The US military says the US possesses more nuclear warheads and ICBMs than China but lags in the number of land-based launchers.
“China has more land-based mobile and fixed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers than the United States,” said the commander of US Strategic Command, the agency that oversees nuclear forces.
Commented in a report submitted to the bipartisan military committee of the US Congress at the end of January, US media reported on February 7.
Officials and experts in Washington say many of China’s ICBM launch wells do not contain missiles because the US military report shows that the country still possesses more ICBMs and missile-mounted nuclear warheads than China does.
This report does not compare submarine-launched ICBMs and long-range bombers, two types of vehicles that the US has an advantage over China.
However, many Republican congressmen said China’s number of ICBM launchers is higher than that of the US, showing “Beijing’s longer-range ambitions” and Washington’s to expand its nuclear force to compete with the US. Beijing and Moscow.
“China is rapidly catching up with the US,” said Mike Rogers, a Republican and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. “We cannot allow this to happen. Now is the time to adjust the capabilities of our nuclear forces and strengthen our ability to deal with this threat.”
Meanwhile, US officials in favor of nuclear arms control say that rather than trying to outdo Russia and China, it would be more beneficial for Washington to maintain a nuclear arms control treaty with Moscow and Beijing.
US officials also confirmed that the US is modernizing a wide range of nuclear forces. The program allows the United States to arm its missiles and bombers with nuclear warheads if China’s nuclear force expansion is faster than forecast in the 2030s.
China has not commented on the US military report. Last year, the Pentagon released a report that China “is in the process of developing about 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035, a sharp increase from more than 400 warheads in 2021”.
US officials believe that China’s nuclear expansion is to prevent it from helping the island of Taiwan in the event of a crisis in the region. The US also said that China’s development of nuclear forces “increases the risk of turning any potential conventional conflict into a nuclear war.”
To the Pentagon, China operates multiple launchers that act as mobile launchers for ICBMs, as well as possessed According to about 20 liquid-fueled missiles placed in launch wells. China is also believed to be building three missile bases with multiple launch wells to house at least 300 modern solid-fuel missiles.