China’s diverse nuclear arsenal makes it more survivable and would provide China with more coercive options in a conflict with the United States over Taiwan. The findings were the result of two summer 2022 tabletop wargame exercises conducted by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) that each pitted China (Red) against the U.S. (Blue).
“A larger, more diverse nuclear arsenal not only increased the survivability of China’s second-strike capability but also gave the Red teams the ability to threaten or employ nuclear weapons in a limited fashion,” according to “Avoiding the Brink,” a CNAS report released in February. “In short, the Red teams felt that they had a secure second-strike capability and were better positioned to brandish nuclear weapons coercively and employ them if necessary.”
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