Once again, liberal pro-unilateral-disarmament bloggers such as Hans M. Kristensen at FAS and Jeffrey Lewis of “ArmsControlWonk.com” have been proven dead wrong, as usual.
For years, these liberal pro-unilateral-disarmament activists have been falsely claiming that China’s nuclear arsenal is tiny at just 240-250 warheads; that China is not conducting any large-scale nuclear buildup; that Beijing has not equipped its missiles with multiple nuclear warheads; that the JL-2 missile cannot reach the CONUS unless the submarines carrying it are positioned in the Western Hemisphere, etc.
For over 2 years, this writer and others have been debunking the lies of these liberal anti-nuclear activists, but they nonetheless kept peddling their lies even though they probably know that they’re lying.
But now even more solid evidence has arrived: an admission from the Chinese that they’re greatly building up their nuclear arsenal. A leaked internal document of the Chinese Second Artillery Corps (China’s ground-based missile force) reveals Beijing’s plan (which is already in execution) to conduct a huge buildup of its nuclear arsenal beyond the existing force levels, including deploying multiple warheads on ballistic missiles.
The Washington Times’ Bill Gertz reports in the latest Inside the Ring column (emphasis mine):
“An internal People’s Liberation Army document has revealed plans to greatly expand the PLA’s nuclear arsenal.
“We must accelerate the process of upgrading our nuclear ICBMs, continuously perfecting our nuclear armaments structure; strengthening strategic early warning mechanisms against enemy ballistic missiles; step up the production of new generation nuclear missiles to appropriately increase the number of our nuclear warheads so that the combat effectiveness of our nuclear missile arsenal will have a qualitative leap forward,” according to a translated portion of the document obtained by Inside the Ring.
The document was produced within the past year as part of a strategy lecture for the Second Artillery Corps, the PLA’s nuclear and conventional missile forces. It provides further evidence that China is building up its nuclear forces in secret, raising new concerns about its nuclear intentions.
“Only when we solidify and enhance our trustworthy and reliable nuclear deterrence and nuclear counter-strike capabilities can we effectively contain strategic threats, buttress our status as a big power, make contribution to stopping hegemonism, safeguarding world peace,” states the document, as first reported by Kyodo News on Aug. 4.”
But it isn’t just this leaked internal document or credible studies by analysts such as General Viktor Yesin who have documented China’s MIRVing of its ICBMs (i.e. deploying multiple warheads on them); it’s also simple logic.
China has been developing MIRV (multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicle) “buses” for warheads since at least the 1980s, and has already deployed three ICBM types (DF-5, DF-31/31A, DF-41) that can carry multiple warheads. In fact, the DF-41 can carry ten warheads, and so can, in all likelihood, the DF-5 heavy ICBM, while the DF-31 can carry three.
The Chinese navy’s JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile can carry at least 4 warheads; newer variants can carry up to 12.
Why on Earth would China spend a lot of treasure developing, testing, and procuring multiple-warhead-capable missiles if it didn’t intend to deploy multiple warheads on them? That would make no sense. You do so only if you do intend to deploy multiple warheads on your ICBMs and SLBMs – and that’s what China has done.
Two other myths long peddled by Kristensen and Lewis now also bite the dust: that Chinese ballistic missile submarines have never went on patrol, and that their JL-2 missiles have a range of only 7,200-7,400 kms.
These myths now also bite the dust. As the WantChinaTimes newspaper reports:
“The PLA Navy’s nuclear-powered Type 094 submarine was spotted patrolling with the missile, which has a range of around 8,000 km and can carry multiple warheads, at the beginning of this year.”
WantChinaTimes has included this caveat in its article:
“The missile’s range still falls short of China’s ideal target range however since the Type 094 submarines need a missile with a range over 12,000 km to strike North America from South China Sea.”
However, the JL-2’s newer variants, the Jia and the Yi, have a range of 12,000 to 14,000 kms and are thus capable of what WCT speaks of.
Even the basic JL-2 variant, with a range of just 8,000 kms, is capable of destroying San Francisco if the submarine carrying it is positioned just slightly east of the 140E meridian, just slightly east of Japan; and it can destroy Seattle if the launcher is positioned in Japanese territorial waters or the Tsugaru Strait.
Besides, when operating a ballistic missile submarine, it wouldn’t be advantageous to position it too far away from the target. On the contrary, the most clever way to operate it would be to position it close to enemy shores. That way, any missiles fired by the submarine would reach their targets within minutes, leaving the opponent with little or no time to respond.
If a Chinese (or Russian) ballistic missile sub were positioned near the US West Coast, its missiles could reach any target within the Continental US within 15 minutes or less, giving the US no time to respond.
Thus, Kristensen’s and Lewis’s lies have once again been debunked.