China´s nuclear weapons are getting better and more powerful, writes defense analyst Wendell Minnick in Defense News. He cites a US congressional report, warning for the Chinese power to threaten US forces within 10 years.
The report, issued Nov. 19, by the US China Economic and Security Review Commission, states China will pose a threat to all US military forces, bases and assets in the Western Pacific within the next 10 years.
China will also be able to attack US national security satellites in a variety of ways — kinetic, laser, electronic jamming and seizing. According to the report, China’s capabilities will hold at risk all US national security satellites in every orbital regime in the next five- to 10 years. “In space, China in 2014 continued to pursue a broad counter-space program to challenge U.S. information superiority in a conflict and disrupt or destroy U.S. satellites if necessary.”
Beijing also calculates its space warfare capabilities will enhance its strategic deterrent as well as allow China to coerce the US and others “into not interfering with China militarily.”
The report said China’s growing nuclear warfare capabilities are ominous. Over the next five years, China’s nuclear force will rapidly expand and modernize, providing China with an extensive range of military and foreign policy options and “potentially weakening U.S. extended deterrence, particularly with respect to Japan.’
Over the next three- to five years, China’s nuclear program will also become more lethal and survivable with the fielding of additional road-mobile nuclear missiles; five nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, each of which can carry 12 sea-launched intercontinental-range ballistic missiles (ICBM); and ICBMs armed with multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRV).
Are you interested in more stories by Wendell Minnick: Check out this list.