Nuclear Nonproliferation - Past, present and future

von Pan Zhenqiang
Online Info-Dienst Ausgabe 5/2004


Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) has become one of the gravest concerns of the international community for the peace and stability of the world. Of all these horrible WMDs, it goes without saying that proliferation of nuclear weapons remains the central focus.

In the view of Wolfgang K.H. Panofsky, an eminent American nuclear physicist, only nuclear weapons deserve the definition of WMD in its true sense, no matter whether in terms of potential lethality and destructive power, the feasibility of protection and defenses or the potential mission of these weapons. He argues "the world today faces a confused and potentially extremely dangerous situation in its current contradictory treatment of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons – commonly referred to collectively as weapons of mass destruction (WMD)" (1). One may not agree with his view. But the point he is trying to make – that the international community should pay greater attention to the nuclear proliferation – is widely accepted.

History-mixed progress

The fact that nuclear weapons are the most dangerous weapons and can virtually annihilate mankind many times is not a new discovery. At the very outset in the Cold War, it was the very scientists with great consciousness to humanity became pioneers for alerting the world of the danger of nuclear weapons and the calling for their abolition. The idea of developing thermo-nuclear weapons had been first raised during the Second World War by a group of natural scientists primarily in order to deny the Nazi Germany any opportunity to be the first of acquiring this horrible capability and bringing to the world the unimaginable catastrophe. They successfully manufactured the bombs thanks to the support of the U.S. government before the Germans did; the bombs were actually used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, demonstrating such huge destructive power that the effect immediately shocked the world. Among those who were particularly alarmed by the ensuing nuclear arms race and the increasing risk of a nuclear exchange between the two superpowers were those very scientists engaged in the development of the nuclear weapons themselves. "The men who know most are the most gloomy".

In July 1955, eleven such eminent scientists initiated what later was called the Russell-Einstein Manifesto. With a sense of great urgency, they asked the question, "stark and dreadful, and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war". The Manifesto particularly called for an agreement to renounce nuclear weapons as part of a general reduction of armaments (2).

The international community did make significant progress in its efforts to bring the nuclear danger under control in the Cold War. Achievements chiefly comprised two parts.

First, the two nuclear major powers, namely the United States and the former Soviet Union, succeeded in reaching agreement on a balance on the structure of their huge nuclear arsenals, and a code of conduct on their nuclear behavior, codified through a number of their bilateral treaties and other legal documents. In 1972, the two countries signed the ABM Treaty and the SALT I agreement, which basically banned the development of strategic defensive forces while putting limits on the development of strategic offensive forces. The arrangement was based on the rationale of so called Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD), that is, either side has the capability to wipe out the other side because of the deliberate prohibition of developing and deploying strategic defense on both sides. The stress was on the prevention rather than the actual fighting of a nuclear war. It was indeed the balance of terror. However, it also served as one of the important pillars for a world mechanism to insure the nuclear arms race on a controlled and predictable track and the prevention of a nuclear war. This mechanism was sustained, not in the least thanks to the restraint of other nuclear weapon states like China, France and Britain in keeping their nuclear capability at the minimum level, thus refraining from challenging the dominant status of the two nuclear superpowers.

Second, the international community was able to conclude a number of important multilateral treaties to confine nuclear weapons to a small group of the five acknowledged nuclear weapon states, thus virtually halting the spread of these weapons to other nations. These treaties included the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) in 1963 and the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1967 and many others. The NPT, in particular, provided a discriminatory but pragmatic framework to regulate nuclear weapons and nuclear energy, and further put into legal form agreed norms and rules for international nuclear behavior. The key elements of the treaty include:

1) State parties to the treaty are divided into two categories: nuclear weapon states (NWS), which had exploded a nuclear device before January 1 1967, and non-nuclear weapons states (NNWS), which had not by that deadline. They have differing commitments.

2) Non-nuclear weapon states commit themselves not to attempt to acquire nuclear weapons. To that end, all nuclear materials in these countries are to be placed under a safeguards system organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to provided assurances against diversion.

3) In exchange of the above commitment, non-nuclear weapon states have an inalienable right to nuclear energy for peaceful purpose.

4) Nuclear weapon states undertake obligations to pursue negotiations on the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date, on nuclear disarmament and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament, including conventional and unconventional weapons.

