Voila: China’s new supermissiles!

In today’s alarming “nuke the world” news, we give you: SUPERMISSILES!

The New York Times reports that China has just developed intercontinental supermissiles capable of overwhelming American defense systems and… yes… nuking the US.

The Times reports that China could soon have intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying up to ten nuclear warheads. One question: WHY?! Isn’t one enough?

According to the Times, no:

“Overall, China’s steady strengthening of its military capabilities for conventional and nuclear warfare has long caused concern in Congress and among American allies in East Asia, particularly lately as Chinese has taken a more assertive position regarding territorial claims in the East China and South China seas …

Sun Zhe, a professor of international relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said that China was developing its military forces only in response to continued efforts by other countries, particularly the United States, to improve their own forces.

‘We have again and again said that we will not be the first country to use nuclear force,’ he said. ‘We need to be able to defend ourselves, and our main threat, I’m afraid, comes from the United States.’

China’s development of long-range missiles is part of a much broader military expansion made possible by rapid budget growth in tandem with the Chinese economy, which had an output of $7.5 trillion last year, compared with $1.2 trillion in 2000.”

The Wall Street Journal ran a rather alarming blog entry with specific examples of China’s growing military capabilities. According to two WSJ writers:

“These explicit examples and implicit claims of Chinese missile prowess hardly represent paper tigers or empty talk. Building on a foundation of focused missile development since the late 1950s, Beijing is backing these data points up with substantive action. According to the latest U.S. National Air and Space Intelligence Center report on foreign ballistic and cruise missile capabilities, China is ‘developing and testing offensive missiles, forming additional missile units, qualitatively upgrading certain missile systems, and developing methods to counter ballistic missile defenses.’ The U.S. Department of Defense’s 2010 unclassified report on China’s military states that ‘China has the most active land-based ballistic and cruise missile program in the world.’ While this year’s report was disappointing in its lack of detail, Chinese activities of late have only reinforced the Defense Department’s assessment.

Most distinctive in independent deployment potential and significant in overall capability are China’s nuclear and conventional ballistic missiles, which are controlled by the Second Artillery Force. With armament of the Chinese navy’s three deployed Type 094 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) awaiting final testing of the JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), land-based ballistic missiles are currently the sole delivery system for China’s nuclear weapons. As such, Beijing is determined to ensure their ability to penetrate the defense systems of potential opponents.”

What do you think? Should China shore up its protection, or should everyone calm down with this new Cold War-style arms race?

Read more on China, France, America and the world beyond in the latest edition of Carnet Atlantique!

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