Nuclear Coronavirus

The US-China Clash over Corona Has Implications for Nuclear Arms Control

Image courtesy of the White House/Flickr.

This blog belongs to the CSS’ coronavirus blog series, which forms a part of the center’s analysis of the security policy implications of the coronavirus crisis. See the CSS special theme page on the coronavirus for more.

US-China relations are at a new low-point following the global spread of the coronavirus, which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. The pandemic has exacerbated tensions in what was already a fragile relationship, plagued by disputes on issues related to the South China Sea, Taiwan, trade, and 5G technology. Nuclear weapons, however, were not featured as a central element of the US-China confrontation, at least not at same level as other issues of contention, but this is likely to change. A recent call for China to drastically increase its nuclear arsenal published in the nationalistic Chinese newspaper the Global Times has revived a domestic debate on Chinese nuclear deterrence, highlighting concerns over perceived US hostile behavior.


Strategic Trends 2020: Wie wahrscheinlich ist ein Krieg zwischen den USA und China?

In diesem Podcast analysieren die CSS-Experten Oliver Thränert, Michael Haas und Niklas Masuhr die Beziehungen zwischen den USA und China und mögliche Ursachen für einen militärischen Konflikt zwischen beiden Grossmächten. Das Gespräch basiert auf dem kürzlich im Rahmen der Publikation «Strategic Trends 2020» erschienenen Kapitel «US-China Relations and the Specter of Great Power War» von Michael Haas und Niklas Masuhr. Strategic Trends ist eine Jahrespublikation des Center for Security Studies der ETH Zürich, die sich wichtigen weltpolitischen Entwicklungen widmet. Strategic Trends 2020 lesen Sie hier.

Economy Trade

The Belt and Road Initiative in Europe

This graphic maps China’s infrastructure investment in Europe related to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), including planned and completed railroads, ports and bridges, among other projects.

For an insight into the implications of China’s BRI and targeted influence attempts for Europe, read Linda Maduz and Henrik Larsen’s Strategic Trends 2020 chapter here.


GDP Based on Purchasing Power Parity in China and the US

This graphic compares the gross domestic product (GDP) of China to that of the US between 1990 and today. Although China has become the world’s largest economy in terms of GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP), the United States remains ahead in terms of GDP per capita based on PPP.

For more on China, the US and the world order, read Jack Thompson’s Strategic Trends 2020 chapter here.


US and Chinese Military Capabilities