Pentagon: China Strengthens Its Nuclear Arsenal

China seeks to strengthen its nuclear arsenal by acquiring new ballistic missile capable of countering a possible attack, said the Pentagon on Wednesday, Aug. 24. These improvements “are intended to ensure the viability of the weapons of deterrence” to the constant advances of United States and, to a lesser extent, of the Russia. Beijing advocates the policy of “no first use” of nuclear weapons, preferring to respond in this way only if it would be the target of a nuclear attack, said the annual report of the Department of Defense on the Chinese army.

Moreover, “the changing economic and geostrategic interests has fundamentally changed the decision of China’s maritime power.” China is trying to develop anti-ship missiles capable of striking aircraft carriers. It has also improved its radar systems, increased its fleet of attack submarines and strengthened its fleet of warships, said the Pentagon. The first Chinese aircraft carrier tests was conducted about 10 days ago. According to the Pentagon report, the ship has a “limited capacity” and will serve “first as a platform for training and assessment.”

According to the Pentagon, China seems to be on track to build a modern army by 2020, but some high-tech equipment often put forward, such as stealth aircraft, will not be operational for years. The report also claims that cyber attacks in 2010 – including those that have targeted U.S. government computers – certainly originated in China. “These cyber intrusions were designed to gather information,” said the document.

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