China’s second nuclear missile silo field concerns US: Know why here!

A report by the American Federation of Scientists on July 26 said that the satellite images have shown that China was building a new field of nuclear missile silos near Hami in the eastern part of its Xinjiang region.

Created On: Jul 28, 2021 17:38 IST
China builds nuclear missile silo field
China builds nuclear missile silo field

The Pentagon and the Republic Congressmen on July 27, 2021, showed fresh concerns over China’s build-up of its nuclear forces after a new report stated says that Beijing was building 110 more missile silos.

A report by the American Federation of Scientists on July 26 said that the satellite images have shown that China was building a new field of nuclear missile silos near Hami in the eastern part of its Xinjiang region.

The report has come weeks after another one which had informed about the construction of about 120 missile silos in Yumen. A desert area about 380 km to the Southeast.

The US Strategic Command in a tweet said that this is the second time in two months that the public has discovered what we have been saying all along about the growing threat that the world faces and the veil of the secrecy that surrounds it.

China’s nuclear missile silo field: What do we know?

•  The report by the American Federation of Scientists (AFS) claimed that the construction at the Hami site started in March 2021 and is continuing at a rapid pace. The missile field is being developed in a grid-like outline.

•  As many as 14 dome structures are visible at the Hami construction site, as per the satellite pictures that AFS obtained.

Status of China’s nuclear stockpile:

A pentagon Report in 2020 has estimated China’s nuclear warhead stockpile in the low 200s and stated that it was projected to at least double in size as the country expands and modernizes its forces.

However, as per AFS, these nuclear silo sites signify the most important expansion of the Chinese nuclear arsenal ever. It further added that it is the most extensive silo construction since the United States and Soviet missile silo construction during the Cold war.

These nuclear missile silos will add to Beijing’s arsenal of the nuclear-tipped Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles, which as per AFS has now swelled to 250- constituting more than half of the size of the entire US ICBM Force.

Why China’s nuclear build-up is concerning for the US?

In early July, the US State Department had called China’s nuclear build-up concerning and stated that it appeared Beijing was deviating from the decades of nuclear strategy based around minimal deterrence.

The department also called on China to engage with it on practical measures in order to reduce the risks of destabilizing the arms race.

Republican Congressmen Mike Turner had said that China’s nuclear build-up was unprecedented and that it was deploying nuclear weapons to threaten the United States and its allies.

He added that China’s refusal to negotiate arms control should be a cause of concern and must be condemned by all the responsible nations.

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

What does China say?

China, meanwhile, has stated that its arsenal is dwarfed by those of Russia and the United States. It also assured that it is ready to conduct the bilateral talks on strategic security on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

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