Chapter 5 China’s Nuclear Triad: Delivery Capabilities of New-Generation Strategic Nuclear Forces
Chapter 5 China’s Nuclear Triad Delivery Capabilities of New-Generation Strategic Nuclear Forces.pdf
It is clear from China’s rapid increase in military budgets that Beijing seeks to compete globally in navy power and nuclear balance. Based on public information, China’s military spending totaled USD 203 billion in 2021, twice the 2012 national defense budget of USD 100.3 billion when Xi Jinping took power. As far as the navy capabilities are concerned, publicly available pictures show that the PLA Navy added 106 large surface vessels since 2012 during Xi Jinping’s term. During the past two years, the focus was on aircraft carriers and Type 075 landing helicopter docks, not only to target Taiwan but also to control the oceans.
Meanwhile, China’s North Pole policy, disguised as a commercial policy, is aimed at deploying the new strategic submarine ballistic nuclear (SSBN). The submarine-launched ballistic missiles launched from the North Pole can hit the conterminous United States. Similar to the South China Sea, attacks can be initiated against the West Coast of the United States with SSBN entering the Philippine Sea, to the east of Taiwan, from the Bashi Channel.
Therefore, the Taiwan Strait problem is essentially due to China’s military expansion. Taiwan’s safety matters not only to its own survival but also to Japan’s and Korea’s maritime, marine lifelines and the U.S.’s missile defense for its mainland. Hence, why the U.S.-Japan Joint Leaders’ Statement, U.S.- ROK Leaders’ Joint Statement, and G7 Summit Communique all emphasized the importance of security and peace of the Taiwan Strait.
The nuclear triad of China’s strategic nuclear weapons consists of nuclear warheads, new missiles (e.g., DF-41, DF-26, and JL-3), and launch capabilities (e.g., Type 094A tactical nuclear submarines and H-20 bombers). This nuclear balance may seem unrelated to Taiwan, but it can change the world and influence the power structure of international politics.
This article analyzes the center point of China’s strategic nuclear weapons—the DF-41 missiles, Type 094 tactical nuclear submarines, and H-20 stealth bombers under development.
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