Lora Saalman

Staff photo: Lora Saalman
Adjunct Senior Fellow, Research Program
Former Director of China and Global Security Programme, SIPRI; former Vice President, Asia-Pacific Program, EWI
Ph.D., International Relations, Tsinghua University
Area of Expertise: 

China’s cyber, nuclear and advanced conventional weapon developments; China-India, China-Russia, and China-U.S. strategic relations

Lora Saalman is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the East-West Center, an Associate Senior Fellow at SIPRI, and a Member of CISAC. Formerly she served as vice president of the Asia-Pacific Program at the EastWest Institute and as director of the China and Global Security Program at SIPRI. She has also worked at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, Tsinghua University, Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, Observer Research Foundation, and Center for Nonproliferation Studies from which she earned a one-year fellowship at the International Atomic Energy Agency. She was among the first batch of recipients of the Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship. She earned her bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Chicago, her master’s degree with a certificate in nonproliferation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and her Ph.D. with an outstanding graduate student award and dissertation award from Tsinghua University, where she was the first American to earn a doctorate from its Department of International Relations, completing all of her coursework in Chinese.

Ongoing research includes:

  • China’s strategic relations with India, Russia, and the United States
  • Artificial intelligence and nuclear risk
  • Hybrid warfare
  • Nuclear modernization and deterrence
  • Emerging technologies


Selected Publications


Lora Saalman (2021). Artificial Intelligence and Strategic Stability. In Enhancing U.S.-China Strategic Stability in an Era of Strategic Competition: U.S. and Chinese Perspectives, 51-54.

Lora Saalman (2021), China and its Hybrid Warfare Spectrum. In Mikael Weissmann, Niklas Nilsson, Björn Palmertz, and Per Thunholm, Eds. Hybrid Warfare: Security and Asymmetric Conflict in International Relations, I.B. Tauris. 95-112.

Lora Saalman and Petr Topychkanov (2021). South Asia’s Nuclear Challenges: Interlocking Views from India, Pakistan, China, Russia and the United States. SIPRI.

Song Jing and Lora Saalman (2021). 美国智库因素影响下的拜登政府对华政策走向 [The Influence of US Think Tanks on the Biden Administration’s China Policy]. 世界政治与经济论坛 [Journal of the Forum of World Economics & Politics], 310(1).

Lora Saalman (2021). USA–India Strategic Continuity in the Biden Administration Transition. SIPRI WritePeace.


Lora Saalman (2020). India’s No-First-Use Dilemma: Strategic Consistency or Ambiguity towards China and Pakistan. SIPRI WritePeace.

Lora Saalman (2020). China’s Detachment from the South Asian Nuclear Triangle. SIPRI WritePeace.

Vincent Boulanin, Lora Saalman, Petr Topychkanov, Fei Su, and Moa Peldán Carlsson (2020). Artificial Intelligence, Strategic Stability and Nuclear Risk. SIPRI.

Lora Saalman (2020). The Impact of AI on Nuclear Deterrence: China, Russia, and the United States. East-West Wire.

Lora Saalman (2020). China and India: Two Models for AI Military Acquisition and Integration. In Kanti Bajpai, Selina Ho, and Manjari Chatterjee Miller, Eds. Routledge Handbook on China-India Relations. Routledge Press. 266-288.


Lora Saalman, Ed. (2019). The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Strategic Stability and Nuclear Risk - Volume II: East Asian Perspectives. SIPRI.

Lora Saalman (2019). China’s AI-Enabled Offense: Hypersonic Glide Vehicles and Neural Networks. In Nicholas Wright, Ed. AI, China, Russia, and the Global Order: Technological, Political, Global, and Creative Perspectives. Air University Press. 162-167.


Richard Ghiasy, Fei Su, and Lora Saalman (2018). The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road: Considering Security Implications and EU-China Cooperation Prospects. SIPRI.

Lora Saalman (2018). Fear of False Negatives: AI and China’s Nuclear Posture. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Lora Saalman, Ed. (2018). Integrating Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure: National, Regional and International Approaches. SIPRI.


Lora Saalman (2017). Rethinking China-Russia-U.S. Deterrence in Cyberspace. ThinkChina.dk.

Lora Saalman (2017). From Backdoor to Bridge: Japan as a Western Power in Cyberspace. In Jeffrey Reeves, Jeffrey Hornung, and Kerry Lynn Nankivell, Eds. Chinese–Japanese Competition and the East Asian Security Complex: Vying for Influence. Routledge Press. 128-140. 

Lora Saalman and Knut Dethlefsen (2017). Following the Forum: China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the EU. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

Lora Saalman (2017). Calculus on Missile Defence and Hypersonic Glide. In Lora Saalman, Ed. China-Russia Relations and Regional Dynamics: From Pivots to Peripheral Diplomacy. SIPRI. 116-123.

Lora Saalman (2017). New Domains of Crossover and Concern in Cyberspace. In Lora Saalman, Ed. China-Russia Relations and Regional Dynamics: From Pivots to Peripheral Diplomacy. 59-66.

Lora Saalman, Ed. (2017). China-Russia Relations and Regional Dynamics: From Pivots to Peripheral Diplomacy. SIPRI.

Fei Su and Lora Saalman (2017). China’s Engagement of North Korea: Challenges and Opportunities for Europe, SIPRI.

