asian Sutra Friendly to tbe United States.
Implication! for tbe United Stales of China's Future Security
Over the past several years. Chinese leaders have changed lack in dealing with the United States and the Soviet Union while proclaiming their adherence to an "independent foreignheir perception of the Soviet Union as the main threat to their security and of theStates as the only strategic counterweight to that threat has not changed. However, they now judge the Soviets to be more vulnerable at home andfghanistan. Moreover, their relations with the United Stales continue to be impaired by differences over Taiwan. Accordingly, the Chinese have made tactical adjustments in their policy. These adjustments have led them to probe Soviet willingness to reduce tensions and to distance themselves publicly from the United States-
Meanwhile, the Chinese are pressing ahead with the gradual, steady development of their strategic nuclear force begun in the. For example. Ihey now have two intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching targets throughout the United States and the Soviet Unionizable number of intermediate- and medium-range ballistic missiles.7 they will probably have one operational missile-firing nuclear submarine.3 wehinese nuclear force ofoull-range deployed ICBMs.
In the light of adjustments in Chinese foreign policy and taking account of the steady development of Chinese military forces,strategic nuclear forces, this Special National Intelligence Estimate assesses China's long-run security policies and the political implications of these policies for the United States. Will future Chinese leaders change China's current security policies and orientation? What path will China's security policy follow over the nextears? And what role will strategic nuclear forces play in these policies?
This Special National Intelligence Estimate Is intended, Chineae Capabilities for Nuclear Conflict. That NIE discusses China's nuclear capabilities and deployments; this SNIE on China's long-run security policy discusses political implications for the United States.
What Kind of Long-Run Security Policy Will China Pursue Over the Nexthina in ihe nextean wilt continue looreign policy that enhances its ability to maneuver between the two superpcnvers But it will remain inhibited inignificant capability (or maneuver by the patently greater threat posed to it by the Soviet Union than by the United States. The size and Quality of Soviet forces opposite China have continued to grow steadily during the past decade,oviet military strategy designed to carry any future coriflict quickly into Chinese territory. Barring any dramatic
changes in relations, Soviet military capabilities probably wilt improve
Chinese leaders ursdoubtedly look forward to the time when China's modernization programs will permit it to deal as an equal with the superpowers. But they are realistic enough to recognize that, by the. China will still be far behind in industrial production capability, advanced technology, and modern weapons:
In the interim, China's leaders will probably be satisfied to have their countryole analogous to that of France, relying on strategic nuclear forces to serve deterrence purposes rather than toicket to the superpower club.
In this situation, China will not In facteat at the table with the superpowers, but China's voice will increasinglyactor in international forums on some key issues such as arms control
How Doe* Chine'i Lcmg-Rmn Security Policy Affect tkeStates?umber of years, the Soviets have had to take account of China's nudear retaliatory capability, since the deployment of China'stcrcxmtinetital ballistic, the United States has also bad to take account of possible attacks on its own territory. Should the United States become engaged In combat with the Chinese (for example, in Korea or the Taiwant could no longer threaten the use of nuclear weapons against China without taking into account the pouibility of Chinese nuclear retaliation against targets in the United States.
need for US trade, educational facilities, and technology, and its common Interest with the United Sutes in opposing Soviet expansionism, will continue to provide some basis for consultation on these and other matters of shared strategic concern. China will continue to take positions that diverge from the United Statesange of Third World issues, but mav be more interested In coordination oron key regional problems where US and Chinese Interests coincide:
The technological gap between the West and China is unlikely to narrow any time soon. Thus at the end ofears China will still depend heavily on overseas training of its scientific and technical personnel and on importing technology, pajticularly from the United States.
Moreover. China's relationship with the United States will affordegree of leverage in iu dealings with the Soviet
What Nuclear Force* Will China Deploy Over the Decade?China has only one nuclear missile system capable of reaching the continentalwo illos for thb ICBM are operational and at least four additional silos are under construction, but they will not be operationalowever. China's nuclear forces will approximate the following.
Ten toull-nmgeCBMs capable of reaching all of the USSB and the Unitedotne possbly equipped with multiple reentry vehicles (MRVil
Someimited-range ICBMs capable of reaching Moscow but only Alaska and Hawaii In the United States.
Fifty tontermedute-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) capable of reaching the eastern USSR
Up toew-generation solid-propellant IRBMs in thatInitial deployment
Three to five nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarinesach carryinghermonuclear ballistic missilesange ofilometers.
Some tactical nuclear weapons
' TW,ot meA ckmmma
Since all of there configured for mobile deployment. China will continue throughout the decade to rely on strategic warning lo permit the dispersal of mobile missiles lo survivable wartime launch positions
Most if not all of Cruris'j strategic missile force will oontinue to be allocated to targets in tbe Sovietbeing the primary one. China cannot be certain that Moscow's defenses could beNor could the Soviets ensure against penetration of Moscow's defeases by one or more of the Chinese missiles
How Much Will China'i Nuclear Foreea Threaten the United Stoles? China's security strategies over the nextears are unlikely to pose an appreciably increased military threat to US interests, despite the probable improvements in China's strategic and conventional military capability over thisubstantial liberalization of US export controls on dual-use technologies would allow the Chinese to accelerate qualitatively their strategic weapons program during the nextears, but this would not markedly increase China's ability to threaten the United States strategically. The foremost concern for the Chirtese will continue to be the Improvement of their capability to deter oroviet attack.
Although Chinese capability for nuclear retaliation will be greater inears than it la today, and could wreak significant destruction, it will still be very modest relative to the nuclear capabilities of the superpowers-
How Will Poaaesakmore Formidable Nuclear Force Affectolicies Toward the USSBf The Chinese will continue to see the Soviet Union as the principal threat lo China's secunty and totrengthened nuclear force as the cheapest, quickest, and most efficient way of deterring Soviet nuclear attack and, to some extent, ofargo-scale conventional attack as well:
The improvements in Chinese nuclear forces will not giveredible offensive capability against the Soviet Union China will continue to relyong-term war of attrition, counting on its nuclear capability to deter Soviet use of nuclear weapons.
