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Monday, 02 August 2021 11.43 AM IST

US raises concern over China's nuclear arms buildup

nuclear-weapon

WASHINGTON: The United States is concerned about China's accelerated build-up of its nuclear arsenal, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Thursday.


"These reports and other developments suggest that the PRC's (China) nuclear arsenal will grow more quickly and to a higher level than perhaps previously anticipated," Price said when asked about reports that Beijing is building more than 100 nuclear missile silos. "This build-up, it is concerning and it raises questions about the PRC's intents."


The spokesperson stressed that China's nuclear buildup reinforces the need for arms control measures and urged Beijing to work together on arms control in order to avoid arms races.


"This rapid build-up has become more difficult to hide. And it highlights how the PRC appears again to be deviating from decades of nuclear strategy based around minimum deterrence," Price added.


These remarks come after a new Washington Post report revealed that China has been constructing more than 100 new missile silos in a desert area located in the western part of the country.


Commercial satellite images obtained by researchers at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in California have shown that work is underway at scores of sites across a grid covering hundreds of square miles of arid terrain in China's Gansu province.


The 119 nearly identical construction sites contain features that mirror those seen at existing launch facilities for China's arsenal of nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.


If the acquisition of over 100 new missile silos is completed, it would represent a historic shift for China, which is believed to possess a relatively modest stockpile of 250 to 350 nuclear weapons.

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