China making rapid progress in development of silos missiles that could launch nuclear weapons: Report

WION Web Team
Washington, United StatesUpdated: Nov 03, 2021, 04:42 PM IST

People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers salute in front of nuclear-capable missiles during a massive parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in Beijing. Photograph:(Reuters)

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The report, released by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) has come after US Air Force General John Hyten had called China a 'pacing threat'

A new report has revealed that China is making rapid progress in developing silos missiles that have the ability to launch nuclear weapons.

The report, released by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) has come after US Air Force General John Hyten had called China a ''pacing threat.''

It states that China's nuclear buildup is ''unprecedented'' and ''the missile silo fields are still many years away from becoming fully operational and it remains to be seen how China will arm and operate them.''

Satellite images showed China was building a new field of silos near Hami in the eastern part of its Xinjiang region.


In picture: Suspected missile silos near Ordos at different stages of construction/Federation of American Scientists

The report came weeks after another on the construction of about 120 missile silos in Yumen, a desert area about 240 miles (380 km) to the southeast.

Earlier, Hyten had said ''China will surpass Russia and the United States if we don't do something to change it. It will happen. So I think we have to do something."

He had also called the bureaucracy in the United States ''brutal'' and ''slow.''

The top US military officer, General Mark Milley, had provided the first official confirmation of a Chinese hypersonic weapons test that military experts say appears to show Beijing's pursuit of an Earth-orbiting system designed to evade American missile defences.

In July, the State US Department had called China's nuclear buildup concerning and said it appeared Beijing was deviating from decades of nuclear strategy based around minimal deterrence.

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, 1,357 of those were deployed as of March 1.

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

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."

(With inputs from agencies)