The Chinese will still be compelled to relyinimum retaliatory strategy against population centers, industriallogistic centers, and rail and sea terminals linking Siberia with the western USSR.
China probably will improve ils capability for tactical nuclear operations, which would give its leaders some new limited options whenoviet invasion of China Involving Soviet use of tactical nuclear weapons.
China will continue to maintain sizable armed forces, capable ofong war of attrition, in order to deter Moscow fromonflict.
China will at the same time expand trade and cultural relations with the USSR and will attempt to normalize political relations on the basis of Soviet concessions on key issues. It will nol. however, give in to Soviet demands-
WiU Pouenitmore Formidable Nuclear Force in Itself Cause Chineae. Leaden Toore Reckless or Attertive Course in East Asia? The strengthening of China's nuclear capability will not In Itself Improve prospects of regaining sovereignty over Taiwan,onventional military attack on the island by Beijing's forces remains Improbable. Beiiing will, however, reserve the right to resort to conventional force and will maintain pressure on tbe United States to phase out weapons sales to Taiwan in the hope of convincing Taiwan leaden that they have no choice but toettlerneot
Increases in China's nuclear forces will not affect its support for the US-Japanese security treaty or its interest in stability on the Korean Peninsula. Nor will expected improvements in China's nuclear forces significantly increase the direct susceptibility of nonnuclear states to China's pressures. Whatever'additional leverage China mav have gained on such stales byuclear power It gained long ago when its successful testing and possession of nuclear devices and missiles became widely known. However, China's ability to threaten nuclear retaliation against the superpowers will have some impact on the nonnuclear Asian states seeking military aid from ihe superpowers.
rm* Control Policies Will Chine Pur rue? Givenand continuing disparity between Chinese nuclear forcesof the superpowers, tbe Chinese are unlikely to modifyon force limitations and reductions. They will not agree toreduce their own forces unlit ihe superpowers have agreedin their
the other hand, the Chinese will pay closer attention to arms.control negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union than they have In the past, particularly when, as
in the case of the current negotiations on intermediate-range nuclear forceshey fearS-Soviet agreement could result in increasing the nuclear threat to China
Japan and Southfeel increasingly threatened by Soviet INF deployments and will want the United States to persist In arms control proposals based on global limits
Hoto Important Is It to tha Chinete To Avoid Major Warfare Over the Next Decade? For the remainder of this century the central aim of China's leaders will be the development of China's economy, and in particular Its industrial base. Hence, these leaders recognize the needong period of freedom from external pressures and armed conflict. Thus they will rely heavily on diplomacy, foster their ties with Japan and Western Europe, cultivate relations with the Third World, and avoid high-risk strategies that would place them inuperpower.
Defense Minister Zhang Aiping has put forward certain principles which for the next decade probably will govern China's efforts torjodern. self-reliant defense Industry:
Base the strengthening of national defense oo the vigorous developrnent of the economy
Do not rely on purchasing weapons from abroad.
Develop only the most Important and urgently needed military equipmenL
Expand existing plants rather thanew ones.
Give high priority to the development of nuclear forces.
Despite serious weaknesses that will slow progress, tbeof Zhang Aiping's proposals probably will significantly improve the industrial base for defense production by the.
Nonetheless, shortages of funds and the technologicalof China's Industrial plant and research and defeme infrastructure will prevent across-the-board modernization of Chinese conventional forces withinears Some of the most glaring deficiencies rxooably will be eased, however, notably in antitank and air defense, radar, mobility, and communications. Progress in improving air forcewill be slower than in that for the ground forces, because of thetechnology required
Thla Estimate Is baaed on the judgments ofolitical Succession tn China, which concluded that, although stable political succesSori from Deng Xiaoping to party Chairman Hu Yaobang and Premier Zhao Ziyangomewhat fragile proposition, the chancesanageable successionontinuance of pragmatic policies, both at home and abroad. If, alternatively, tbe succession does oot proceed as planned and China is engulfed by fairly extensive political instability, then China couldecurity policy far more inimical to US Interests
Post Security Policy
hi new leader*ears have aimed at strengthening their nation in order to end theInflicted bv militarily stronger powers. Since coming to power the Communist leaders have fought lo establish legitimacy by providing the Chinesewith security against foreign and domesticTheir early concerts were directed mainly at the United States bees use of American rearming of force* on Taiwan pledged to recover tbe mainland, the advance of US forces to the Chinese border during the Korean War, and US threats to use nuclear weapons against China both during the Korean war and in8 offshore bland crisis.
1 Durirajhe Chinese saw their security further threatened byn their domestic politics and by the large Soviet buildup In Siberia and along the common border. Neil came clashes with the Soviets on the border,in9 Zbenbaodao (Ussurl River) conflict, In which the Soviets thieatcned lo use nuclear weapons against China.
ther Chinese goals have beenChinese sovereignty over Taiwan.and Macau: to win acceptance ofclaims along the Soviet and Indianlo gain control over the Diaoyutal Islandsby lapan) and the Sprady Islandsby Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia,Other long-terra goals have been toInfluence In Asia and tbe worldevelof Chinese perception! of China't SiteImportance.
Post Policies ond Strotagla* To Achieve. Sac l* iry Objectives
Chinai JndWrloUv andSef-Hefiflnce. This has beensecurity strategy. Although thefaltered badly during the Great Leapand the Cultural Revolution, overt achieved an annual growth raleercent, thus contributing io modestly building Ihe Industrial base needed for security policy.
Revolution. The promotion ofrevolution In Asia was an important early element In China's strategy- Friendly neighbors were to be ensured through seizure of power by Communist parties throughout the region But it soon became evident that these Communist revolutionaries would not succeed, and China gradually shifted lo cultivating relations with govern menu in power The Chinese have reduced but not cut their tie* with other Asian Communist parties, therebyeans ofpressure on those governments- But, this has impaired China's efforts to improve relations with other Asian governments.
