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CHINA is busy building “at least 250 long range missile silos” in three locations — sparking fears a new nuclear arms race is underway.

A third Chinese missile silo field in a remote area in Inner Mongolia has been reportedly been photographed by a European Space Agency satellite as Beijing launches its largest ever nuke expansion.

The Arms Control Association said Beijing’s rapid nuclear buildup could significantly influence President Joe Biden’s administration’s up-and-coming Nuclear Posture Review, where it decides how many nukes it needs.

The campaign organisation has estimated at least 250 nuclear long-range nuclear missile silos at three locations.

It comes as US Air Force Lieutenant General Thomas Buseyre, deputy commander of the US Strategic Command, warned China is set to overtake Russia as America’s main nuclear threat.

He told an online forum: “There’s going to be a point, a crossover point, where the number of threats posed by China will exceed the number of threats that Russia currently presents.”

Four-star Admiral Charles Richard, commander of US.Strategic Command, called the development a “strategic breakout” by China.

He told Space & Missile Defense Symposium: “The explosive growth and modernisation of its nuclear and conventional forces can only be what I describe as breathtaking, and frankly, the word ‘breathtaking’ may not be enough.”

The third silo is located in Hanggin Banner, Inner Mongolia least 29 new silos, according to a US Air Force education institute.

China’s DF-41, a solid-fuelled ICBM capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads, may be destined for the silos.

A second silo is located in the desert, 1,200 miles west of Beijing.

The Chinese government has been digging a new field of what look to be 110 silos for launching nuclear missiles, according to analysts surveying commercial satellite images in recent weeks.

According to new reports from the New York Times, the new silos appear to be deliberately being built to be visible, as a form of a threat to the west.

Nuclear experts at the Federation of American Scientists picked it up using images from a fleet of Planet Labs satellites last week.

These silos can hold China’s newest nuclear-armed missile, the DF-41.

Reports also say underground bunkers are being built to function as launch centers, with trenches carrying cables to 10 different silo launchers.

While China has historically cast itself as occupying something of a moral high ground, avoiding expensive and dangerous arms races, this appears to be changing under President Xi Jinping.

At the same time that China is cracking down on dissent at home and asserting new control over Hong Kong, it is also headed into new territory with nuclear weapons.

The country’s rapid expansion of its arsenal has left analysts debating the reasons behind it, as well as the best course of action from the United States.

There were several theories around the change in tack – the simplest was that China wanted an arsenal to match its economic, technological and military superpower.

Another was that China was concerned about American missile defenses, as well as India’s nuclear buildup and deadly new weapons built by Russia.

News of the latest expansion comes as one of Australia’s top military figures has given a grave warning of the threat China poses to the nation.

Speaking to 4BC on Tuesday, former major general of the Australian Army and current Liberal senator Jim Molan said war was “more likely” than most people were prepared to admit.

“China and national security are the most dangerous issue for us.”

The former general also warned against the assumption that America would protect Australia from China, stressing the US army was weaker than most realised.

Commander of US Strategic Command Charles A. Richard has warned that China’s nuclear arsenal could double, if not triple or quadruple, in the next decade.

Source:- Thesun uk

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