Stephen M. Walt on China

Inflating the China threat
Foreign Policy, “A Realist in an Ideological Age” blog
August 27, 2012
Commentary by: Stephen M. Walt, member of the Belfer Center Board of Directors and Harvard Kennedy School’s Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs
Topic: China

“Given its modest capabilities, China is understandably worried by U.S. missile defense efforts.  Why?  Chinese officials worry about the scenario where the United States uses its larger and much more sophisticated nuclear arsenal to launch a first strike, and then relies on ballistic missile defenses to deal with whatever small and ragged second-strike the Chinese managed to muster.  (Missile defenses can’t handle large or sophisticated attacks, but in theory they might be able to deal with a small and poorly coordinated reply).”

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