The official said the buildup raises serious doubts about the intent behind their nuclear stockpile.
“They’re moving in a direction that substantially exceeds where they’ve been before in terms of numbers and capabilities,” 这位官员说. Though China still maintains a no first-use policy when it comes to nuclear weapons, the official said China has suggested “there are circumstances under which that wouldn’t apply.”
China has also focused on a “lean and effective nuclear force,” but their current buildup is greater than the US anticipated “and well beyond where they’ve been historically.” The investment in its nuclear force has allowed China to establish a “nascent” nuclear triad of air-launched ballistic missiles, as well as surface and sea-launched missiles, similar to the United States’ own triad.
The US currently has 3,750 nuclear warheads in its stockpile, according to the latest data from the State Department, dwarfing the size of China’s nuclear stockpile.
The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) published a report this week about the rapid building of three suspected silo fields in western China. The silo fields are still years away from becoming operational, wrote the authors of the FAS report, Matt Korda and Hans M. Kristensen, but they could eventually be capable of launching long-range nuclear missiles.
Modernization provides ‘a range of different options’ on Taiwan
The Pentagon report, officially called Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2021, also focuses on Beijing’s goals for future development and modernization of its armed forces. Crucially, if China meets its interim modernization goal for 2027, it could provide Beijing with “a range of different options” regarding Taiwan, from a blockade of the island to a potential amphibious invasion of either Taiwan itself or one of the smaller outlying islands.
同时, China also aims to deter foreign intervention in what Beijing sees as a domestic political issue.
“明显, they’re looking at the United States or other parties they think might intervene on Taiwan’s behalf,” 这位官员说. Beyond 2027, China is looking to complete modernization of its military by 2035 and become a world class military by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (中华人民共和国). That would allow it to “displace US alliances and security partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region,” 报告说.
那个报告, which summarizes Chinese military developments during 2020, does not describe China’s recent hypersonic missile test over the summer. On Wednesday at the Aspen Security Forum, Milley said hypersonic technology is just one area where China is making significant advances.
Asked about the recent test of a hypersonic weapon
, Milley said it was just one part of the broader picture with regard to China’s rapidly advancing military capability
, which he characterized as a
” in warfare that is already reshaping elements of international order
The report does note that China fielded the DF-17 last year, a medium-range ballistic missile capable of launching a hypersonic glide vehicle.
China has denied it has tested hypersonic weapons.
上个星期, the second most senior US general said that the pace at which China’s military is developing capabilities 是 “惊艳的” while US development suffers from
“野蛮” 官僚. The outgoing Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
, General John Hyten
, told reporters at a Defense Writers Group roundtable that
“the pace they’re moving and the trajectory they’re on will surpass Russia and the United States if we don’t do something to change it
. It will happen
. So I think we have to do something.
The Pentagon has repeatedly referred to China as the “pacing challenge” for the US, but President Joe Biden stressed Tuesday that competition does not make conflict inevitable.
At the closing press conference of the COP26 climate summit, 拜登说, “There’s no reason there need to be conflict.” Of his upcoming virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, 拜登说, “I’ve also indicated to him, so I’m not reluctant to say it publicly, that we expect him to play by the rules of the road.”
This year’s report adds a new section on China’s chemical and biological research, raising concerns about the possible dual-use applications of the country’s biological activities. But it does not dive into the origins or spread of coronavirus. 代替, it notes that the Covid-19 pandemic was a driving force behind the China’s foreign policy, as it sought to deflect any blame for the outbreak while using foreign assistance to build regional influence.