Spy balloons are bad; China's nuclear arsenal is worse
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) released a spy balloon over the U.S. last week. This act forced many Americans to realize the threat the CCP poses to America. However, a balloon isn't as scary or as deadly as China's growing nuclear arsenal.
As of June 2022, China has at least 350 nuclear warheads, far fewer than Russia's 5,997 and the U.S.'s 5,428. While China's numbers are "small" compared to other countries, its arsenal is rapidly expanding. In 2022, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) predicted that "China would field a stockpile of about 1,500 warheads by 2035."
The U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) notified the DOD that China has surpassed the U.S. in land-based launchers for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
STRATCOM's notification highlights China's rapid advancements in its nuclear arsenal.
The head of STRATCOM, Gen. Anthony Cotton, wrote that the U.S. retains more ICBMs than China; however, China has exceeded the U.S. in the number of land-based launchers for the missiles.
Republicans have said that the revelations about China's nuclear capability should serve as a "wake-up call."
House Armed Services chair Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), Senate Armed Services ranking member Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), and Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) said, "This should serve as a wake-up call for the United States. It is not an understatement to say that the Chinese nuclear modernization program is advancing faster than most believed possible."
"We have no time to waste in adjusting our nuclear force posture to deter both Russia and China," the lawmakers said. "This will have to mean higher numbers and new capabilities."
ICBM missiles were first manufactured in 1950 by the Lockheed Martin Corporation. They were designed to target the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
The missiles have the capacity to reach targets over 5,000 miles away. The distance between China and the U.S. is 7,252 miles.
Moreover, the Chinese spy balloon flew over Montana, where the Malmstrom Air Force base is located. The base contains 150 ICBM silos.
How did China increase its nuclear arsenal so quickly? The U.S. helped it.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), China's top nuclear weapons research institute has purchased U.S. computer chips several times in the past two and a half years, aiding in the process of nuclear expansion.
The spy balloon released by China last week is nowhere near as dangerous as the nuclear expansion occurring right in front of our eyes.
Image: tookapic via Pixabay, Pixabay License.