ExploiterrUal US-Japanese threat. Chinese Leadenefense treaty with the Soviet Union whkh brought China important benefits In weapons, industrial tech-ncLogv, and training of scientists and technicians. This relationship with the Soviet Union ultimately became intolerable because the Sovieis demanded specialand interfered In domestic affairs. Abo. the Chinese were disappointed with Soviet reluctance to back China's nuclear weapons program or to support China's confrontation wtth the United States over Taiwan.0 tbe Chinese broke with the Sovietsontinuing sense of threat from the United SM*
Duringhinaohcy of hostility to both superpowers, which attuned ItsIntensity during the Cultural Revolution.
, following the Soviet military buildup on the border and clashes wtth the Soviets on the border, China turned toward the United Stales, seeking diplomatic collaboration against Sovielaccess to US technology, and training lor Chinese scientists and engineers, as well as progress toward recovery of Taiwan Because their eiperience with the Soviet Union had turned sour and ihey were
uncertain of long-term US intenlioni concerningihc Chinese did noi seek as close an embrace with Washington as thev previously had with Moscow. They were determined loosition thai avoided close alignment with either superpower and showed confidence in being able tc- do so-
Defense Capability. Since itsof Soviet weapons In. China hatslowly in modernizing Its militaryagainst UN forces In Korea,gainst South Vietnam in capturingIslandsnd against Vietnam indemonstrated its determination anduse military force along Its borders.
Chinese Communist leaders decided in the first few yean of their rule that China shoulduclear capability and carried out their first nuclear tenen than five years after tbe Soviets withdrew their assistance. The small bul growing Chinese strategic nuclear force presumably hasignificant deterrent effect on anyoneuclear strike on China
Strengthen Tie* Willi Neighboringhina's relations with its neighbors have been miied. China has been most successful in establishing friendly relations with Japan. Pakistan, and North Korea. Ilostly war against UN forces In order toriendly North Korean neighbor. China and Thailand were al odds for years because of China's backing of the Thai Communist Patty and Thailand's close association with the United States during the Vietnam war. Since Vietnam's occupation ofhowever, the Chinese have ended active support for Thai insurgents. This has helped bring Bangkok and BeUIng closer together. The other ASEANof Malaysia. Singapore, the Philippines, andool attitude toward China, In part been use of Chinese refusal to cut all ties with Communist insurgencies ond movements In the i
hina's biggest failure occulted In Vletnam. After years of receiving substantial Chinese aid In the war against the United States, Vietnamese leaders allied their country with the Soviet Union. The border dispute wlih India, India's dose relations with ihe Soviet Union, and China's support for Pakistan have limited improvements in relations with New Delhi- in the Chinese view, the only serious neighboringmenace is the Soviet Union India is perceived as unfriendly because of ils lies with the USSR. Vietnam is viewed as unfriendly because, among other things, ithallenge for influence (dominance) in Southeast Asia.
Internationalncmict. While the Chinese haveiheir own military strength as the primaryof Chinas security, they have attachedto mobilizing international politicalsupport for China China's entry intoNations as well as its growing influence inthe world have improved its capability tosupport.
The Current Security Environment: Perceptions of External Threats
Chinese see the world ofby superpower rivalry and anrace. Theyonfused period,and losses for each superpower, leading todecline In the Influence of both.states that such circumstances favoress aligned foreign policy, enabling Chinaits distance from either superpower. Inas evidenced by China's strategic andforce deployment, Chlnete leadersthe principal threat comes from the Sovietthe lengths to which they have gonethe substance of relations with ihein trade, training, and technologyserious strains over the Taiwan Issue,importance they attach to those relationsbecause China has chosen to define itsthesets freedom of maneuver belweenwill remain sutnect to serious constraints.
Tha Unit adecessary Collaborator
leaders value their country'swith the United Stales for the contributionto China's development and the leveragethem against the Soviet Union. No othercurrently can take its place in view of Chinagoals. US educational facilities andUS contribution to csfshore oil production
Soviet Active Dhlslens Ib the Far East
ilii .fc.ri minoiii nooiiil
Major Cnmbal Egnlpaaenl of
Soviet Ground Forces Opposite China
other niufut protects requiring advanced,nuke the United Slates difficult to dispense with, despite Chinese frustration wllh bilateral irritants such as defection! and bmitations on technology transfer.
he Taiwan banehorn In the US-Chlnese teSalSornhip- Chinese leader* wanl lo keep the pressure on In order to ensure thai the United States carries out Ihe agreement of2 on arms sale* reduction.onsiderable eslent they can control Ihe tension and avoidevel that would be loo damaging lo Chinese interests in relations wllh ibe United Stale* Bul domestic politics, rationalisticand the involvementender's "face"combine lo create severe pcohlrms Chinese leadeei fear thai the United Stales will be unable or unwilling lo reduce ot end ill haMoricaJ Ite* wtth Taiwan This would either delay China's goal of reunification ore facto "two Chinas"Either of ihese would be directly counter lo Ihe long-ringe Chinese goal of untf Icallon.
Tha Corrn'nuing soviet Threat
Chinese see Ihe Soviet Union aso China's security became of tbelhat have peoduced miliumnand because of Ihe strengthening of iheSoviet forces deployed In Ihe vicinity of(Sec cherts) Historical animosity aboeant role. (The Chinese, rnoreuver. foriby ihe continuing buildup of Ihe SovielSoviet domination of Afghanistan andwith India and Vietnam also add tosense ofetreW" andinset at top of nest page)
ino-Soviet talks, while unlikely to alter tbe roodi'mm men by tbe Chinese as thtnatenlng, may moderate ihef being menaced hyore normal relationship between Moscow andemphasising increased trade and etc ha rises. Agreement on minor border adjustments or on some reduction of forces close to the border would corrtrib-ggaecline in termors It is unlike Is lhal rnore substantia! improv*nsersts In rektvora wiD occurthe period.