Lora Saalman (2017). Factoring Russia into the US-Chinese Equation on Hypersonic Glide Vehicles. SIPRI Insights on Peace and Security.


Lora Saalman (2016). Little Grey Men: China and the Ukraine Crisis. Survival. 58(6): 135-156.


Lora Saalman (2015). Pouring “New” Wine into New Bottles: China-US Deterrence in Cyberspace. Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations. 17(1): 23-39.


Lora Saalman (2014). China: Lines Blur Between Nuclear and Conventional Warfighting. The Interpreter.

J. Scott Hauger, Michael Daniels, and Lora Saalman (2014). Environmental Security and Governance at the Water–Energy Nexus: Greenpeace in China and India. Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs.

Lora Saalman (2014). Fractured Mirrors: Chinese Views on Indian Deterrence at Sea. In Mohan Malik, Ed. Maritime Security in the Indo-Pacific: Perspectives from China, India, and the United States. Rowman and Littlefield Press. 137-154.

Lora Saalman (2014). Prompt Global Strike: China and the Spear. Independent Faculty Article, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.


Lora Saalman (2013). The China Factor. In Alexei Arbatov, Vladimir Dvorkin, Natalia Bubnova, Eds., Missile Defense: Confrontation and Cooperation. Carnegie Moscow Center.

Lora Saalman (2013). Balancing Chinese Interests on North Korea and Iran. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Lora Saalman (2013). Why Beijing Stands by Pyongyang. The Wall Street Journal.

Lora Saalman (2013). Placing a Renminbi Sign on Strategic Stability and Nuclear Reductions. In Elbridge Colby and Michael Gerson, Eds. Strategic Stability: Contending Interpretations. U.S. Army War College Press. 343-381.


Lora Saalman (2012). Is Greater Sino-U.S. Nonproliferation Cooperation in Their Interest? In Lewis A. Dunn, Ed., Building Toward a Stable and Cooperative Long-Term U.S.-China Strategic Relationship. SAIC, CSIS, CACDA. 115-121.

Lora Saalman (2012). A Changing Trajectory: Chinese Tracking of India and Aerospace. Defence and Security Alert.

Lora Saalman (2012). China’s Evolution on Ballistic Missile Defense. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Lora Saalman, Ed. (2012). The China-India Nuclear Crossroads. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Lora Saalman (2012). 中美核不扩散合作 [China-U.S. Nonproliferation Cooperation]. In 2012年中国国际战略评论 [2012 China International Strategy Review]. 世界知识出版社 [World Affairs Press]. 303-318.

Lora Saalman (2012). Delhi Borrows Diplomatic Language in South China Sea. Global Times.

Lora Saalman (2012). “能否”比”应否”更重要. [“Capable” is More Important than “Should”]. In 伊朗的研究有没有发展核武器? [Has Iranian Research Produced Nuclear Weapons?]. 国际先驱导报 [International Herald Tribune]: 18.

Lora Saalman (2011). 美欧出口管制调整下的中印安全认知变化 [Changes in Sino-Indian Threat Perceptions under U.S. and European Export Control Shifts], Center for International Trade and Security.

Lora Saalman (2011). Divergence, Similarity and Symmetry in Sino-Indian Threat Perceptions. Journal of International Affairs. 64(2): 169-194.

Lora Saalman (2011). China and the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Lora Saalman (2011). Between “China Threat” and “Chindia”: Chinese Responses to India’s Military Modernization. The Chinese Journal of International Politics. 4(1): 87-114.


Lora Saalman (2010). 印度学者对中国的安全认知 [Indian Scholars' Security Perceptions of China]. 国际政治科学 [Quarterly Journal of International Politics]. (4): 25-50.


Lora Saalman (2009). Cold War Redux? China's Cold War Era Thinking When It Comes to Nuclear Disarmament. James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

Lora Saalman (2009). 观点和政策的塑造: 中国和印度在美国的游说行动对比 [Shaping Perceptions and Policy: A Comparison of China's and India’s Lobbying Activities in the United States]. 南亚研究 [South Asia Studies]. (3): 77-90.

Lora Saalman (2009). 中印油气外交: “新大角逐”、“互利互赢”或“独立平衡”? [China's and India’s Energy Diplomacy: “New Great Game,” “Win-Win,” or “Independent Balance?”]. 当代亚太 [Contemporary Asia Pacific]. (2): 38-53.

Lora Saalman (2009). How Chinese Analysts View Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nuclear Deterrence after the Cold War. In Christina Hansell and William C. Potter, Eds., Engaging China and Russia on Nuclear Disarmament, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. 47-71.


Lora Saalman (2007). 美印中三角关系互动与国际格局 [U.S.-India-China Triangular Relations and the International Structure]. 当代亚太 [Contemporary Asia Pacific]. (10): 34-41.


Lora Saalman (2006). China’s Chance to Play Good Cop. Asia Times.

Lora Saalman (2006). Smoke Signals from BAT's North Korea Venture. Asia Times.


Lora Saalman (2005). Redrawing India’s Geostrategic Maps with China and the United States. Japan Focus, 3(9).

Lora Saalman (2005). The U.S.-India Strategic Partnership. Japan Focus, 3(8).


Lora Saalman (2004). Fifth Annual U.S. China Arms Control, Disarmament and Nonproliferation Conference Report. Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

Lora Saalman (2004). The FDI Paradox: China’s Socialist Market Economy and the Develop the West Campaign. Monterey Institute of International Studies.