China has allegedly begun stockpiling more nuclear weapons than ever before, developing over 100 missile silos capable of launching nuclear-tipped warheads that could reach the continental United States.
As reported by The Daily Caller, the reports come from several anonymous sources allegedly familiar with the strategy of Chinese leadership, who voiced their concerns to the Wall Street Journal. The Chinese government is “accelerating” its development of “more than 100 suspected missile silos,” capable of launching China’s DF-41 long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
Each of the DF-41 missiles is capable of delivering up to 10 nuclear warheads, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The DF-41 is estimated to have a yield of 5,000 kilotons according to Popular Mechanics. For historical comparison, the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima to end World War II in 1945, nicknamed “Fat Man,” had a yield of just 17 kilotons.
A report by the Department of Defense in 2021 claims that China’s “nuclear expansion may enable the [People’s Republic of China] to have up to 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027.” Although both the United States and Russia vastly outnumber China’s nuclear arsenal, with over 4,000 warheads each, the rising number of Chinese nuclear missiles is cause for great concern nevertheless.
It is widely speculated that China’s most recent acts of aggression and military build-up are in direct response to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, with Chinese leaders gauging the United States’ response in order to better understand how the American government might react to a similar invasion of Taiwan by China. To this end, China has largely backed Russia in its efforts, criticizing Western sanctions that target Russia, increasing its own imports of Russian goods, and siding with Russia in most of the United Nations’ votes to condemn the nation for its war with its European neighbor.