The Pentagon is reviewing security strategy in the wake of two reports in the recent weeks that said China is building new nuclear silos in secret locations.
"This is the second time in two months the public has discovered what we have been saying all along about the growing threat the world faces and the veil of secrecy that surrounds it," the U.S. Strategic Command said, according to Reuters.
119 New Nuclear Sites
In early July, a Washington Post report said China was building 119 nearly identical construction sites with features similar to the existing launch facilities for China's arsenal of nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.
On Tuesday, the Pentagon and and Republican leaders alike expressed concerns over a fresh report that confirmed China was building as many as 110 more missile silos.
According to an American Federation of Scientists (AFS) report, satellite images showed China was setting up new nuclear silos near Hami in the eastern part of its Xinjiang region.
China's nuclear build-up was unprecedented and it was clear that Beijing was deploying nuclear weapons to 'threaten the United States and its allies', said Republican Congressman Mike Turner.
Under President Xi Jinping, China has followed an aggressive military policy. A strident boost-up of defense is the keystone of XI's foreign policy. According to a 2020 Pentagon report, China was estimated to possess around 200 nuclear weapons.
However, the projection at that time was that China would increase its nuclear weapons stockpile to more than 400 in the near term.
By comparison, the United States has around 3,800 warheads, of which some 1,357 have already been deployed at various strategic locations.
In early July, the State Department said China was engaging in arms race and urged Beijing to take practical measures to reduce the risks of destabilizing arms races.
The Department said Beijing appeared to be deviating from decades-old nuclear strategy built on the principles of minimal deterrence.
In May, the US disarmament ambassador said Beijing was going for a dramatic buildup in its arsenal despite calls for all nuclear powers to reduce the nuclear stockpile.