02/20/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

China Pledges Not To Use Nukes First In A Military Conflict

China on Tuesday renewed its pledge never to be the first to use nuclear weapons in a military conflict, and senior military leaders vowed greater openness about the strengthening of the world's biggest armed forces even as they brushed aside questions on weapon systems and missiles aimed at Taiwan. China's nuclear missiles "are not aimed at any country," a 105-page report says. For the first time, the annual defense survey outlines how China would respond to a nuclear threat, saying that it would first put its nuclear arsenal on full alert, a move designed "to deter the enemy from using nuclear weapons against China."

If an enemy nation fires nuclear missiles at China, the report says, China would "launch a resolute counter-attack."

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