Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament Policy Brief No.152 - January, 2023 • By Jingdong Yuan
External and Domestic Drivers of Nuclear Trilemma in Southern Asia: China, India, and Pakistan
This paper discusses both the external and domestic drivers of the nuclear trilemma in Southern Asia that involves China, India, and Pakistan. It identifies and examines the internal dynamics of the China–India and India–Pakistan conflicts and explores how domestic drivers such as nationalism, public opinions, and civil-military relations either mitigate or exacerbate nuclear risks in a region marked by perennial disputes, emerging rivalry, and long-standing extra-regional interferences. The paper addresses the central theme of the nuclear trilemma between China, India, and Pakistan by looking at causes of instability, risks of conflicts and escalation to nuclear use, and prospects of restraints and risk reduction.