Those who are well-versed in Chinese leadership and governance would note that China has started to hasten the development of its nuclear arsenal as the threat by the US to mainland China continues to grow.
The Wallstreet Journal notes that China’s readiness to develop its nuclear arsenal as a deterrent isn’t due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Instead, it is due to the US being so eager to get involved in the war in Ukraine.
Since China has its sights set on Taiwan, it believes an updated and developed nuclear arsenal would deter the US from evolving itself should China ever invade Taiwan. The Chinese government has hastened the development of over a hundred missile silos in abandoned regions of western China. These silos could potentially be used to store nuclear-tipped missiles.
Nuclear proliferation experts and US officials find themselves unsure of China’s motivations behind this one-sided nuclear arms race. It was reported that people well acquainted with Chinese leadership believe the US is conspiring to overthrow the Communist government.
As the US foreign policy becomes more aware of China’s nuclear developments, many experts fear that such rapid proliferation could give the Communist Party the courage to launch a surprise attack. However, reports say that China intends to keep its nuclear arsenal only as large as needed to ensure its security interests.
An individual linked to the Chinese government claimed that due to China’s nuclear arsenal being inferior to that of the US, it leaves room for the US to push China around. To avoid this, China is focusing on development so that America’s pressure on China does not grow.
Just a year ago, US security officials were caught off guard when China released an earth-circling nuclear-capable hypersonic missile into space. This left many on edge as they were unaware of how China managed the feat.
Although there is a lot of apprehension about Russia’s possible use of nuclear weapons in the war against Ukraine, policy experts do not believe this is the reason for China’s nuclear acceleration. A Pentagon estimate suggests China’s arsenal could potentially consist of about 1000 nuclear warheads by 2030.