Is India turning its nuclear focus toward China?
A recent report by two top American experts that India’s nuclear strategy is targeting China has drawn mixed responses from Indian experts and academics who maintain there is no cause for alarm about the country’s nuclear position despite the changing geopolitical situation.
Published in the July-August issue of the digital journal After Midnight, the article claimed that India is busy developing a missile, which can target all of China from its bases located in southern India.
It also said that while modernizing its atomic arsenal, India has produced around 600 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium, which is sufficient for 150-200 nuclear warheads.
China, India and Pakistan are all pursuing new ballistic missile, cruise missile, and sea-based nuclear delivery systems.
Like China, India’s nuclear doctrine is based on the no-first-use (NFU) concept backed by a policy of assured massive retaliation.
“China appears to have maintained a measure of ambiguity on whether its ‘no first use’ pledge will be applicable to India. An unambiguous clarification on this issue has to be sought from China,” argues G Parthasarthy, a former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan.
Shift in focus