Release of the 2006 Defence White Paper broke China's traditional silence and ambiguity regarding its nuclear policy and strategy, which continues to be founded on the principles of self-defense and global balance. China's emphasis on its commitment to a minimal deterrence capability shows that its nuclear forces are primarily a srategic political tool. The core elements of China's nuclear policy are that nuclear weapons must be the last resort for China and it is the quality not quantity that plays the key role. Beijing is unlikely to change its non-first use nuclear policy in the future. The most important aspect of Chinese nuclear transparency is a clear understanding of China's actual policies rather than its number of warheads.
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