Soviel alarnmeab lhal cause the Chineseencircled are unlikely to changeSoviets will continue to pay ihe price to relaln ihe
Sovwt Fores Buildup
The USSR began Hi recent round of polities! lalks -ith Chinaraiuon of luptrtur conventional and strategic mlUtarv strength The Mr* and Quality of Soviel forces opposite China have continued lo grow iteadlly during the past decade.oviel military strategy desired to carry any future conflict quickly Into Chinese tarillorv Barring any dramatic change in relation, Soviel ground force manpower and equipment levett probably will grow gradually0
Since the. the Soviets have cccstnicted tt least SORBMwilb faculties for ninepsble of striking China. Theof hunchcrt it greater than the earlier number ofRBMs andRBMs deployed within range of China. The mobileoreover.highly survivable andIRVed pat load as well as greater accuracy, better reliablliiy,horter reaction time than did the older missiles
geopolitical and military advantages they bring. Wilh strains between the partners In these relationships likely to increase. China will be quick to try to esploit any opportunities that arise and thereby erode Soviet positions in Vietnam. India, Afghanistan, and North Korea
Joporii The Chief Economic Partner
he Chinese view ambivalently theof Japan's armed forces While Ihey approvetrong Japan to help check Soviet expansionism, their experience of Japanese invasion and their awareness ofndustrial power make them waryapidly mill tarlxing Japan. The small increase in Japan'scapability projected during the period of this Estimate, however. Is unlikely to cause the Chinese serious concern that Japan mightilitary threat.
he Chinese regard Japan as their principal economic partner, although they will wish to avoid becoming overly dependent on Japan. Theydo not hope for formal military cooperation with Japan. Moreover, despite occasional criticism ofgradual defense buildup, they will continue to rely on strong US-Japanese bilateral ties as the best guarantee against remllitaillation, and as ato growing Soviet military power In Asia.
Turbulence in South Alia?
ven though Chins does not see Indiaredible territorial threat, renewed armed conflict between India and Pakistan would neverthelessChinailemma, In light of its lortptand-ing security relationship with Pakistan- Sovietto punish China would serveeterrent to intervention, but failure to act In defense of Pakistan would damage Beijing's prestige and influence. China probablv would not directly intervene militarily but would seek to halt the conflict while aiding Pakistan in other ways.
The Chi no sa-Vietnamese Confron'otion
hina views Vietnam as its most Immediate potential enemy after the USSR and as the principal rival to Hs own goal as leader in the area. Thereietnamese troops deployed near the Chinese border These outnumber the Soviet ground forces deployed on China's northern border, but thisthreatocal one.trategic threat such as posed by the Soviet troops, aircraft, and nuclear missiles deplored against China. Theforces, heavily reinforced after9 Chi-nese Incursion and equipped withillion worth of high-quality Soviet weapons, ate deployed in amode around Hanoi and between Hanoi and the Chinese border. The Soviet-Vietnamese alliancethe danger, however, that under someChina might have towo-front war.
he Chinese have kept pressure on Vietnamelatively low cost bv supplying arms to the Kampu-chean Insurgent forces. By resuming Slno-Sovletthey have also fostered doubts in the minds of Vietnamese leaders concerning the reliability of the Soviet connection- They also hope that theeconomic burden of the Vietnamese military effort will produce further strains with the Soviethange In policy toward Kampuchea, and an Improvement In Bering-Hanoi relations.
Mililary Ettcsbiiand Achievement*
f DoIoam AAooVr-rcmon
efense Minister Zhang Alping in an important article in theheoretical tturnal3 (weeaffirmed the bask print!pics cur-
Owig country and ii urealistic or poBbie for as to buy national defenar rnoorrnimtMin from1 iha outsetb necaaMry to obtain some to Km thai can be imported and model tome weaponry on ihat ofodeling ue*'i weaponry on thai ofay of raaHnral defense rrasoaevaaattonnly by oVvalop-iraj-<Sroaahrdlanee andeahaUc Isaht-nrahnneaiad eubury naipanat thai can ba adapted to various condmoaa can we asnafy ouroeedt
Give high pricnily to the development of nuclear aea pons.
Give full play to the role of intelleduab
Make good use of "the presentInterrutional surroundings" to strengthendefense rapidly.
hang's article indicates lhat China willthe policy followed since ihe break with ihe Soviet Union ol slow modelnuation of Its defense capability, emphasising- the devekipeventodern industrial base and the acquoiOoo of safneted foreign military technology in order eventually toerf-reliant defense industry The article alao nresaes theof giving priority to the development of straiegic nuclearhich give Chinaelative advantage despite our country's weak economy and scientific andSee Inset)
reotly governing. Chinai defense rnoclomxailca. peo-gram. These rxuicsgaea. whkh Ire Isaery to continue to be followed through (he period of this Estimate, are
Ihe strengthening of national defense on
"the vigorous development ol economic
eseaanve diversion of funds to mililarywhkh would slow economic de-
Increase th* iMaracthn between mlhiaryand civilianeach serve tbe other
Do not rely on the purchase of weapon* from abroad
Develop only "the most important and rnoat urgently needed military equipment "
Emphasise th* ripanslon of plant) In the defense Industry, rather than building new one*.
