New Delhi: Chinese government’s decision to deploy four new nuclear capable ballistic missiles, including one that can be launched from submarines (SLBM), has sparked global fear and panic among its neigbouring states in the Indian-sub continent.
Federation of American Scientists has claimed in its assessment report that Beijing’s decision to deploy more nuke capable ballistic missiles will increase friction between the United States and China.
Moreover, the US administration of President Obama is concerned over Beijing’s continuous reluctance to define its minimum deterrence posture. This has raised a concern that despite international pressure China is continuously upgrading nuclear and missile arsenal.
The report prepared by top scientists Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris estimates that China currently possesses at least 240 nuclear warheads. The report, which not only points to China's intentions to target Washington by assigning a greater number of nuke warheads to its long-range missiles, it also highlights that Russia and India also fall under its missile range.
New Delhi too has raised its concerns over China’s dubious nuke program. Indian officials claim that China is upgrading its nuke arsenals in a place called Delingha in central Qinghai province.
Since Delingha is only 2,000 km from Delhi, China considers it as a strategically important location for ballistic missile deployment. Interestingly, China does not consider other neighbouring countries like Nepal, Myanmar and Pakistan as potential targets.
“India was a potential target, but the Chinese nuclear policy is geared towards all potential adversaries, each of which has its own characteristics. India to the south is countered with medium-range missiles from central (Delingha region) and southern (Kunming region) China," Kristensen was quoted as saying by a leading news daily.
American nuke scientists further claims that China has approximately 140 land-based nuclear ballistic missiles, and is in process of deploying four new nuclear-capable ballistic missiles (the DF-21, DF-31, DF-31A, and JL-2).
In its report, the Federation of American Scientists claims that China's general military modernization appears to be focused on US-China scenarios. But the long border with Russia is a major military focus for Chinese general purpose military planning. And the border with India is another area of new interest and upgrades for Beijing....