Days after reports claimed that China will unveil its stealth bomber, the Xian H-20, in November, Chinese state media has published a report claiming experts believe Beijing will bolster its nuclear warheads arsenal to size up against the US.
The state-run Global Times pointed out that experts are urging Beijing to procure at least 100 DF-41 strategic missiles, which would be longer in range than any other missile that exists on the planet. The report claims military experts are urging China to increase its nuclear weapons cache in order to "s strategic ambitions and bullying impulse against China."
State media urges procurement of nuclear warheads
According to experts, China needs to increase its number of nuclear warheads to complete its technologically advanced nuclear triad that includes the H-20 strategic stealth bomber and JL-3 submarine-launched ballistic missiles to safeguard national security.
"Chinese military experts urged the country to expand its nuclear arsenal to deter the US from its ambition to contain China through military means and dispel thoughts of irrational military action by US warmongers," the report said.
How powerful are DF-41 missiles?
The publication pointed out that the government needs to increase its nuclear warheads tally to 1,000, by procuring at least 100 DF-41 strategic missiles.
The DF-41 was revealed in a Chinese military parade in October 2019, and China boasts it "is capable of striking the US homeland with multiple nuclear warheads." It is an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of 12,000 to 15,000 km (7,456 to 9,320 miles) and is regarded as the longest-range missile in the world, according to the Center for Strategic & International Studies.
"China needs to expand the number of its nuclear warheads to 1,000 in a relatively short time and have at least 100 DF-41 strategic missiles to curb US strategic ambitions and impulses toward China," the report said.
Growing tensions between US, China
The report comes after the United Stated ramped up its military operations in waters close to China this year as the risk of confrontation between the two nations continues to grow.
So far this year, aircraft from the US armed forces have conducted 39 flights over the South China Sea, East China Sea, Yellow Sea and the Taiwan Strait, more than three times the number of flights carried out in 2019. Two of the flights even flew dangerously close to Hong Kong, a rare move that indicated their proximity to mainland China, as reported by South China Morning Post.
Moreover, the US Navy has also been carrying out exercises and patrols in the South China Sea, including guided-missile destroyers and nuclear-powered aircraft carriers challenging China's claim to the disputed maritime territory.
In its report, Global Times has listed out a number of recent US military actions, referring to them as threats, even though the US acted will within international law. "Any deterrence needs to be strong enough to halt military aggression toward China," the Global Times' editor noted. "If a nuclear weapon is dropped on China, Chinese nuclear weapons must be sufficient to wipe out the enemy in retaliation."