In the near future, China’s nuclear potential may surpass the Russian one in terms of quantitative indicators, and this, according to experts, makes China a “superpower with all the necessary attributes.” Against whom the weapons are directed and whether it is worth fearing Russia – in the material of “Gazeta.Ru”.
The development of Chi-na’s strategic nuclear forces is already beyond Beijing’s declared goal of ensuring minimal deterrence, and in a few years, China’s nuclear power may become larger than Russia’s, said US Air Force Lieutenant General Thomas Busser, who oversees the American nuclear arsenal. Writes about this Newsweek.
Busser noted that the United States does not have any agreements with China on nuclear deterrence – Beijing rejected the offer to join the Russian-American START III treaty.
Back in early July, the State Department expressed concern about the build-up of nuclear power in China. Congressman Mark Turner said the country is deploying nuclear weapons to threaten the United States.
Doctor of Military Sciences Konstantin Sivkov believes that China can catch up with both the United States and Russia in the next few years, since it is building nuclear forces at a very high rate.
“And it has been building its nuclear potential for a long time. Suffice it to say that he has now laid 210 silos for Dongfeng-41A missiles, and one such missile is capable of carrying up to 10 nuclear warheads.
So these missiles alone will carry 2,110 nuclear warheads. This is more than what Russia and the United States are supposed to do under START III.
Plus naval missiles. Therefore, in fact, in terms of the number of nuclear warheads, they are approaching us, although we have somewhere around 3,000 warheads, “Sivkov explained to Gazeta.Ru.
At the same time, he noted that the main danger of such a development of events is that a third nuclear power will appear in the world, which will have to be reckoned with.
“China will have such a nuclear potential that it can calmly contain the United States. This is a threat to the United States, for the simple reason that China has its nuclear missiles at our borders. This means the highest confidence in us, because no one does this, and secondly, the dead zone of these missiles is 4 thousand km, that is, you cannot shoot at Russia with these missiles deployed near our borders, ”Sivkov said.
President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Colonel General Leonid Ivashov agrees that the Chinese missiles will not be aimed at Russia.
“We have nothing to fear here. We need to maintain our potential, and, of course, invite China to this group so that the START-3 agreement becomes at least trilateral, “Ivashov said in an interview with Gazeta.Ru.
He noted that the Chinese expansion does not pose any threat to the world. On the contrary, it will strengthen nuclear deterrence and bring China to the negotiating table.
“My position: the more the nuclear missile potentials are aligned – both in range, and in power, and in the number of warheads, the less likely a nuclear war will be. Therefore, there is no need to be afraid that China will catch up and even overtake Russia and the United States in terms of nuclear potential. This will be a balance, and the Chinese have already hinted, not officially, but during consultations and negotiations, that we will align with you, bring up to 1,500 warheads, launch vehicles, and then we are ready to talk, ”Ivashov said.
According to him, the US concern is largely due to the “anti-China syndrome.”
“After all, at the G7 summit, which was led by Biden in June, they decided to declare China the main challenge to all mankind and develop a project for a global alternative to the Chinese silk road. So they will discredit China along all lines, ”the general explained.
According to him, China is able to catch up with Russia and the United States in the next few years.
“China has opportunities. And they are now demonstrating their nuclear missile advantages over Russia and the United States in terms of the rate of build-up. Everything here will depend on the will and decision of the Chinese leadership, ”Ivashov added.
In turn, the deputy director of the Institute of Pol-itical and Military Analysis, Alexander Khramchikhin, believes that China already has more than a thousand warheads in service.
“The problem is that no one knows exactly how many weapons China has. I believe that they have at least a thousand warheads for a long time, and most of them have been deployed.
Now, since they have already begun mass production of Dongfeng-41 missiles, which may have 10 warheads each, they will very quickly catch up and surpass everyone, “Khramchikhin said.
He believes that this process will be completed before 2030.
“By 2030, we can have China as the world leader in everything, including nuclear weapons. They are trying to become a full-fledged superpower with all the necessary attributes and corresponding ambitions, ”the expert added.
At the same time, he is confident that it is no longer possible to stop China.
“For them, spending is not a problem. It is generally impossible to influence China, even in smaller matters. There is no way to force China to stop the buildup of armaments, besides, unfortunately, Russia and the United States will not become allies even in this matter, ”Khramchikhin said.
Vasily Kashin, head of the Sector for International Military-Political and Military-Economic Problems at the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the Higher School of Economics, believes that if the Chinese were focused on containing Russia, they would invest more in the development of medium-range nuclear missiles.
“Now they are building up the number of warheads that they are capable of delivering to the United States. They mass-produce medium-range missiles, but the overwhelming majority of them are deployed in a non-nuclear high-precision version, and they are going to use them as a kind of counterbalance to American superiority in aviation and navy, ”Kashin said.
He noted that now Russia and China have “very friendly relations and close military ties.”
“If these relations deteriorate, we will of course have to think very seriously about the impact of this new potential. But now we have a very close political relationship. The nature of the development of their nuclear forces, indeed, is more aimed at containing the United States, they have the necessary amount of technology – and a new solid-fuel missile, with a range of about 4 thousand km, which is called the Dongfeng-26, they also have it, they are mass-produced, just so far, mostly in normal gear. Of course, it can also be potentially dangerous for us, ”the expert explained.
According to Kashin, China’s nuclear potential will begin to threaten Russia only if Moscow becomes an ally of Washington, or if the political system in China changes.
“Now China is drawn into a systemic confrontation with the United States, from which, in an amicable way, it is difficult for it to get out. If Russia at some point decides to go to the other side, then, of course, we will have to think.
Or if a radical change of regime takes place in China and they begin to act in a completely different paradigm, ”the expert noted.
According to him, in the event of a regime change, the opponents of the communists may have territorial claims against Russia, which are now completely absent due to the agreement between the countries.
“If the Communist Party falls, then problems may arise. But, on the whole, they are very unlikely, because both the Russian and Chinese elites have an understanding that any threat of tension must be avoided at any cost, since there is the experience of the Cold War, when the USSR and China, in general, are simply ruined each other, because when you have a border of several thousand kilometers, which goes through hard-to-reach areas, and you need to strengthen and defend it, it is insanely expensive, ”Kashin explained.
“Now we have very strong relations, but all the same, since all military-technical programs are time-consuming, different scenarios must be taken into account,” the expert concluded.