Thanks to the above achievements, the international community has been able to maintain a workable nonproliferation regime, which, although it saw a few violations, has largely been successful in curbing the tide of potential nuclear proliferation trend that had emerged since early 1960s. Up till today only three (Israel, India and Pakistan) are believed to be already illegally in possession of nuclear weapons in addition to the original five, and another couple of countries (the DPRK and Iran) is most probably close to that status. The overwhelming majority of the nations in the world has by and large observed their commitment as required in the NPT, and seem still firmly to remain non-nuclear.

But of course this achievement in what is called horizontal nonproliferation (meaning prevention of non-nuclear weapon states from acquiring national nuclear weapons), has paled in comparison with that in what is called vertical nonproliferation (meaning prevention of expansion and modernization of the existing nuclear capabilities of the five nuclear weapon states). Despite the strategic framework the two nuclear superpowers had established in the Cold War, the nuclear arms race between them never ceased; and preparation for fighting a nuclear war never relaxed in the Cold War. This situation has led to the continuing expansion of the two major powers’ nuclear over-kill capabilities beyond any reasonable calculations till today. Further, it provides futile soil for the spread of nuclear weapons. Mankind is still living in the shadow of the danger of a nuclear war. One is yet to see all the nuclear weapon states honor their obligations for nuclear disarmament.

Present-three major challenges

The end of the Cold War has dramatically changed the world strategic situation. But unfortunately, there is not much good news for nuclear nonproliferation. There was a short period of expectant optimism in early 1990s when the international community seemed to embark on a road of further strict control of WMDs through the conclusion of CWC and CTBT, and particularly the indefinite extension of NPT. It was soon clear, however, that while nonproliferation remains the world consensuses objective, and some progress had been achieved to that end, incentives for nuclear proliferation has increased rather than waned; the international nonproliferation regime has been fast eroding. The changing political security landscape, economic globalization and the rapid development of science and high-technology have all contributed to this rather gloomy picture. At least three major resultant challenges stand out that the international community is faced with today:

First of all, with regard to the nuclear weapon states, their policies continue to constitute a major obstacle in strengthening the world nonproliferation efforts. The dismantling of the Soviet Union has led to the collapse of the bipolar structure of the world, leaving behind only one superpower. When George W. Bush came into power in 2001, he signaled a more bellicose security policy.

In early 2002, the Bush administration was reported to reveal part of its nuclear posture, which demonstrated that the U.S. would be prepared to use nuclear weapons in a much wider range of circumstances than before, with a particular emphasis on tactical uses. Such an emphasis in a declaratory policy has not been seen since the days of flexible response forty or so years ago, when tactical nuclear weapons were deployed in Europe and elsewhere. In addition, according to the media reports, the nuclear posture also among other things stresses that:

1) The U.S. still believes that nuclear weapons are legitimate weapons, which the Bush administration plans to retain in large numbers for the indefinite future.

2) The U.S. may be prepared to use nuclear weapons particularly against a non-nuclear weapon state, which should attack the U.S. or its allies with chemical or biological weapons. This is evidently a step back off from the previous administration.

3) The U.S. will invest heavily in its nuclear weapons infrastructure, may develop new warheads, and resume nuclear explosion testing.

4) The U.S. will accelerate the effort to deploy ballistic missile defense (BMD) and develop both offensive and defensive capability in space.

5) The U.S. is unlikely to allow itself to be constrained by existing arms control commitments, and unlikely to engage in additional meaningful measures of nuclear arms control and disarmament (3).

The attitude of the Bush administration towards the nuclear weapons cannot but have an important impact on the policies of other nuclear weapon states. In the security policy of each of these countries, nuclear force continues to be given an important role to play. Modernization of the nuclear force continues to be put as priority on their agenda. The Russians backed off from their no first use policy. Except for China today, all the other four acknowledged nuclear weapon states claim they are ready to be the first to use nuclear weapons if the situation needs it to be. Against this backdrop, nuclear arms control and disarmament negotiation has been stalled. The CD in Geneva has virtually been deadlocked on all the items at the table.