Chino'i MAtory Modernisation Program
ihe Peopltt'i Liberation Annr
ihe military out ol politK* and Internal tecuniy affairs
Tvp* a* tank.Improvedasr* gual
Antitank -capons. Itvdttenoualy produced "Saaier"
Irtrteated mechaniiatloti, tell procelled irtlllery. armored peraMinal carriers
All defemer^iavreoaaly producedndmobile SAM nmilar to Crotale and
Impadlmenli to rVUhlory rViodeeniiation
evere Impediments will slow progress toward rnodernitatlon Ihese include Industrial technologyoean behind the developed countries; sbort-agna of sctiastssts, enspneen. and technicians; shortfalb in energy andluggish bsireaueraey. Ineflieienteakly motivated labor force; an elderly leadership;year gap in (he
ranks ofeducated young leadn> caused by the poor quell)v. o> tola) back, of bathe* education dunnf the Cultural Revolution Wcakncatei are serious in areas important to the defense industry, such as metallurgy, electronics, machine tools, pceoton in it rumen ti and chemical production Shortaie of fund) is an endemic problem which Ihe government ii attacking by reducing the sire of Ihe armed forces, sharply curtailing the production of obsolescentsystems, and beginning an arms salea program ihat brought inillion in contractstt
Coe<anlrotion on rVicrrfy Areas
tb The Chi in at demoost rated in tbe oevclopmenl of their strategic nuclear force thai by concent rating scarce resourcesriority area ihey can make notable prograM The bestngineers, and technician! and the most sophisticated equipment were assembled In this area. Priority funding, access to advanced foreign technology, strong political support, and inwlatloo from the damaging effects of the Cultural Revolution have also contributed Thistreatment -ill continue and probably will enable the quantitative development of strategic nuclear weapons to proceed more rapidly than moat other military
Need for foreign Teehrvology
hile thev stress self-lelin not. the Chinese rec ognixe the Importance of "leading edge" foreign tech-rtology to modernise theii defense Industries. Tbey are meeting this need by signing major sdenlilic and technology agreements with most of the developed nations, by making direct purchases of some military equipment and technology, and by tending abroad hundreds of technical delegations and thousands of students and visiting scholars Of the more0 Cudents from China who are now abroad,0 are studying In the United States. Almost half of these were sponsored by the Betting government, primarily in the physicalandin eagineeriiig; the remaining half are privatelyby relatives, friends, and institutions outside China. Someoercent are estimated to have associations with military-related institutions in China.
he Chinese are selectively purchasing dual-use technology, some of which ti known tou put to mllHary use Some duel use lechnologv tills kev gaps in design and manufacturing processes. In other initancn acuuisition olmportant for ill symbolic value in demonstrating thai China and its leaden are accepted on equal terms by ibe West and lapan China abomall but growing program tu acquire advanced technology and technical data through covert meant, particularly aimed al obtaining restricted US. West German, and Japanesehaving direct military application
V Chinese effort to aenuireo'enial for sharply upgrading the domes-lie research and development effort. Never! hele-u. inadequate RaD infrastructure, eacessive compart-mentation of military-1elated Industrial activity, and quality control problem! with replicating foreign milt lary Industrial equipment will continue to maleabsorption of foreignlow and gradual process
Oaeaj'i Nuclear Foresrowing CorxnVaih.'
hina has only one type of Miatecic missile system capable of reaching the continental United States, thentercomlnenlal ballistic mtanle ilCBM! Two have been deployed and as many as four additional silos are under coortruction, whichwill not be operational6 Jibe currently dep
missiles are targeted on' Moscow. Somrore likely to be deployedome of these could carry MRVs
hehich can reach only Alaska and Hawaii In the United States, is deployed In two silos Eleven ioil-out ntes under construction probably will be completed duringomeould be deployed bv the. Additional deployment! are not expected
he bull of the Chinese nuclear ballistic missile force consists of the medium-rangeMRBMLOO-kan range, first deployednd the intermediate-rangem range, first deployed1oth are mobile, neither is capable of targeting the western
1 ThUdraws oo tn* moekulau of'S-SJ.on/Be".
USSR- Theorce ii being 'educed In number and replaced by CSS*2s. CSS-is probably will be phased outheesign nowears old. probably will no) be upgraded and the numbers deployed probably will level offhe Intelligence Communityhat (heof these two types of missiles currently deployed is. Theorce probably will beby soUd-prcpellanteginning In ther, based on the rubmarine-launched ballistic missilehat wasbunched at sea in3 we eapect China touclear ballistic missile* Additionalty. wc estimate that China now hasuclear bombs and someuclearmunitions.
tube Xia-class nuclear-poweredmissile submarineesigned to carry theolid-fueled SLBM that was testediesel-powcrod submarine Inegan its sea tests earlyt will probably become operational4tsissiles ate espected toangem, and initially willhreat to targets in the eastern part of tbe Soviel UnloM
total of four or five could be
completed1 by 1
China's nuclear strategy throughout the period will continue to rely on warning to permit theof its mobile missiles to survivable wartime launch positions Objectives and employment concepts will not fundamentally change; the characteristics of the delivery systems will force relianceinimum retaliatory strategy against population and Industrial targets Capability for tactical nuclear operations,still citrcmcty limited relative to those of tbe superpowers, will improve and provide Chinesewith some new options below the leveltrategic retaliatory attack.
China's strategic nuclear missile forceery small and backward in its technology inwith those of the Soviet Union and the United States (see the taMel
The Chinese will
locus (heir nuclear weapon! development efforts mainly on improving thencreasing reliability and readiness of their mobile MB/IRBM force,solid-propellant rtsissiles, and developing tactical nuclear weapons.
By the end of the period, tbe Chinese strategic nuclear force will still be very small relative to the Soviet and US forces, and lu technology will lag behind that of all four other nuclear missile powers. Nonetheless. US and Western etport control policies will affect the pace of China's program. If the foiled States strictly limits the etport of technologies related to nuclear weapons and tlieir delivery systems, to electronic and antisubmarine warfare, and togathering, the Chinese will make slowertoward upgrading their current strategic nuclear forces. On tbe other hand, scrapping most US controls over eiport of tbe technologies described above, giving the Chinese access to dual-use computer andtechnology roughly equivalent to that available to most non-Communist developing countries, wouldthem lo speed up somewhat the iraproverjtent of nuclear forces in this decade and to establish the industrial basis to introduce new generations ofin thehina's capabilities would still not be In any sense comparable to those of other major missile powers because of limited ability lo apply advanced techooloav to mass production ofmilitary weapons.
