China must strengthen its nuclear capabilities, says daily

September 7th, 2012 - 1:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Sep 7 (IANS) China should accelerate the renewal and consolidation of its nuclear deterrence capabilities, said a state-run Chinese daily that wanted the momentum to be continued, so that “other players in the Asia-Pacific region gradually adapt to it”.

US media have reported American intelligence agencies have monitored at least three strategic missile tests by China’s Second Artillery Corps (SAC) since late July.

The three missiles were a submarine-launched JL-2 ballistic missile, a DF-41 missile outfitted with multiple, independently-targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs), and a DF-5 long-range missile with MIRVs.

An article “Time to upgrade China’s nuclear capabilities” in the Global Times Friday said: “The US seems especially interested in the DF-41 missile, which they believe could carry as many as 10 warheads. In August, China announced that the SAC had realized the capability of vehicle-mounted mobile launches for most strategic missiles.”

“All these pieces of information leave people with the impression that China has a stronger and more credible nuclear deterrence. This is the cornerstone of China’s ability to safeguard its national security within a complex international environment,” it said.

The daily said the macro dynamics of international politics will not change based on China’s domestic situation.

“China has to accelerate the renewal and consolidation of its nuclear deterrence capabilities.”

It noted that a year ago, US Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain seemingly didn’t know China already had nuclear capabilities.

“This at least demonstrated China’s weak level of nuclear deterrence in foreign eyes.”

Describing it as a “risky situation, as it may lead to US society pursuing impractical tough policies toward China”, the article said: “In the long run, China should not seek equal nuclear strength with the US, but it should endeavor to build an equal level of nuclear deterrence.”

“The SAC has made a great leap in lifting China’s nuclear strength. China should continue this momentum, so that other players in the Asia-Pacific region gradually adapt to it,” it added.

The daily said: “…As a latecomer in developing nuclear weapons, China lacks experience in using nuclear strength. While building up nuclear hardware, China should also keep exploring how to integrate nuclear strength with its national goals.”

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