Against this backdrop, none of the nuclear weapon states is seriously thinking to implement its obligations as stipulated in the NPT. The latest example of their disrespect of the NPT is the reported planning of renewal in June of the Mutual Defense Agreement (MDA) between the United States and the United Kingdom for another ten years. The agreement is a special arrangement between the two countries for exchanging nuclear information, technology and material, including Trident missiles. The British defense minister Lord Bach argued that "Movements under the MDA do not involve nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices; hence they do not contravene the treaty" (4). But this self-serving view is hardly convincing. According to the authoritative legal opinion, the NPT, which is the fundamental international legal instrument covering nuclear weapons, binding on 189 states, takes precedence over the MDA under international law. The MDA is directed towards "improving the UK's state of training and operational readiness ... and atomic weapon design, development or fabrication capability". But Article I of the NPT forbids the transfer of nuclear weapons or devices, and Article VI of the NPT requires all parties to pursue nuclear disarmament. Renewal of the MDA, intended to continue and enhance Britain's nuclear program, would hence breach the NPT (5).

Thus, the double standard in the nuclear nonproliferation has been worsened. While nothing serious seems to be done to check the so-called vertical proliferation, it is increasingly hard in a moral sense for the international community, the nuclear weapon states in particular, to sell a more stringent regime to insure non-nuclear weapon states to stick to a permanent non-nuclear status.

The second challenge is the emergence of regional nuclear aspirant powers, which the international community is yet to find a way to cope with. True, in regions where political situation improved for better interstate relations like in Latin America; or social progress was achieved like in East Europe and South Africa, one sees positive development in strengthening nonproliferation regime. Brazil, Argentina and South Africa renounced their nuclear option (for some, even their actual nuclear bombs) one after another in mid-1990s. There seemed also a satisfactory arrangement to prevent the spreading of its huge nuclear arsenal to more than one successor after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. All these were positive developments as far as nonproliferation was concerned.

But there have been more worrisome and indeed alarming aspects of the issue. In regions where tensions and conflicts have surfaced with the collapse of the bipolar world system like in South Asia, the Middle East and Northeast Asia, regional powers are seeing more incentives to consider a nuclear option either in the hope of expanding its influence or simply of insuring its survival.

In May 1998, India conducted a number of nuclear explosions, which forced Pakistan also to make its response in kind. Two more new de facto nuclear weapon states emerged in the sub-continent. Although it was no secret that these two countries had long time ago acquired nuclear capabilities surreptitiously, the new explosions still had very negative shocking implications to the region as well as to the world. The regional conflict between India and Pakistan is added a new overly dangerous nuclear element. In a more broad sense, the explosions have dealt a heavy blow to the international nonproliferation regime.

And then there emerged the nuclear crisis in the DPRK in 2002, which threatened to bri ng about a genuine confrontation and even a military conflict between the U.S. and that country. Although the six-party talks have helped to offer some hope for a peaceful solution of the issue, positions of the two principle antagonists seem still far apart, and uncertainty remains the hallmark of the present situation. Meanwhile, the international community has also serious doubts as to Iran's policy orientation. Teheran obviously has a clandestine HEU program, which seems still in a dubious state despite its promised commitment to put its nuclear programs under the safeguards of the IAEA. Both cases of the DPRK and Iran would have serious implications to the world and regional peace and stability if they were allowed to go nuclear. These incidents have also revealed some serious vulnerabilities of the international nonproliferation regime. First of all, the existing monitoring mechanism was proved to be inadequate to keep track of a non-nuclear weapon state's going nuclear in a secret way if that country chose so. Secondly, when the breaching was found, there seemed no immediate and effective way to correct the situation by taking legitimate punitive steps against the culprit country. Finally, even if the breaching country was eventually pulled back to the NPT scope usually by some rewarding measures, the psychological impact to the other non-nuclear weapon states would still be very negative. The message delivered seems clear: if you breach, you can always expect to get some rewards in the end; if you don't, you get nothing. So, what's the point to remain a faithful state party to the NPT?

The third challenge comes from a newly emerged role of non-state actors, who seem to be both the new source as well as the potential users of the nuclear material, technology or know-how in proliferation. Thus the international community is facing a new and real danger of a horrible nuclear weapon, or a crude and dirty bomb falling into the hands of non-state actors like international terrorists or even the organized crimes. The scenario of an explosion of such a device in a big city, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people is simply unacceptable to the world. This is a new threat indeed, as all the international nonproliferation regime had been dealing with only the behavior of states. There had already been discovery of some documents at the Al Qaida caves in Afghanistan to show that these terrorists were studying manufacturing a dirty bomb. Although there was no evidence to prove to what extent they were successful, the discovery of the revealed interest of them was enough to alert the world that the danger is not far-fetched and cannot be ignored.