Despite these [imitations, however, theand improvements in the Chinese strategicforce during this period, together with effective use by the Chinese of mobility, camouflage, and deception and tbe addition of some tactical nuclear weapons, will Increase China's capability to retaliateuclear attack and thus add to Ibe deterrent value of the force. The deterrent effect Is aboby tbe Soviet view of China as the mostof the ihlixs-countrv nuclear powers and the assumption in Moscow that the Soviel capital remains the target of highest priority for Chinese missiles. China cannot be certain that Moscow'- defenses could be penetrated. Nor could the USSR ensure against the penetration of Moscow's defenses by one or more of the Chinese missiles
China and Potential Aihmirlti;
A Comparison of Strategic Nuclear Missile Forces,3
ri i: i
lachKlnCSS-ls. tiamea-raaga KTBMs. cacao* of reaching all of lbc Soviel Union, but eoiy (be curcin nona-eswn
laiiacbtn il noeeted to be cceraueafl ji tbr
ration ol Convarriionoi Fortes
h.ni.ne of funds and the technologicalof China') industrial plant and Hal)will prevent an acrms-the-board mode ml aa* tion ol Chineie armed foeon during the period of thii Estimate Conventional forces probably wilt continue to receive lo- er priority in funding and person or! than nuclear strategic forces. The Chmese are making effort!emedy some of Ihe most flaringnotably in modern aircraft, antitank and air defense, radar, mobility, com mu meat Ions, and inlelll-geoce
I Despite these handicaps,
they have made some progressom self-propelled mulHpte rocketantitank mines, tank laser rangeflnderi, and air-to-air miuilei. and copying the Sovietagger missile and ihen*-altitude surface-to-sir missile
heor the Chinese lo improvecapabilities slowly during that period,by introducing antitank missiles, improvedtactical communications systems, andThe Soviets will continue to have aadvantage In mobility and in modernthe Chinese probably will have somewhatthe gap In ground defenses in certainin air force capability will be slower,the higher technology required, and here thewiden despite Chinese progress If thewere to scrap most controliange ofelectronic technologies, tbe tiae of the gapwidenomewhat slower pace.wll) not haveredibleagainst the Soviets, but will havecapabthly to testsoodoviet attack withwar of attrition, provided the Sovietsowever, overall
improvement! In China's military-induatrial complex will haveasis for accelerating theon of conventional forces In.
PrjKciM ond Strategies (or Expioiting Irnprovod Nuclaor Capabilities
The Search lor Mofor Powereot ot the Table?
hinese leaden, sensitive lo not being taken seriously, look forward lo the time when China will qualifyeal al Ihe table with the ru per powers. Bul they are realistic enough to recognlie lhal In thehina will still be far behind In Industrial productiondvanced technology, andweapon! In tbe interim, China may seek loole analogous to that of France. In thb situation China would not in fact formallyeat at the table bul its tacit consent will increasingly be needed by those at tbe table oo sonic key Issues such as arms control
The central theme of China's security strategy during the period of this Estimate will be oneoose alignment with the United States that enhances Ils freedom of maneuver between the superpowers, Chinese concern over Soviet expansionism in Afghanistan and Vietnam and euphoria over thenor-mnliratlon ofashington relations combined to produce fairly close political alignment wllh the Utiiled States-. however. China had changed tactics. Il sought to enhance its leverage wiih the United Stales without appearing allied. Though still more disposed toward ihe United States than toward the Soviet Union, China became more independent in rhetoric while remaining close In substance. This Is likely to prevail for theudden, threatening advance ofpower, US rrrpves perceived in Beujng as designed to make permanent the independence of Taiwan from China, or the onset of political Instability in China
AoVoncing Toward Security Goals
he achievement of China's security policy goals will depend heavily on internal stability during the leadership succession and tbe success of economic reforms Inespectable rate of economic5ercent during the period of thu Estimate. Prospects for political stability and modest economic growth are fairlyhus, by the early
NISarOloiIas Orrae. The kaalt thnut of ihiihat, although the aaaeagfcat from Deng Xlaewng to Ha Taohara and Zfao ZitargomevSal IragSle prepctMcn. thr chinrts- -managrabfe aiccatlon aril a
eant'.aui/ice ol prigmalk CSifSct at home iro. abroad
I. China probably will havereater capability lo deter attacks on Chinese territory and to accelerate the modernisation ol ill armeducceas in these respects will also enhance China's Influence In the region and Ihe world and giveote substantial claimeal at the table with the super power I
Strariaframing tha Nixksor Deterrent
he Chinese continue lotrengthened strategic nuclear force as (Ite most effective method of deterring nuclear attack and to some fitarge-scale conventional attack aho They believe that ihe combination of their canting MralegSc nuclear force. Iheir large, although ill equipped Army, and their coocept of "people'sro.-let renameble tour anceairly long period of peace during which they can moderniie then Industrial and techrvcJoereal base and thereby modernise their conventional force* while continuing to improve their slrategsc forces. They regard the "quickuch as Vietnam'sof large amounts of advanced Soviet weapons, as an impracticable solutionountry the sire of China. They see In tie choice bul lo loliow ihe slower, and In the long run more dependable, course ofelf-reliant defense Industry If. however, China wetc tuddenly to acquire siiable amounts of hardoil reserves discovered andpurchase of some additionalweaponry to offsrl Soviel numbers would become possible
CcH*ert*eing Soviet tncbchyrnerrt
he Soviet effort to encircle China, particularly through Soviet relation! with India and Vietnam, is teen bv Chinese leaders as increaung the risk of China's having towo-front war. ll is aho viewed as Impeding the achievement of China sgoals, which Include surrounding itself with friendly neigh boo. increasing China's regional and world Influence, and recovering lost territories. Thus Beijing has resumed negotiations wllh (he Soviets and the Indians, while maintaining firm lies with Pakistan and giving coven aid to ihe Afghan rebels. For the nestears, al least, diplomatic maneuver and cautious aid lo certain opposition groups are likely to be important meant of countering Soviel endrcle-mertt; maintaining eaterulvc bilateral relations with tbe United States andnother
Wroitling With th* Viemom Impost*
Chinese see Soy let ties with Vietnam userious security threat nest to that pettedforces themselves. Vietnam's actions infurther exacerbate Si no- Vietnamesehas attempted to counteriKnsmese andactivities in the area byevel aid torebeb and by diploma Ik efforts,fas Southeast Asia The Chinese -iilto avoad direct miliary action and relyaid and diplomacy lo isolate Hanoi and
Meanavvering Within th*k Triangle-
p'ogrrst, even though slow andtoward irsodernlilng their Industrial baseforce, Chinese leaders will haveIn their ability to conduct aforeign policy Ideally, they would likesome degree of leverage over bothWashington However,eaden viewasool to heap achieve secunty than anitself. They will be ceerM rained, therefore, inths* ideal poarurc by the hard facts thai thewill pose lb* more serious threat toand that the United Stales will have moreIn needed technc-logv, training, and trade.
