China's furtive underwater nukes test the Pentagon

By REUTERS
May 2, 2019 14:37
1 minute read.
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Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

HONG KONG - China is making significant advances toward achieving a more reliable second-strike nuclear capability, bolstering its deterrence against an attack on its land-based nuclear weapons, Reuters reveals today in a special report.

Until recently, China lacked a powerful second-strike option. But now its ballistic missile submarines, which can deliver nuclear weapons capable of striking the United States, are changing that.Evidence of China's progress can be found in satellite imagery reviewed by Reuters. These images show the presence of nuclear-powered, ballistic missile submarines at a strategic base in southern China. They also reveal facilities at the base that appear to have been built for the storing and loading of ballistic missiles. Off China's shores, warships and aircraft designed to protect submarines can now be spotted conducting regular patrols. And the man now commanding Chinese forces in the south is a veteran submariner.

Together, this points to China having a fleet of nuclear-armed submarines that appear to be heading out on regular patrols, serving and retired naval officers, diplomats and security analysts told Reuters. That signals a significant boost to Beijing's nuclear deterrence and marks a breakthrough in China's drive to rival the United States and Russia as a nuclear arms power.


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