Oh, great. China is building up their nuclear arsenal further

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

I assume this is all part of that “return to normal international relations” thing we were promised when Joe Biden was sworn in. When it comes to our relationship with China, “normalcy” apparently includes a significant expansion of their tactical weapons inventory. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the Chinese are expanding their arsenal at a rate not seen in many years. In just the past year they have added an additional thirty nuclear warheads and continue to build more and improved ICBMs and other delivery systems. They’ve also significantly beefed up their defense budget. And all of this is happening at a time when tensions between America and China are on the rise with many tense encounters taking place, particularly in the South China Sea. (Free Beacon)

China is expanding its nuclear arsenal as tensions with the United States escalate, according to a report.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a Swedish think tank, reported Monday that Beijing’s nuclear warhead stockpile increased from 320 in 2020 to 350 in 2021. China’s missile buildup comes as its overall defense budget increases rapidly, while its relations with the United States struggle. The People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force, the Chinese military’s nuclear program, is considered among the most advanced and lethal components of Beijing’s military.

The 2022 Chinese defense budget marks a 7 percent hike in known spending—which does not include covert spending through civil-military fusion, a process where Chinese companies share technology and research tools with the Chinese military. The Biden administration, however, has planned for a “flat” Pentagon budget.

Among the newer, more advanced weapons being tested are China’s “Guam killer” missiles, which are reportedly capable of carrying nuclear warheads. (Seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to for an island that might tip over at any moment on its own.) During Senate hearings in March, Pentagon officials conceded that China could reach “nuclear overmatch” with the United States in the next decade.

All of this is unfolding at a time when Joe Biden is looking at a freeze on increases to the military budget going forward. (Defund the Marines?) There’s really no question that China is getting rather defensive about its image on the international stage, or perhaps we should say “even more defensive” and aggressive. The ongoing arguments over the origins of the novel coronavirus have produced increasingly bizarre rhetoric coming out of Beijing. They’re expanding their aircraft carrier capabilities and continuing the development of military outposts on a group of disputed islands in the South China Sea.

At this point, Xi Jinping doesn’t really seem too concerned about what the reaction from Washington might be to any provocations. China has essentially shut down the former government in Hong Kong and is back to rattling sabers toward Taiwan on a daily basis. And really, why would they be worried? I think everyone knows at this point that we’re not about to start a shooting war with either China or Russia unless they fire the first shot. Throwing our weight around in a proxy war in the Middle East or Eastern Europe is one thing. But actually coming to blows with China? It’s clearly not in the cards if it can be avoided.

If that’s the case, however, why bother flushing all of the required cash and resources into upgrading their tactical weapons inventory? To borrow a line from Spies Like Us, a weapon unused is a useless weapon. It’s already suspected that the Chinese have been testing hunter/killer satellites and anti-satellite missiles capable of effectively blinding us in orbit and taking out our GPS systems. It’s getting to the point where I have to wonder whether or not we’re already in a new arms race that could quickly spiral out of control and we’re just not responding to it.