Fosteringith Jopon ond Western Eur op*
Chinese will seek to Improve theirmaneuver relative lo the tuperpowen bylinks with lapan and Western Europe Accesstechnology, trade, and training available inred states will reduce, although by noChina's dependence on the United Statesfield* That dependence could be totallyIn responseharpening con frontal ionbut only at the coat of tlgnilicantlydevelopment Consequently. Chin tattry hard to prevent damto those parts ofrelationship moat Important to
CuhiwjTing th* Third World
on China's links with tbewill continue to be more rhetorical thanexcept with those few Third World countries
Ihat can afford to buy substantial quantities ol Chinese goods, especially Chinese weapons. Third World ties do not contribute directly toeeurtty. other than those with countries bordering on China, loch as Pakistan. Ikirma. and North Korea, butotential source of support in international forums China will continue to solicit Third World support in opposition to Soviet expanalontsmi in some situations Chinese policies will be parallel to those of ihe United States and in other places opposed Clilnese leaden will gauge gairn and losses in China's weight tn the world to some extent by their ability io mobiiire Third World support lor Chinese positions
Hong Kong ond MeseOu
recovery of sovereignty overby China but under com mi of othersto be accomplished during this period,foe Hong Kong and Macau
Impalcotions for the United States of China's Future Security Policies
security policies likely to be followedOver the nextean do not pott anincraasard military threat to US inter eats,improvements In China's strategic nuclearmilitary capability likely duringThis lodgment holds even if US eiportsubstantially liberabied lo provide dual-userelated lo (he strategic areas of nuclearand their delivery systems, electronic andwarfare, and intelligence gatheringwit) continue to be concerned primarilytheir capability to deter or defeat aand lo resist further ereirclement orof Moscow's position on China's borders.Inhibit them from using military forceeven to recover territory claimed by themby others However, il ourleadership succession or Internallo change, we could not ruleoreChinese foreign policy.
Cb'-ies* Nvclraor Fore* tmprovem*nti ond tit* Superpower*
53 umber of years the Soviets have taken account of Chinese nuclear retaliatory capability
against Ihe USSR; since the deployment of iheniied Slam Im had to consider the Chinese threat lo ihe conunenial Uniied Stales as well as to US bases In Asia. Should the United Slates becomein combat with Chinese forces (for example, in Korea or the Taiwan Strait'. It could no longerthe use of nuclear weapons against China without taking Into account the possibility of Chinese nuclear retaliation against Ursjcts in the United States. Within
ears. Chinese capability to retaliate will begreater than It is today, although still small
relative to the nuclear capabilities of the superpowers.
ecause of the great disparity between Chinese nuclear forces end those of the superpowers that will continue to exist for the nestears, the Chinese will not brandish their weapons against either of the superpowers. On ihe contrary, thev will continue to dex-tare that they will not be the first lo use nuclear weapons and will continue to call for the abolition ofeapons (confident lhal the superpowers will not agre-X
Ei-'ect of China's Nuclear Forces on Nonnuciaar Slates
mprovements in China's strategic nuclear force will not significantly Increase the susceptibility of nonnuclear states to Chinese pressures. Whateverleverage China may have gained on such tales byuclear power it gained long ago when successful testing and possession of nuclear devices and missiles became widely known. Soviets and Americans have discovered the difficulty ofnuclear weapons capability into politicaland the difficulty Is even greatereak nuclear power like China. Increases In Its strategic nuclear forces will, however, have other effects. States that fear China's military power (such as India or Vietnam) will continueompulsion to pay the price of protectionuperpower. Increases in China's nuclear retaliatory capability will abo tend to weaken confidence In tbe willingnessuperpower to risk retaliation against Its own territory In order to protect an ally.
