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China expedites nuclear armament amid tensions over Ukraine

China expedites nuclear armament amid tensions over Ukraine

Posted April. 11, 2022 07:46,   

Updated April. 11, 2022 07:46


China has ramped up its efforts to develop nuclear weaponry under the pretext that it will get ready to face the United States, said The Wall Street Journal. This can be interpreted that nuclear threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin have worked out during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

An anonymous source familiar with Chinese leadership was reported on Saturday by the WSJ that China pursued a nuclear buildup even before the Russia-Ukraine war, which convinced it of its nuclear pursuits, assuming that Beijing concluded that Washington’s hesitation to intervene is driven by Russia’s possession of nuclear weapons. “Chinese leaders see a stronger nuclear arsenal as a way to deter the U.S. from getting directly involved in a potential conflict over Taiwan,” the source added. This means that China is enhancing its nuclear capabilities to keep the United States from directly intervening in any conflict with Taiwan just as in the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Experts argue that satellite images show increased activity to get construction works on more than 100 sites believed to be silos for a new long-range IBCM called the DF-41 around Yumen, a desert region in western China. Satellite images taken this January show temporary covers on silos having been removed, implying that confidential works involving sensitive information have already been finished. Carrying nuclear warheads, the DF-41 has an operational range of up to 15,000 kilometers, which can reach the U.S. mainland. China remains silent about these silos.

U.S. specialists speculate that China holds hundreds of nuclear warheads, expecting the number hereof to increase up to 1,000 by the late 2020s.

Ki-Yong Kim kky@donga.com