China to expand nuclear forces, U.S. report finds
WASHINGTON — China is only two years away from developing nuclear-powered submarines, a draft report by a congressionally mandated U.S. commission found.
China is “on the cusp of attaining a credible nuclear triad of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and air-dropped nuclear bombs,” the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said in a draft of its 2012 report to Congress.
China is alone among the original nuclear weapons states — United States, Russia, Britain and France — to be expanding its nuclear forces, the report said.
China has had a largely symbolic ballistic missile submarine capability for decades but is only now set to establish a “near-continuous at-sea strategic deterrent,” the draft said.
The deployment of such a hard-to-track, submarine-launched leg of China's nuclear arsenal could have significant consequences in East Asia and beyond. The report warned that an advanced nuclear submarine in China's hands and its ability to retaliate against a nuclear strike “would necessarily affect Indian and Russian perceptions about the potency of their own deterrent capabilities vis-à-vis China”.
As such, the report urged Congress to engage China deeper into nuclear arms reduction talks.China is estimated to have a total of 240 nuclear warheads. The United States has about 5,113, including tactical, strategic and nondeployed weapons.
Meanwhile, China remains “the most threatening” power in cyberspace and presents the largest challenge to America's supply chain integrity, the draft said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Debris on French island possibly that of missing Malaysia Airlines flight
- U.N. projects world’s population to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, 11.2 billion by end of century
- Saudis’ deadly airstrikes resume in Yemen
- Scientists warn about killer robots
- Buildings in West Bank settlement torn down by order of Israel’s Supreme Court
- 2013 death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar confirmed
- Defense secretary touts success of Kurdish fighters in war on ISIS
- Turkey to stick with air offensive in ISIS battle
- Libyans on death sentences for Gadhafi’s son, others: ‘Who cares?’
- Afghan intelligence: Taliban leader Mullah Omar dead 2 years
- Exiled Yemen leader orders anti-rebel fighters to merge with army to battle Houthis