China is forecast to soon overtake Russia as the biggest nuclear threat to the United States.
Recently, Beijing is said to have given in to the US request when it agreed to hold talks between the military officials of the two countries. They discussed the situation in Afghanistan as well as the risks of clashes at sea.
Despite the above signal, the US Army Strategic Command stated that in a few years, China will become the main nuclear threat to them, not the Russian Federation.
Recently Satellite images showing hundreds of nuclear missile silos under construction in China are cause for concern, despite Beijing’s claims that the size of its nuclear force is smaller than that of the US.
The talks between the militaries of the two superpowers are taking place for the first time since President Joe Biden took office. As highlighted by Reuters, Mr. Biden called the competition with Beijing the “greatest geopolitical test” of the 21st century.
Even so, US military officials have long sought to establish lines of communication with China to avoid possible incidents. Recently, Michael Chase – Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense of the United States was able to talk via video link with Major General Huang Xueping – Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Department of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). “Both sides agree that it is important to keep the lines of communication between the militaries of the two countries active,” the US side said. According to Washington’s assertion, security issues in the South China Sea were discussed.
But the South China Morning Post said that this topic is no longer the most acute, Afghanistan is Beijing’s main concern, which is why China decided to contact the Pentagon. But this contact had absolutely no effect on the nuclear weapons sector, and Washington was extremely unhappy about that. General Thomas Bassier – Deputy Commander of the US Strategic Command made important comments.
Mr. Bassier said that China’s claims that it wants to maintain a minimum number of warheads as a means of nuclear deterrence are not true. There will come a time when the threat from China will exceed that of Russia, and that will happen in the next few years.
This estimate made by the Pentagon is not only based on how many nuclear warheads Beijing has, but operational deployment is also taken into account. This is the time when satellite photos show that China is building hundreds of new missile launchers.
Beijing has previously claimed its nuclear arsenal is low compared to the United States and Russia and only agreed to dialogue when Washington reduced its stockpile to its own. In 2020, the Pentagon reported to the US Congress that China had deployed about 200 nuclear warheads, but estimated that the number would at least double.
General Bassier said China conducted more ballistic missile tests last year than the rest of the world. The reaction of Chinese officials to the US general’s revelation will not be immediately known, but Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, has begun to deny the accusations.
According to Hu Xijin, General Bassier wanted to solve two problems at the same time. First, he wants to sow the seeds of discord between Russia and China, stoking fear in Moscow. China has fewer nuclear warheads than Russia. Russia has more nuclear warheads than the US. It is inconceivable that China’s nuclear arsenal will exceed that of Russia in the near future.
Second, the American general wants to pull China into a dialogue mechanism to limit the development of its nuclear arsenal. That would help maintain a large gap between Beijing and Washington.
Besides, famous Russian military expert Vasily Kashin said: “In this decade, China is still inferior to Russia in the number of warheads. But if we talk about the long term then of course they have more resources to increase the number.”
“Perhaps China will find itself on a different level than Britain and France, they will make the leap hundreds to thousands of warheads.”
“It’s not just the number of warheads that matter here, but also how they are operated and the range. For example, China has a weapon that Russia does not have, which is a medium-range ballistic missile.” Another important point is Previously, China did not have the same understanding of combat missions as Russia:
“They stockpile their warheads without mounting them on missiles. This will change now. It is extremely important for China to quickly absorb the experience that Russia and the US have, “said expert Kashin.
Assessing the prospect of China participating in negotiations on nuclear weapons, its position remains unchanged. “Beijing will never agree to a lower number of nuclear weapons than Russia, the United States, or any other country,” Kashin concluded.