Now how come these new dangers of the emergence of new nuclear weapon states and nuclear terrorism? Evidently the rapid spread of science and high technology has played a particular important role in this regard. Many commercial companies or even individuals, who have the access to the nuclear related knowledge or know-how, have become virtually another source of nuclear fuel cycle suppliers in addition to the organizations such as the Zangger Committee, the London Club, and the Nuclear Suppliers Group, whose members are state-parties to the NPT. The former group is now found to circumvented national export controls to supply states, which had the ambition to develop nuclear programs for the military purpose. It is already common knowledge now that a number of companies from the United States, Germany, Switzerland, France and the Great Britain were the main source of gas centrifuges to countries like Iraq, Libya and Iran. If all these acts had long taken place in the past, the rapid development of science and high technology has made the clandestine nuclear transfer more convenient, efficient and harder to be found. The recent discovery of A. Q. Khan of Pakistan as a principle organizer of a secret network to supply nuclear related material and technology further proved how important these non-state actors can be in assisting countries like Libya or even the DPRK to develop their nuclear programs.

More importantly, what is not clear is if commercial companies or A. Q. Khan’s network have any contact with non-state actors, who are so eager to have their fingers in the nuclear pie for their own purpose. To sever this connection has become indeed the main content of the concerted efforts of world against international terrorism.

Future – the need for a charted path

It is clear that the old nonproliferation regime is inadequate to coping with the new situation. Looking into the future, the real challenge is how to strengthen the international nonproliferation regime to halt the spread of nuclear weapons. At the same time, the efforts should serve as one of the major building blocks for the new world order. The task essentially involves effectively addressing the three major problems discussed above. They of course reinforce each other:

1) How to re-energize the dynamics of the nuclear disarmament and arms control process and to urge all the nuclear weapon states to honor their due obligations as stipulated in the NPT and other legal international documents;

2) How to persuade those aspirant states from giving up their nuclear ambition?

3) How to cut off any possible connection of nuclear cycle fuel with those non-state actors like international terrorism or organized crimes.

To reach all these goals, there is an urgent need of a new roadmap for a comprehensive approach bringing all the political, economic and military means to bear. But among all these efforts, political element should be most essential. In other words, for nuclear nonproliferation, it is paramount to first provide a more propitious political environment. For proliferation is in essence political in nature. If history can serve any guide, a sovereign state insists on a nuclear option generally because it believes its decision serves its best national interests against a hostile situation, even if it is keenly aware to have to pay a price for the decision. If the situation improves to the point at which that nation does not feel the need to resort to the nuclear choice, or it can find out a better alternative to developing nuclear capability, the nonproliferation regime would greatly be sustained.

In this regard, the nuclear weapon states, particularly the two major powers with the largest nuclear arsenals should have special responsibilities to take the lead in observing their obligation for nonproliferation. The world can hardly accept the perpetuation of nuclear-haves and nuclear-have-nots. As long as this discrimination persists, there will always be the danger to give rise to new nuclear players. Indeed, all this is not a new theory. It sounds almost like a cliché now as it has been stressed time and again and again by the world opinion. What is needed now is a new strategic vision as well as the necessary political courage of all these nuclear weapon states to take practical actions to fulfill their due obligations as stipulated in the NPT and other international legal documents.

Specifically, as a first step, what particularly merits attention is the necessity that the nuclear weapon states should re-evaluate the role of their nuclear weapons together with all the other non-nuclear weapon states. Ideally, a consensus should be reached to declare that nuclear weapons (maybe radiological weapons should be included) are not legitimate weapons, and that the use of nuclear weapons constitutes a crime against humanity and should be automatically subjected to the world punitive measures as authorized by the Security Council of the United Nations. Pending this declaration, as an interim measure, at least the nuclear weapon states should limit the role of their nuclear weapons to that of response only to the nuclear attack by other nuclear weapon states. If indeed all of them are able to reach agreement on the issue, an international treaty to be the first to use nuclear weapons will be well in place.

