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Report: India Shifts Nuclear Focus To China

A report by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists suggests that India is refocusing its nuclear deterrence strategy away from Pakistan and towards China.


The skirmishes between Indian and Chinese troops have been well documented over the summer. 

But a new report suggests a more dramatic turn in the tense relations between the two Asian powers. 

Breitbart News shares a report by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ,which says India has refocused its Nuclear deterrents onto China:

A recent analysis by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists suggests that India has recently refocused its nuclear strategy on China, positioning new missiles “that indicate their primary target as China,” India’s WION news outlet reported on Wednesday.

Published on July 20, the non-profit’s study revealed that recent additions to India’s nuclear arsenal suggest that New Delhi’s defense focus has shifted from its traditional foe, fellow nuclear state Pakistan, to China.

“India’s nuclear strategy, which has traditionally focused on Pakistan, now appears to place increased emphasis on China, and Beijing is now in range of Indian missiles,” the study’s authors noted. “[T]he change in posture resulted in all-new Agni missiles [medium to intercontinental range ballistic missiles] having ranges that indicate their primary target as China.”

According to the analysis, India’s nuclear buildup represents an effort to combat China’s increasingly “aggressive” development of its own defensive forces following the deadliest military conflict between the two countries in at least 45 years last month. On the night of June 15, Indian and Chinese border regiments engaged in brutal hand-to-hand combat that killed 20 Indian soldiers. The Indian army accuses Chinese forces of instigating the attack, describing it as an “ambush.” Beijing has refused to officially acknowledge casualties during the incident, leaving the number of Chinese troops killed unknown, though Indian military sources estimate about 40 of China’s People’s Liberation Army soldiers died in the conflict.

Over the past several decades, the Asian neighbors have occasionally fought over their disputed border, engaging in a full-on war in 1962. The threat of nuclear retaliation by either country, both armed, has so far deterred the escalation of sporadic border skirmishes over the years. Monday’s nuclear analysis suggests that India has begun to take extra precautions following its most recent border conflict with China, reinforcing its defensive arsenal."

And from WION, who originally broke the story:

The authors further note that "While India’s primary deterrence relationship is with Pakistan, its nuclear modernization indicates that it is putting increased emphasis on its future strategic relationship with China."

According to the report, the change in posture resulted in all-new Agni missiles having ranges that indicate their primary target as China.

It goes on to say that the expansion of India's nuclear posture to take a conventionally and nuclear superior China into account will result in significantly new capabilities being deployed over the next decade, which could potentially also influence how India views the role of its nuclear weapons against Pakistan.

India, in-order-to achieve the posturing against China, will have to pursue more aggressive strategies- such as escalation dominance or a 'splendid first strike'- against Pakistan.

The authors pointed to India's efforts to counter China's aggressive development of its defence forces. The report claims that India continues to modernise its nuclear arsenal, with at least three new weapon systems now under developments to complement or replace existing nuclear-capable aircraft, land-based delivery systems, and sea-based systems.

Several of these systems are nearing completion and will soon be combat-ready. India is estimated to have produced enough military plutonium for 150 to 200 nuclear warheads but has likely produced only 150.

Nonetheless, additional plutonium will be required to produce warheads for missiles now under development, and India is reportedly building several new plutonium production facilities.

According to the authors, China is not the only country which should be bothered with India's approach enhancing its nuclear capabilities. The efforts will significantly influence how India views the role of its nuclear weapons against Pakistan.

According to one scholar, “we may be witnessing what I call a ‘decoupling’ of Indian nuclear strategy between China and Pakistan."

The study further predicts that India continues to modernize its nuclear weapons arsenal and operationalize its nascent triad.

The authors estimate that India currently operates eight nuclear-capable systems: two aircraft, four land-based ballistic missiles, and two sea-based ballistic missiles. At least three more systems are in development, of which several are nearing completion and will soon be combat-ready.

Beijing is now in the range of Indian ballistic missiles."

It appears China may have finally backed itself into a corner on the international stage. 

Efforts spearheaded by President Trump are slowly thawing allies' resistance to confront the Communist Dictatorship. 

In addition to the further American & European pressuring of Beijing, the separate tensions mounting with India are now placing Chinese defenses on multiple fronts. 

Slowly the world just may be able to subdue Chinese beligerence. 


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