China needs to increase nuclear capacity to maintain a minimum of deterrence against increasing US coercion

The formation of Dongfeng-41 nuclear missiles takes part in a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Beijing, capital of China, on October 1, 2019. Photo: Xinhua

On Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed “deep concern” to Southeast Asian foreign ministers about the “rapid growth” of China’s nuclear arsenal. He accused Beijing of “sharply deviating from its decades-long nuclear strategy based on minimal deterrence”. This is the official US top-level response after various US think tanks have claimed in recent months that China is building a large number of “new missile silos” in Yumen, northwest China’s Gansu Province and the Hami region in northwest China’s Autonomous Region Xinjiang Uygur.

Chinese officials did not respond directly to these allegations by US think tanks. You have neither confirmed nor denied it.

It is important to note that China has never abandoned its nuclear strategy of minimal deterrence. However, due to the US’s widespread strategic threat to China, Beijing’s nuclear capabilities are different than in the past to achieve “minimal deterrence”. With the potential risk arising from US nuclear coercion on China clearly increasing, China must have sufficient nuclear forces to contain such risk.

Even many ordinary Chinese people consider the urgency to strengthen China’s nuclear deterrent to be common sense. We do not know whether the structures shown in the satellite photos in Yumen and Hami are silos or foundations of wind turbines, as some scientists have speculated. But if it turns out to be really silos, Chinese public opinion will definitely support the building of those silos.

Washington is in no moral position to blame China for this. China has only a fraction of the number of nuclear warheads in the United States. China is also the only nuclear power that has pledged not to be the first to use nuclear weapons. The US never indicated that it would make the same commitment.

There is no information from Beijing as to whether it is stepping up its nuclear armament in the face of a realistic threat from Washington. But even if we did, it would have nothing to do with Southeast Asian countries, including Japan and Australia, because China’s nuclear policy also includes another firm commitment not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons. Weapon condition.

Once China significantly increases its nuclear force, its only purpose will be to deter the US. Since there is already no mutual trust between China and the US, Chinese society firmly believes that the US’s ultimate strategic goal is to overthrow China. While we are not abandoning the maintenance of peace between the two countries, we must be prepared for the possibility of a war in the Taiwan Strait or the South China Sea at some point. One of China’s most important strategic tasks today is to create the most complete layout for the day.

China is already capable of destroying various US conventional forces invading China’s coastal waters during wartime and attacking US military bases in the Asia-Pacific region that are supporting a US intervention. Although the US naval and air forces are powerful, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to gain an advantage in China’s coastal waters. China is gradually gaining supremacy in conventional cross-strait and South China Sea warfare.

Our next step is to ensure that the US does not dare impose a nuclear deterrent on China if it loses its conventional military ability to intervene. Our nuclear forces must become so powerful that the elites in Washington will tremble with fear just thinking about imposing a nuclear deterrent on China.

China’s DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile and maritime and airborne nuclear forces have greatly enhanced the country’s viability and created a credible nuclear retaliation capability for China. Since US policy towards China has shown some confusion in recent years, not only must we increase our second strike ability, but we also need to constantly remind Washington that we can take retaliation. This is to ensure that whenever the US has the extreme impetus to suppress China, it immediately remembers not to bring things up to the level of a military showdown between the two countries, thus maintaining calm and equilibrium.

Southeast Asian countries, including their US allies, should avoid being misled by the US. You have to believe that once China increases its nuclear force, its only function is to maintain peace and suppress US belligerent ideas. In other words, the stronger China’s nuclear forces, the more guaranteed that the US will not do anything stupid. This is the ultimate advice to the US that it can best understand so as not to provoke cross-strait and South China Sea wars.

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