Maneuvering Between the Superpowers
SO. Even though the disparity between China and tbe superpowers will remain great In both strategic and conventional weapons,ears of politicalami economic progieas would give Ore Chinese leaders greater confidence thai their goalelf-reliant defense prtMliKtlon capability is attainable Increased self-confidence, while not significantlythe leaden' propensity to risk large-scale military conflict, would encourage In them thelo try to maitmlie iheir freedom ofIn dealing with the two luperpowen Thus. China probably will continue lo adopt foreign policythat divergehe United Statesange of Third World issues, while cooperating or eortsolttng where US and Chinese iruereats coincide
or many reason* Chinese laa Jen will wish to avoid tootrategic alignment with the United States Chinese leadenrowing confidence in their ability to deter armedelief ihat Soviet Internal problems and nirrnal ervtangler-vents reduce the threat to China. hopes forowering of tension with the Soviet Union, differrnces wilh the United States over several important issues (notablyesire to burnish China's credential! with the Third World Nevertheless.view of the Soviet Union as the chief threat, its need for US trade, technology, and training, and ib interest in common with (he United Stales In opposing Soviel expansionism, especially In Afghanistan and Vietnam, willasis, albeit limited, for strategic rvjUebe-reilen wtth the United Slates In the form of consul lat ion on strategic quest torts and parallel foreign policy actions Some improvement in US-Soviet relations would give the Chinese greater tree to seek nrairgsc coiTabmatson with the United Stales than exists lodav The Chi near desire to avoid an overly close alignment with the Unitedarry to persist throughout the Period, in Ibe absence of some new, threatening mow by the Soviet Union
Persisting Need for AccessWestern Technology
ven if China remains politically stable andolicy of seeking to expand Its access to trade, training, and technology from the advanced Industrialised coo nines. II Ii unlikely to narrow the technological gap, for technological changeapid pace tn the West China will continue to have difficulty absorbing new technology into the Chinese militarysystem eicept in htgh-prtoritv areas such as nuclear weapons Ten yean from
now Chinadependence on training personnel over-mi and importing teehrvslogv Irom abroad will still be very great Cooaequeotly. China will continue to be inhibited from taking loreign pohcy actions that would impair its access to foreign lechrtology. These inhibitions will generally work In the US interest
Chi no one) Arms Control
he disparity between China's small nuclear force and those of the superpowers offers Utiletohinese to enter into arms controlChina abo Lacks the technical capability ra observe and closely monitor nuclear missileIn the United States and ihe Soviet Union. Nonetheless, the Chinese will pav closer attention to arms control negotiation* between the United States and tbe Soviel Union than they have in the past In the case of the current riegc-tiauons oo Intermediate-range nuclear forces (INFX they (earS-Sovietcould result in increasing the nuclear threat to China Accordingly, over the neat decade the Chinese may participate In arms control talks provided these talkspended beyond the confines of theclub-Japan andfed threatened by Soviet INF deployments and will want the United State* lo persist in arms control propcaab based on global bmits'
Effects on Aston States friandry ro the United Slate*
fong Kong and Taiwan. The Chinesewill reach agjeerncnt with tbe British during this period on Ihe recovery of aoveretgntv over Hong Kong, although ihe actual eiercUe of their sovereignty rxobably raut occur7 when the Brtosfa lease on ihc New Terr ite* ka expires Hong Kong and Macau probably are ibeost terrlloeses- that will be recovered during this period, eicept (or possible
minor adjustments In ihe Sino-Soviet butdrt. their "recovery" will not require (he threat or use of force The manner of their "recovery" will be closely watched In Taiwan.
61 The irnsngthening oftrategic nuclear capability will not stgnificanlly improve rwiapectssovereignty over Taiwan, for nuclearare not practicable inWrurnenls (or Chinese leaden to use for lhat purpose The strreigthening offorce* over the nextears, however, probably will somewhat widen ihe edge ihat ma inland forces have loday over Taiwan forces. Beijing will reserve th* option of using mililary force against Taiwanorm of polilical pressure, but is most unlikely to resort lo it The military coau would be high, the physical damage to Taiwan's infrastructure and industry would le severe, and the political and resource burdenubdued but recalcitrant population would bailitary attack on Taiwan would also gravely damage Boiling's relations with Wuhlngton and Tokyo. Billing can be eapected to maintain pressure onuled State* to reduce and eventually phase out wr aeons sales to Taiwan, in the hop* of convincing Taiwan's leaders that they have no choke but toettlement
apan and Korea. The increase in Chiiia's military power will not significantly affect the Chit ese position with respect to theapanese aecur.ty treaty or the Korean rVnirauk The Chineae wiH continue to regard the security arrangements between Japan and the United States as an Important counter to the Soviel military buildup In East Asia andyeck on Japan going it alone. They will also prefer stability oa the Korean Peninsula lo renewed conflict there, which could nose escrucaarsngiy difficult choices for them. Conflict in Korea would disrupt ihe peaceful environment so important to China's development and seriously damage iU essential relations with Japan and (he Unllod Stales-
- Gooiioiuaa rjcaanlv-China and (be
wable aucrrssKat'tioni' IJeiut'^iaopltui ic Hu Vaobiaraf *
ic.nl fJltlMl iwi.^hi. in Chuu Rapidin Chlniae Soviet,
I. Tha docurtienl waiy tha Deeetorata ofhii <opyfor th* irifce-nattori ond um ofpi*nt ond of per tool vnoar ho or furindt* know baiii. Addtrk-ooloWrwrvjrion rr-oy b* authoriiad by th* loSo-ino, oHklohortro*ntii
Bur*outafSpwnc*roh, farart*tiWi of Stat*
D*ft*rt*gsney, far th* Offk* afr*rory of Detent*
and th* orgorviionon af th* Joint Chlaf. ofiantont Ghiaf of Staffar rh* Dwparterwcrt of th* Army d. Director of Novdfor th* Ptasortrr-arit of rh* NcrryaaietoM OW of Staff,orortm*r* of th* Ah Fore*
of IfitiligUci,dovort*rt, Morfn* Corps
Sacratary forPrcqt am. forortnvant of En*rgy
DhucM. FBI, forard Bureau ofDiactor of NSA, for th*urity Agancy
V Sp*ool Alalalontlor*-tory lor Nolk-vrJ Sacunty, forortm*nt of th* Tr*oiory
k-uty Director for Initfllgaoe* for anyepartment or Agency
may b* retained, orreg^arjiorw,o th* Dlwioroie .
period not In aaorti.ofo th*
to retain ft kn
burning in act ordor.ee wh* oppBcobfcl
recipients may retain ilt th* and ci 'HI. period, th*hogid b* os-tfrored i, or parrreiaion ihould b* raoo*ktsc of th* forwarding2
tram th* hud h
ie of thii oocurnant whanOriginal document.