Nation

MISSILE GAP? PENTAGON TAKES NOTE OF CHINA BUILDUP OF NUKES

by Bernard P. Lawson, The Chicago Times

July 27, 2021

WASHINTON – According to a recent American Federation of Scientists’ report, Beijing is building 110 more missile silos causing many in the Pentagon to worry about China’s nuclear buildup.

According to the AFS report, satellite images show China constructing a new field of silos near Hami in the eastern part of its Xinjiang region.  The report came just weeks after another on the construction of approximately 120 missile silos in Yumen, a desert area about 240 miles (380 kilometers) to the southeast.

In early July, the State Department expressed concern about China’s nuclear buildup, claiming that Beijing appeared to be departing from decades of nuclear strategy based on minimal deterrence.  It urged China to collaborate on practical measures to reduce the risks of a destabilizing arms race.

According to a 2020 Pentagon report, China’s nuclear warhead stockpile is in the “the low 200s” and it is expected to more than double in size as Beijing expands and modernizes its forces.

Analysts estimate that the United States possesses approximately 3,800 warheads, with 1,357 of those deployed as of March 1.

The report on the new silos comes as Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman prepares to meet with Russia in Geneva on Wednesday for talks on arms control.  Beijing claims that its arsenal is dwarfed by those of the United States and Russia, and that it is ready to engage in bilateral strategic security dialogues.

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