An analysis of the recent development and future prospects of China's military strategy. Maoist military doctrine stresses political action in which war is only one of a number of instruments of policy to enable a weak force to succeed against a militarily stronger enemy. China's recognition of nuclear vulnerability, technological inferiority to the United States, and uncertainty about Soviet military support have been reflected in Peking's avoidance of any military objectives that might lead to a confrontation with U.S. forces. Current strategic thinking, as it has crystallized from a long strategy debate generated by increasing U.S. pressure on North Vietnam, emphasizes maintenance of a large conventional ground force and nuclear defense. It appears that priority has been given to developing missile (particularly MRBM) capability rather than offensive aircraft delivery. China's future strategic policy is likely to make low-risk and subtle use of nuclear capability along political-military and propaganda lines to deter U.S. intervention in local crises and to exploit political and economic instability in Asia. 54 pp.