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Second Chinese nuclear missile silo field found in Xinjiang

Beijing: An American researcher has uncovered a second new nuclear site in China with 110 silos, confirming Beijing’s status as a nuclear superpower comparable to the United States and Russia.

On Monday, satellite imagery analysis revealed China’s second large nuclear silo field at Hami in Eastern Xinjiang, according to Matt Korda, a Research Associate for the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists. This occurs following the discovery of another silo field in Yumen.

‘The silo construction at Yumen and Hami constitutes the most significant expansion of the Chinese nuclear arsenal ever,’ Matt Korda and Hans M. Kristensen wrote in a study of the new silo field.

According to the paper, ‘China is concerned about American missile defenses, which are increasingly effective, and India’s nuclear buildup, which has been rapid.’

Beijing also needs to deal with Russia’s declaration of new hypersonic and autonomous weapons, which necessitates a stronger deterrence.

Until recently, China only had around 20 silos for the DF-5, a large liquid-fuel missile. With the two new nuclear reactors, China now has about 230 additional missile silos, signaling that President Xi Jinping is pursuing a more aggressive approach.

China also appears to be working nonstop to enhance its nuclear arsenal and the Peoples Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLA RAF). China’s action has sparked speculation that it is abandoning its ‘minimum deterrence’ approach in favor of an arms race. Or is it attempting to establish a bargaining card if it gets pulled into weapons control talks?

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Meanwhile, India has stated that there is no nuclear weapons competition between the two countries. ‘I don’t believe there is a nuclear arms race between India and China. China became a nuclear power in 1964, India in 1998… The evolution of the Chinese program has a much larger dynamic than us,’ Jaishankar made the remarks at Moscow’s Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations.


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