China || Nuclear Missiles For My Birthday

China is accelerating its nuclear armament. Arms control will become even more difficult. In future, Americans and Russians will no longer be able to negotiate alone.

Operation Missile Silo should by no means remain a secret. China’s government and its military know, of course, that the modern satellite cameras hardly ever hide anything that is happening anywhere on earth. The shafts they had dug in a desert region in the remote Gansu province should be seen by the world.

And so scientists from the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California, experts on the proliferation of nuclear weapons, promptly reported that they had discovered 119 silos under construction in Gansu. Dug into the desert floor, presumably to pick up DF-41 ICBMs.

The DF-41 is a real monster weapon. It can carry up to ten nuclear warheads and can reach any point in the United States with a range of over 12,000 kilometers. It is the most formidable missile that China’s People’s Liberation Army has; For the first time, the Beijing leadership presented them to the world at a major military parade in 2019.

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Why the demonstrative silo upgrade signal now? Perhaps because the rulers in Beijing feel stronger than they have for a long time and at the same time see themselves encircled by hostile powers. In fact, US President Joe Biden is just as harsh with China as his predecessor Donald Trump. At the insistence of the Americans, China was the dominant theme at the recent G7 and NATO summits. The final communiqué of the NATO meeting said: “China’s growing influence and its international presence can bring challenges that we as an alliance must meet together.”

In any case, the government in Beijing is convinced that Biden wants to forge an anti-China alliance. Hence the angry warning from party leader and state leader Xi Jinping at the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party: “The Chinese people will never allow any foreign power to harass, oppress or enslave us,” Xi shouted last Thursday from the Gate of Heavenly Peace. Whoever tries, will get a bloody head on the “steel wall” of 1.4 billion people.

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China will at least double its nuclear weapons in the next decade

China has been arming itself rapidly for years. Only when it comes to nuclear weapons does the People’s Republic lag behind the two previous major nuclear powers. According to the Stockholm peace research institute Sipri, Russia has 6,255 nuclear warheads, the US has 5,550, but China only has 320. That roughly corresponds to the numbers of the medium-sized nuclear powers France and Great Britain.

Recently, however, China’s nuclear program has picked up speed. In its 2020 annual report to the US Congress on China’s military capabilities, the Pentagon came to the conclusion that the People’s Republic would at least double the number of its nuclear weapons in the next decade. Everything points to the fact that China wants to close the gap to Russia and the US and is thus saying goodbye to its “minimal deterrent” strategy.

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This would have far-reaching consequences for nuclear arms control. It is in ruins anyway, after almost all the agreements concluded between America and the Soviet Union (later Russia) since the Cold War have been terminated. Fortunately, Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin have at least renewed the New Start Treaty on the limitation of strategic weapons for another five years until 2026.

This period must be used to revive arms control. But bilateral agreements will no longer be enough in the future. China, as Donald Trump was right once, must be included in future negotiations. So far the government in Beijing has refused to do so, pointing out that its nuclear weapons are much lower in number. She also knows: “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be waged,” as the famous formula that Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan agreed on at their 1985 summit in Geneva.

Nuclear weapons are political weapons. And negotiations about their limitation are among the most demanding in diplomacy. Compared to the times of the Cold War, when only the negotiators from Moscow and Washington sat across from each other, they will become more complex in the future. Certainly there will continue to be bilateral talks; but there must also be trilateral and multilateral negotiations.

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A recently published report by the Körber Foundation and the Hamburg Peace Research Institute (IFSH) shows how difficult it is likely to be to maintain strategic stability . The new Security Report of the Munich Security Conference also makes it clear which challenges the “more complex nuclear environment” with additional actors and new technologies brings with it.

China will probably only sit down at the negotiating table with Russians and US-Americans when it can talk about the same with the previous nuclear powers. Until then, it will be hugely upgrading. This was also announced by Xi Jinping on the 100th birthday of the CP : “A strong country needs a strong military.”

The country is investing huge sums of money in its nuclear weapons, in armament in space and in cyberspace. The USA is still far ahead of the People’s Republic in terms of armaments technology. But Xi Jinping wants to close this gap. The world should like to watch it.

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If, on the other hand, I look at the SIPRI numbers (China 320 warheads, USA 5,550 warheads, Russia 6,255 warheads), then I can almost understand that China wants to rearm. Not that it necessarily makes the world a safer place, but from the Chinese perspective it should increase China’s security.

US nuclear weapons bases are located around the globe, including in South Korea, Guam, the Philippines, etc. The US and its loyal allies have many times more nuclear armament than that of the PRC. The proportion of GDP that China is investing in armaments is less than two percent. That the US is ready to pursue its interests by force of arms and without regard to human life.

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