In line with its recently announced National Security Strategy (NSS), the Trump administration's Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) takes an aggressive stance toward China — a position already raising concerns in Beijing.
The NSS breaks with its predecessors by portraying China unambiguously as a global threat, at one point even lumping it in with ISIS. The NPR heaps additional pressure on Beijing by ordering the development of new low-yield warheads and cruise missiles. The Trump administration justifies such moves as a necessary response to the prospect of limited Chinese nuclear strikes. However, China’s policy calls for the use of nuclear weapons only in retaliation to a nuclear attack.