China’s Detachment from the South Asian Nuclear Triangle

Media Coverage | September 10, 2020

EWI Senior Fellow Dr. Lora Saalman writes on "China’s Detachment from the South Asian Nuclear Triangle" for SIPRI WritePeace blogs. This is the first in a series that will explore narratives surrounding nuclear dynamics in South Asia. 

In contrast with coverage of the recent China–India border conflict, Chinese analysis of nuclear issues in South Asia has been decreasing. As pointed out by IndianChinese and US experts, neither China nor India has sought to insert nuclear dynamics into border tensions. Both countries’ past declarations on minimal nuclear deterrence, no first use, and de-mating of warheads and delivery systems, as well as aims for a nuclear-free world, offer greater room for de-escalation than found in India–Pakistan border dynamics. However, there is more to this than simply stated nuclear postures. Chinese official and non-official sources seek to remove China from any descriptions of a South Asian nuclear triangle. This WritePeace blog, based on interviews and Chinese-language sources, explores reasons behind this de-linkage and what it means for future nuclear stability and engagement.

Click here to read the full blog post.