China is apparently expanding its nuclear arsenal. This is indicated by images from satellites. Experts are concerned. The US replied with sharp words.
Beijing / Washington – China is apparently building more silos for missiles. For the second time in a short period of time, satellite images show suspicious construction work in a remote region of the country. As the New York Times writes in an article, this could indicate that China is pushing ahead with expanding its nuclear arsenal.
The satellite images, which were evaluated by experts from the Association of American Scientists (FAS), are said to show at least 110 missile silos in the desert near Hami in the northwest region of Xinjiang, which can also be equipped with nuclear warheads. A similar construction site was recently discovered near Yumen in Gansu Province.
New missile silos in China: Concerns about a new nuclear arms race are growing
The construction activities arouse concerns about a renewed arms race. In any case, US President Joe Biden doesn’t have much to say about China. Because of the increasing number of cyber attacks, he warned of a “real war” with a great power.
“The construction of the silos in Yumen and Hami represents the most significant expansion of the Chinese nuclear arsenal to date,” warned the nuclear experts in their report. So far there are only 20 missile silos in China, the currently rather small nuclear arsenal is more used for self-defense.
US Defense Agency speaks of “growing threat in the world”
A statement about the recordings of the Strategic Command, which is responsible for nuclear weapons in the US Department of Defense, was correspondingly sharp. “For the second time in two months the public can see what we have been saying for a long time about a growing threat in the world and the veil of secrecy over it,” said Twitter.
Republican Congressman Mike Turner sees the construction as a “threat to the United States and its allies.” His party colleague Mike Rogers demanded that the US modernize its nuclear arsenal quickly.
Experts: China is also said to have modernized its missiles
The experts estimate that more than 200 new missile silos could be built. The US has twice as many. The number of nuclear warheads is also significantly smaller. While the United States of America and Russia have around 4,000, China only has 350 according to FAS estimates.
Another innovation worries the scientists, however. China is said to have switched from liquid to solid propellant rockets. Since there is no longer any need to refuel, the reaction time after being shot down would be shortened. In order to repair the frosty relationship, China is imposing conditions on the US. (mt / dpa)