Some argue that being only declaratory, no-first-use cannot be verified and thus has its limit in value, and worse, can even lead to the cheating by a nuclear weapon state with ulterior motives. This argument is wrong. No-first-use is first of all the greatest confidence building measures politically among the nuclear weapons states, which seem so absent now in there mutual relations. It also paves the way for genuine nuclear disarmament by these states. If all the nuclear weapon states are committed to no-first-use, requirements for the modernization of major nuclear systems will become far more modest than has been assumed, thus making the real, irreversible deep cuts of the nuclear weapons possible and feasible. It can also facilitate the ratification of the CTBT by all nuclear weapon states, resumption of negotiations at CD in Geneva on the cut-off treaty and prevention of the weaponization in space. One could perhaps even envisage the reducing interest of the U.S. in deploying BMD and developing new low-yield nuclear weapons. Finally, this meaningful obligation of no-first-use by the nuclear weapon states will have great positive impact on the strengthening of nonproliferation regime in the world since the role of nuclear weapons is fundamentally reduced and restrained (6).

Providing more favorable political conditions should also be essential for the eventual solution of the nuclear proliferation to the DPRK and Iran – the currently two most plausible countries going nuclear. To a great extent, the future of the international nonproliferation regime will hinge on the success of failure of the world effort to that end.

Motivations that drive these two countries to develop nuclear capability may be different. However, if there is any commonality, the nuclear option of the two countries seemed both imbedded in the turbulence and tension in the regions that they are situated respectively. Thus, the world needs to define a more effective way to combine the solution of the nuclear issue with the reduction of tension and a political reconciliation between the chief antagonists in these regions in order to truly enhance a nonproliferation mechanism in these regions. The six-party talks seem exactly working on those lines. One can hope therefore that in the Korean Peninsula the solution of the nuclear crisis will go hand in hand with the reduction of long-term intense suspicion, mistrust and hostility between the United States and the DPRK. Then one has reasons to believe that the accumulated minimum political confidence and trust as a result of the renouncement of the nuclear option in a verified way by the DPRK will further pave the way for the conclusion of a peace treaty among the involved parties to replace the armistice that has been standing in force on the peninsula for over half a decade. Only then can a sustained regional nonproliferation regime be insured in Northeast Asia.

The Iran's case may prove to be more difficult as situation in the Middle East is more complicated. Given the present situation as a result of the drastic change of the security landscape in Gulf and the Middle East not least as a result of the Iraq war, the deterioration of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, its own confrontation with the United States, and the possession of nuclear weapons by both Israel and Pakistan, it is perhaps hard to persuade Iran, a regional major power, not to keep nuclear capability as an option for its survival as well as for its desire to stay influential in the region. Against the backdrop, it can be argued that Iran will not easily give its nuclear ambition unless all the above listed security concerns of Teheran is properly addressed one way or the other.

There is another thorny issue confronting the international community, which should also require a political solution. The issue is concerning the way the world should treat the three de-factor nuclear weapon states (Israel, India and Pakistan) which have proved to have already possession of nuclear weapons but are not accepted by the international community as legitimate nuclear weapon states in accordance with the stipulation of the NPT. If these countries are accepted as new legitimate members of the nuclear club, it is almost tantamount to acknowledging the failure of the NPT regime, as well as the inability of the world to deal with nuclear proliferation. This could have profoundly negative repercussions on the future nonproliferation efforts. If they are permanently rejected, on the other hand, as nuclear pariahs, the abnormal situation will also mean depriving them of due obligations as a nuclear weapon state, thus bringing new instabilities to the world nonproliferation regime. To be or not to be, that is really a question.

To be realistic, it is perhaps difficult, if not impossible, to roll back the nuclear weapon programs of both India and Pakistan. The idealistic and feasible way is perhaps finding a solution which accepts India and Pakistan as of certain nuclear status, but at the same time putting restrictions on the development of their nuclear capabilities, and stipulating for them specific obligations for nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation so as to limit the damage to the international nonproliferation regime to the minimum. To negotiate an additional protocol to the NPT, dealing specifically with the nuclear status of the two countries to trade for the specific commitment of these two countries is probably a way out.

As for Israel's nuclear weapons, the only good solution that will be in the interests of all the countries, including Israel itself is the eventual renouncing of its nuclear capability by Tel Aviv under certain condition, for example, in the scope of a nuclear free zone in the Middle East. The Sharon cabinet has indicated its willingness to consider this option when lasting peace is established in the region. Although many took the promise as only a pretext that Sharon had used to evade the pressure both from at home and abroad, it does give some hope that Israel's nuclear weapons can be addressed when the conflict between Israel and Palestine is solved.

