Wu Riqiang, a senior security expert from Renmin University, argues that Cold War arms control negotiations between the U.S. and Soviet Union showcase the importance of regular bilateral dialogue and transparency in military modernization to build confidence and avoid miscalculations between nuclear superpowers. As China’s security environment sours and tensions with the United States rise, Wu proposes that Beijing draw lessons from this historical example to develop an arms control approach that best safeguards national interests and security.
Wang Shushen, an expert in U.S.-Taiwan relations at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, argues that shifts in the level and nature of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan that began under the Trump administration are forcing Beijing to deploy its own set of deterrence measures. These dynamics, Wang argues, will make it difficult to prevent and control a crisis in and around the Taiwan Strait in the future.
In this 2016 analysis, Zhang Wenzong, an expert at a state security-backed think tank, argues that Beijing must bolster its ability to withstand and counter U.S. deterrence strategy by strengthening its own economic and military resilience, overseas strategic partnerships, and domestic stability.
In this 2012 article, senior military scholar Ni Lexiong analyzes the historical course of China’s military modernization efforts, and argues that Beijing should invest in a strong blue-water navy to secure its expanding overseas economic interests and deter the formation of a U.S.-led maritime alliance designed to contain China. Ni also cautions that China should approach this process carefully, in order to avoid triggering security concerns among its maritime neighbors that could provoke to a regional arms race.
Zuo Xiying, one of China’s top experts on international security, examines evolving U.S. deterrence strategies in light of rising strategic competition with China. He argues that the gap in conventional deterrence capabilities between China and the U.S. is rapidly narrowing owing to China’s technological and military advances and what he sees as the decline of the U.S. industrial base. As a “stress reaction” to this perceived decline, Zuo argues U.S. policymakers have begun to discuss declining American conventional deterrence capabilities vis-a-vis China more frequently. Zuo warns that Beijing should approach shifts in relative capabilities cautiously, and recognize that the U.S. is expanding its “toolbox” of mechanisms that can be leveraged flexibly to deter China, particularly in the case of heightened tensions in the Taiwan Strait.
Researchers at the PLA’s National University of Defense Technology examine the U.S. strategy of deterrence by denial against China since 2017, tracing developments across the Trump and Biden administrations and assessing likely impacts on China’s efforts to shape its regional security environment. The authors argue that while these strategies have “achieved some of the expected effects,” they will be constrained abroad by the security interests of regional U.S. partners and allies and domestically through disagreement among U.S. political parties and U.S. military branches about how to approach building denial capabilities.
Emphasis added throughout text by editors.
How is Beijing assessing the effectiveness of U.S. deterrence approaches vis-a-vis Taiwan? Writing in one of China’s leading IR journals, Renmin University’s Zuo Xiying argues that while the U.S. “failed to deter Russia from taking military action,” its actions since the invasion to support Ukraine and punish Moscow have “produced a powerful deterrent effect against China with regard to the Taiwan issue.”