World Three ways Chinese nuclear buildup threatens US national security interests
Threat of Possible Nuclear Accident at Zaporizhzhia Sends Tensions Rising
Recent shelling at the site resurrected worries over the possibility of a nuclear accident and increased the finger-pointing between Kyiv and Moscow.Renewed shelling over the weekend at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant resurrected worries over the possibility of a nuclear accident and increased the finger-pointing between Kyiv and Moscow at a time when both nations are struggling to gain an upper hand in the months-long war.
The head of the U.S. Strategic Command, Adm. Charles Richard, recently the world that when it comes to deterrence against China, “the ship is slowly sinking.”
That warning came on the heels of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s call for “,” a likely reference to Beijing’s nuclear arsenal, at the recent 20th Chinese Communist Party Congress.
Richard’s and Xi’s comments confirm what we have been learning about China’sthat have the potential to match—or even overtake—those of the United States.
Putin accused of staging event with handpicked relatives of Russian soldiers, as Kremlin attempts to quell anger over Ukraine war
The families of drafted Russian soldiers are growing more critical as Vladimir Putin's military operations in Ukraine drag on.Experts have told Insider nuclear weapons are still unlikely to be deployed in combat, a move that would put Russia at risk of alienating its allies and its own people. Nor have experts seen evidence of Russia preparing a strike.
Historically, China has maintained a very small arsenal of nuclear weapons as part of a “minimum deterrence” strategy. In 2010, it had only.
But not today.
Satellite imagery recently revealed that China is building more than 300 new missile silos that, if filled, would place its land-based nuclear force on track to exceed that of the U.S. The Pentagon predicts China will grow its nuclear weapons stockpile to, if not sooner. And it would be unwise to assume Beijing would stop there.
China is also developing advanced capabilities like athat would enable a nuclear missile to orbit the globe before flying to its target on a hypersonic trajectory. Compared to traditional ballistic missiles, such a system would be difficult for the U.S. to detect and track.
North Korea's Kim calls for meeting to review state affairs
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for a major political conference before year's end where he's expected to address his increasingly tense relations with Washington and Seoul over the expansion of his nuclear and missile programs. North Korea’s state media said Thursday that Kim presided over a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Politburo in which members reviewed the implementation of state policies in 2022 and decided to hold a larger plenary meeting of the party’s Central Committee at an unspecified time in late December.
Beijing’s nukes aren’t limited to strategic systems to threaten the homeland. Its medium- and intermediate-range missiles are also nuclear-capable and can threaten U.S. forces in the Indo-Pacific as well as our South Korean and Japanese allies. By comparison, the U.S. has no nuclear weapons based in the region.
China’spresents at least three serious implications for U.S. strategy and security:
First, a stronger nuclear force will allow China to take greater risks in its aggression. Take the scenario of a Chinese military effort to, for example.
Backed by nuclear missiles that can strike targets both in the region and on the U.S. homeland, China can become more confident in its ability to wage a war if it thinks its nuclear “backstop” provides an advantage.
Beijing could also learn a lesson from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine andwith nuclear weapons should the U.S. come to Taiwan’s defense, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has been doing since starting his war.
Russia threatens oil cut off after rejecting Western-set price cap
Russia is threatening to stop supplying Western allies of Ukraine with oil after rejecting a proposed price cap of $60 per barrel. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Saturday that Russia will need more time to formally respond, but that it will not be accepting the price ceiling agreed upon on Friday by the U.S., Japan, Canada, Britain, Australia, and the European Union as a measure to cut Putin’s funding for the war in Ukraine. Its cap was toKremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Saturday that Russia will need more time to formally respond, but that it will not be accepting the price ceiling agreed upon on Friday by the U.S.
Second, China may become more tempted to actually use nuclear weapons. If Beijing thinks it has an advantage in its nuclear forces and doubts that the United States would respond to a nuclear strike, it is likelier to see nuclear weapons as a viable way to accomplish its objectives.
For example, given China’s advantage in nuclear weapons based in the Indo-Pacific, Beijing could gamble that the U.S. would back down rather than respond to a limited nuclear strike.
China’s advanced technologies, such as theweapon, would also be suitable for a nuclear first strike because it can avoid U.S. early-warning systems until late in its flight. If the U.S. can’t see an incoming missile, a surprise attack that cripples the U.S.’ ability to respond becomes more feasible.
Third, China’s growing nuclear forces could hinder the credibility of U.S. commitments to extend our nuclear umbrella over our allies. As China improves its ability to threaten the U.S., it could perceive that the United States would be less willing to come to the defense of an ally in the region—to trade Los Angeles for Taipei, Seoul, or Tokyo.
China security forces are well-prepared for quashing dissent
BEIJING (AP) — When it comes to ensuring the security of their regime, China’s Communist Party rulers don't skimp. The extent of that lavish spending was put on display when the boldest street protests in decades broke out in Beijing and other cities, driven by anger over rigid and seemingly unending restrictions to combat COVID-19. The government has been preparing for such challenges for decades, installing the machinery needed to quash large-scale upheavals. After an initially muted response, with security personnel using pepper spray and tear gas, police and paramilitary troops flooded city streets with jeeps, vans and armored cars in a massive show of force.
And if our allies think the U.S. wouldn’t come to their defense, they might resort to developing nuclear weapons of their own. Such an outcome would damage U.S. commitments to nonproliferation and risk greater instability in the region.
To avoid the worst of these outcomes, the United States needs to prioritize the strengthening of its own nuclear forces. That effort entails both continuing toexisting capabilities while enhancing the number and types of U.S. nuclear capabilities required to address the growing Chinese threat.
As nuclear weapons pose the only existential threat to the United States, we must be up to the challenge.
This article originally appeared in the Daily Signal and is reprinted with kind permission from the Heritage Foundation.
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