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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Global Times

US hypes 'nuclear threat' from China, Russia to legitimize absolute security and arms race

Global Times

By Yang Sheng Published: Oct 19, 2021 09:47 PM

Senior US officials and Western media have spared no efforts to hype the so-called "nuclear threat" from China, even after China clarified an inaccurate report about a "hypersonic missile test in August," as the test was about a reusable spacecraft, with the Chinese Foreign Ministry saying on Tuesday that the US is hyping the "China threat theory" to pursue absolute security and expand military power. Experts stressed that Washington is the one that should be held accountable for intensifying the arms race between major nuclear powers.

The US has a clear advantage over China and Russia in nuclear weapons, and it has militarized space and exerted huge security pressure on other countries to further break the balance between major nuclear powers, said analysts. They added that Washington has openly shown its hostility toward Beijing and Moscow by treating them as "competitors." China and Russia are justified in taking action and strengthening the development of relevant capabilities not only for self-defense but also to stabilize international security.

Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a routine press conference on Tuesday that China firmly opposes the US' act of hyping the "China threat theory" and China has always insisted on a defensive nuclear strategy and will not start an arms race with any country.

"China's military development is meant to safeguard its legitimate national security interests, and the growth of China's strength equals the growth of strength for peace," Wang said, stressing that any country, as long as it has no intention to threaten and harm China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity will not be threatened by China's national defense power.

Wang made the remarks after senior US officials commented on China's latest military development. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Monday at a press conference that Washington was closely watching "China's development of advanced weapons systems" but declined to comment on a Financial Times report which claimed China has conducted "a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile," Reuters reported.

Before Austin's press conference, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday that China had tested a reusable space vehicle in July, not a hypersonic missile as reported by the Financial Times. Robert Wood, the US envoy to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, also disregarded the clarification made by the Chinese Foreign Ministry and said Washington is concerned about "hypersonic missile technology and its potential military applications by China and Russia."

A Beijing-based senior military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Tuesday that the recent comments of the US defense chief and other senior officials and diplomats show that they want to make excuses to legitimize their military expansion and seek an increase in the defense budget. "It seems like the US is shocked by the development of China's technology, even if we have stressed that it's for the peaceful use of space."

"The US is seeking an unfair and unreasonable absolute security, which means the US' security is more important than others', and they will not allow other countries' mutual deterrence with the US, and elites in Washington don't care about China and Russia's intention, because for the absolute security of the US, China and Russia are not supposed to have such strength and technology," the expert said.

This kind of view on security is truly dangerous and unrealistic, which reflects the US' hegemonic and arrogant mindset. Analysts noted that no matter what the US says, China and Russia won't stop their development and research to boost their strength, and only by doing so will the balance between major nuclear powers and stability of international nuclear security be ensured, analysts said.

This is not the first time that the US has tried to hype China's nuclear threat. In July, the New York Times quoted nuclear weapons experts from the Federation of American Scientists as saying that China has built a new silo for launching nuclear missiles in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. But some people in China have suggested that those silos claimed by the US might be foundations of wind power plants, though this claim has also not been confirmed by official sources.

Disarmament and balance of power

China and Russia are facing a real threat from US nuclear weapons, as the US has both the technological advantage and hostility against them. So Beijing and Moscow have the right to strengthen their capability, and the cutting-edge technology for peaceful use of space would also be turned to military use if the US continues to intensify the arms race, said analysts.

Wang said on Tuesday that the US has the biggest and most advanced nuclear arsenal in the world, and it has invested more than $1 trillion to upgrade its nuclear triad. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson also listed many US wrongdoings that endanger the international nuclear security situation - the US has withdrawn from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty; the US resists negotiations on arms control in space, and even exports nuclear submarine technology to a non-nuclear country which risks nuclear proliferation.

As the only superpower in the world, the US has held a Cold War mentality to comprehensively strengthen its military might and deepen its military alliance system, which seriously damages regional peace and security, as well as global strategic stability, Wang noted, stressing that the US' claim that "China intensifies the arms race" is meant to divert attention from its own wrongdoings.

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, said that the world order is facing a crucial change and US wrongdoings will bring huge uncertainties to the current world order. This will have a serious impact on the stability of the international community and the recovery of the world economy.

Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the US wants to maintain an unequal or unfair military advantage over other countries forever, and once it finds any country likely to reach its level, it will try everything to interrupt it, like expressing concerns, condemning it, demanding negotiations or even imposing sanctions and launching investigations.

"Blaming China and Russia will make the US look more like a good guy." But just like what Wang listed at the press conference, "the US is the one that should be blamed for intensifying the arms race as it agreed to export nuclear submarine technology to Australia, a non-nuclear country, and this is totally unforgivable and violates the non-proliferation treaty," he said.

The anonymous military expert said the US will continue to pressure China on the nuclear disarmament issue, but China won't submit to it because China's nuclear arsenal is far smaller and less advanced than the US', and the two sides have no equal base for such talks.

"The US will respect reality and strength eventually, so China should speed up its military research and development, especially high-tech and strategic military might." Otherwise, China won't be able to protect itself and maintain a peaceful international situation, Li said.

The recent US moves are also intended to divide China and Russia on the disarmament issue as Russia has refused to help the US pressure China to participate in the nuclear disarmament talks, said experts.

The US might want to tell Russia that if China doesn't join the disarmament talks soon, Russia will be surpassed by China, but China and Russia share high-level strategic mutual trust and both sides face the same pressure and threat from the US, that's why Russia refused to do what the US wants on this issue, said the anonymous expert. He added that it's possible for the US to threaten Russia and China, and if China stays away from the negotiations, the US will launch an all-out arms race as it believes that the disarmament issue has constrained the US in further maximizing its unfair nuclear advantage and makes China easier to reach the US level in terms of nuclear weapons.

"This would be dangerous for the world peace," he said.



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