To stress the political nature of the nonproliferation issue does not suggest of course that one should neglect the technical aspect of the world efforts. Central at issue is the urgent need of arousing the awareness of the international community of the urgency to do more to address the new problems as a result of the rapid development of globalization and information technology. The discovery of smuggling networks operated by non-state actors as discussed above demonstrated it is high time to strengthen the tra ditional export control as well as the verification and monitoring mechanisms. All these call for the concerted efforts by the international community.

In this connection, the unanimous adoption of the Security Council Resolution 1540 has demonstrated the enhanced determination and solidarity of the national governments to combat proliferation. After all, if all the national governments are resolved to take actions to enhance the safeguards against the diversion of the nuclear related materials and know-how, it is hard, if not impossible for any non-state actors to get access to them. Now the resolution has put forward a series of specific measures to strengthen the international nonproliferation mechanisms, including the multilateral cooperation and the improvement of national export controls, the implementation of these measures will go a long way towards the goal of nonproliferation. Moreover, the resolution has also shown a universal recognition of the critical role of the Security Council of the UN in nonproliferation. This is of particular significance as it is perhaps only the Security Council which has the authority to design and implement an effective strategy, and indeed take actions against the violations of nonproliferation.

Meanwhile, a number of proposals are on the table aimed at strengthening the nonproliferation regime from a technical point of view. They include for example appropriate measures against the withdrawal from NPT, creation of a special committee of the IAEA Board of Governors on safeguards and verification, making signing the Additional Protocol a precondition for civilian nuclear supply, prohibition on export of Uranium enrichment and reprocessing equipment and technologies to countries without such capabilities, setting up centralized international reprocessing centers, and more stringent punitive measures against any specific states on whose soil the act of nuclear proliferation to non-state actors occur, etc. All these suggestions have their merits, worth further elaboration.

Here, a few comments on the US Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) are perhaps appropriate. Obviously, PSI has become one of the most contentious issue in the nonproliferation efforts. Difference in the view is not so much on the goal as the means. While acknowledging the legitimate intention of taking more proactive measures for nonproliferation, those very aggressive actions suggested including interdiction actions on high seas and international airspace without prior consent or the authorization of the Security Council would involve many legal as well as technical issues. "Questions have been raised upon the legitimacy of interdiction, the possibility of using or abusing force, consequences of action based on wrong information, possible interference in legitimate trade, etc... Such possibility may divert the interdiction measures from the very purpose of nonproliferation and possibly have negative impact on regional stability." Maybe one of the effective ways to meet these concerns is perhaps to turn the initiative into an international treaty endorsed by the Security Council so as to lend greater legal legitimacy to the international concerted efforts.

To be sure, it is going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to reach all these goals primarily because world nations don’t seem having enough political will to act in unison. After all, nonproliferation puts vital national interests of different countries at stake; and nations don't always see the convergence of their threat perception and security strategy. But one needs not be too pessimistic. The nuclear danger generated from proliferation is simply too risky to all the nations of the world; and there seems now a growing consensus that this danger must be checked through strengthening the international nonproliferation regime. Provided this common understanding, there is high hope that mankind will prevail over nuclear weapons and not the other way around.


(1) Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky, "Dismantling the Concept of Weapons of Mass Destruction", Arms Control Today, April 1998,

(2) The Russell-Einstein Manifesto, July 9, 1955, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs,

(3) See Special Briefing on the Nuclear Posture Review, J.C. Crouch, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, Washington, January 9, 2002,

(4) See David Lowry, "UK and US Cannot Lecture Others on Nuclear Proliferation", Financial Times, July 9, 2004.

(5) For the detailed study of this issue, see, for example, "Leading Lawyers Say US-UK Nuclear Collaboration breaches International Law", Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, July 26, 2004.

(6) For the detailed discussion of no-first-use policy, see, for example, Pan Zhenqiang, "On China's No First Use of Nuclear Weapons", A Discussion Paper for the Workshop On No First Use of Nuclear Weapons sponsored by the British Pugwash Group, London, November 15-17, 2001.

(7) Liu Jieyi, Director-General, Department of Arms Control and Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China, "Challenges and Approaches to International Nonproliferation", presentation at the Fifth Sino-US conference on Arms Control, Disarmament and Nonproliferation, Beijing, July 20, 2004.

The Author:

Major General Pan Zhenqiang (retired) is Professor and Deputy President of the Shanghai Institute for International Strategic Studies

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