Tag Archives: nuclear weapons program

A Cautionary Tale: Historical Review of the Intelligence Community Predictions about China’s Nuclear Program during the Early 1960s

In 1983 the United State (U.S.) Intelligence Community (IC) conducted a study of intelligence judgement prior to “significant historical failures” of the IC in predicting world events affecting U.S. national security. As the documents below reveal, one of the failures … Continue reading

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Historical Research: Chinese State Media Claims the Soviet Union Threatened China with a Nuclear Strike during the Zhenbao Island Border Conflict

A 2010 article in Cultural and Historical Reference (Wenshi Cankao), a publication of China’s state-controlled People’s Daily media outlet (Renmin Ribao), asserts that the Soviet Union threatened a “surgical” nuclear strike against China and that Chinese leaders publicly communicated the … Continue reading

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Declassified: The U.S. Researched an Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) System Called NIKE-X in the 1960s

According to a declassified presidential memo from the Office of the Secretary of Defense to President Lyndon Johnson, the United States was researching an ABM system (the NIKE-X) during the early 1960s as part of its Cold War nuclear arms … Continue reading

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China’s 1966 Nuclear Missile Warhead Test was Launched Over Chinese Territory

In 1966, China conducted a risky nuclear missile warhead test across its own territory. China’s fourth nuclear test was the first test of a nuclear warhead fitted to a ballistic missile, and was launched across approximately 1000 kilometers of Chinese territory.  The … Continue reading

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Declassified: The Soviet Union Considered Using Nuclear Weapons against China during 1969 Border Clashes

A declassified Department of State report dated September 4, 1969 detailed statements made by a Soviet military officer to a U.S. Army Attache concerning plans for the possible use of nuclear weapons against China during a series of 1969 border clashes. In … Continue reading

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China’s Top Secret Mao-era Plutonium Production Facility Identified

In 1967 China started the construction of a top secret, underground plutonium production complex in a cave underneath a mountain near Fuling in Sichuan province. The complex, known as Plant 816, was never finished; China declassified the project in 2002, … Continue reading

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Foreign Correspondent’s Club Talk, Hong Kong 2014

I’ll be giving a talk at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club in Hong Kong about my research on the history of China’s nuclear weapons program.  Here is a PDF overview of the talk for participants; I look forward to meeting you! People’s … Continue reading

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