[Ed. – Although it isn’t clear yet how much China’s own strategic forces will participate in a combined-forces nuclear scenario with the Russians, the potential here is one of the most significant developments since 1991, ranking with 9/11 and the Arab Spring for game-changing possibilities. We must hope the nature and scope of the strategic cooperation between the two Asian giants in this exercise will not be kept secret from the American public.]
Russia’s new doctrine of rapidly escalating future conflicts by resorting to nuclear arms shortly after the outbreak of hostilities is a major concern for the Pentagon. The doctrine has been cited by Pentagon officials as one of the reasons Moscow was identified as a major strategic competitor in the new national defense strategy.
The doctrine is considered destabilizing and also is leading the United States to develop its own arsenal of smaller nuclear weapons.
The Pentagon revealed in its latest annual report on the Chinese military that China is also developing new, small nuclear weapons.
The participation of China in the nuclear war games also is a concern. …
“Politically it is very significant,” said Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon policymaker who specializes in Russian affairs.
“We have no details on the supposed scenario yet,” he said. “However, in this type of exercise, the very fact of a joint exercise may be more important than the exact details of the announced scenario, which may be very real. Putin will probably give China what it wants out of the exercise. That could involve a threat to Taiwan.”