Advertisement
Advertisement

“This is the second time in two months the public has discovered what we have been saying all along about the growing threat the world faces and the veil of secrecy that surrounds it,” the US Strategic Command said in tweet linked to a New York Times article on the AFS report.

The State Department in early July called China’s nuclear buildup concerning and said it appeared Beijing was deviating from decades of nuclear strategy based around minimal deterrence. It called on China to engage with it “on practical measures to reduce the risks of destabilising arms races.”

Republican Congressman Mike Turner, ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, said China’s nuclear build-up was “unprecedented” and made clear it was “deploying nuclear weapons to threaten the United States and our allies.”

He said China’s refusal to negotiate arms control “should be a cause for concern and condemned by all responsible nations.”

Another Republican, Mike Rogers, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, said the Chinese build-up showed the need to rapidly modernise the US nuclear deterrent.

A 2020 Pentagon report estimated China’s nuclear warhead stockpile in “the low 200s” and said it was projected to at least double in size as Beijing expands and modernises its forces. Analysts say the United States has around 3,800 warheads, and according to a State Department factsheet, 1,357 of those were deployed as of 1 March.

Washington has repeatedly called on China to join it and Russia in a new arms control treaty.

The report on the new silos comes as Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is due to hold arms control talks with Russia in Geneva on Wednesday.

Sherman was in China earlier this week for talks at which Beijing accused Washington of creating an “imaginary enemy” to divert attention from domestic problems and suppress China.

Beijing says its arsenal is dwarfed by those of the United States and Russia and it is ready to conduct bilateral dialogues on strategic security “on the basis of equality and mutual respect.”

Read more from Americas
Post Comment
Advertisement