Global Times Editor Calls for Larger China Nuclear Arsenal in Response to U.S. Containment Efforts
May 9, 2020 (EIRNS)—Global Times made headlines all over the world yesterday with the publication of an editorial by editor-in-chief Hu Xijin, titled “China needs to increase its nuclear warheads to 1,000,” in which he advocates for a greater Chinese nuclear deterrent capability in order to ward off U.S. military pressure.
“China needs to expand the number of its nuclear warheads to 1,000 in a relatively short time. It needs to have at least 100 Dongfeng-41 strategic missiles. We are a peace-loving nation and have committed to never being the first to use nuclear weapons, but we need a larger nuclear arsenal to curb U.S. strategic ambitions and impulses toward China,”
Hu writes. “Don’t assume that nuclear warheads are useless. In fact, they are being used every day as a deterrent to shape the attitudes of U.S. elites toward China.”
Hu rejects the label of warmonger that he says some in China have applied to him because of his call for China to enlarge its nuclear arsenal. “They should instead give this label to U.S. politicians who are openly hostile to China,” he says.
“I always hope China and the U.S. can get along with each other, but peaceful coexistence between the two countries is not a thing that can be begged for; it’s shaped by strategic tools. This is particularly true as we are facing an increasingly irrational U.S., which only believes in strength. We don’t have much time debating the need for increased nuclear warheads, we just need to accelerate the steps that make it happen.”
When asked by Reuters about Hu’s editorial, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said he was expressing his own view which he is entitled to express. “China’s policy on arms control is consistent,” Hua went on, in response to a second part of the Reuters question on arms control. “We believe that the country that possesses the biggest nuclear arsenal has special, prior responsibility and should further reduce nuclear arsenal drastically. China has always followed the principle of no-first-use of nuclear weapon. We pursue a very responsible and restrained policy.”
Global Times also points to the recent increase in U.S. military pressure against China in the East and South China Seas, and the recent deployment of the low-yield W76-2 warhead on U.S. ballistic missile submarines. “Chinese military experts urged the country to expand its nuclear arsenal to deter the U.S. from its ambition to contain China through military means and dispel thoughts of irrational military action by U.S. warmongers,” the paper reports. Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told Global Times that “Since the U.S. no longer sees nuclear weapons as a mere deterrence—now viewing them as deployable on the battlefield—China will have to expand its nuclear arsenal in response to this huge threat.”