General Secretary Xi Jinping on Nuclear Weapons, Missiles and Space Warfare
Twenty days after he assumed leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), on 5 December 2012, General Secretary Xi Jinping gave a speech to assembled officers of the Second Artillery Corp (SAC) nuclear and conventional missile force. This was very likely Xi Jinping’s first announced speech as General Secretary before a service of the PLA. While Xi’s speech was reported by China’s state media, at that time very little was revealed about its contents. Sensitive policy speeches by top Chinese Party leaders to the PLA are sometimes announced but their contents rarely revealed, save for rare occasions when they are used to highlight policy directions long after the speech.This appears to have been the case for an article published some time in 2013, written by a long-serving veteran of the SAC. This article apparently reveals much more of the content of Xi’s late 2012 speech. As such, this article offers perhaps the first public insights into the views of China’s paramount leader on the role of nuclear weapons, the future of the Second Artillery force, to include its role in future space warfare. It is likely that predecessors Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin also gave detailed policy speeches to the Second Artillery, but their contents have not been revealed.
Read the full report here.