China Is Building A 2nd Base For Nuclear Missiles- Warn US Scientists

 Analysts at the Federation of American Scientists say China is building a second field of silos for launching nuclear missiles in a development that could constitute “the most significant expansion of the Chinese nuclear arsenal ever”. The United States-based researchers made the discovery after analysing commercial satellite images, and said on Monday that the field – located near the city of Hami in Xinjiang province – may eventually include about 110 silos.

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The new field is about 380km (236 miles) from a base near the city of Yumen in neighbouring Gansu province, where a separate group of researchers earlier this month found construction under way on 120 missile silos. Altogether, the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force now appears to have 250 silos under construction at Hami, Yumen, as well as at a training ground near the city of Jilantai in Inner Mongolia, wrote the FAS’s Matt Korda and Hans Kristensen.

China’s state-run Global Times newspaper earlier this month pointed out that the US has repeatedly raised these issues based on speculative information. ”Their purpose is obvious: to exert public opinion pressure on China’s nuclear deterrence building and force China to respond to their speculation. They aim to hamper China’s nuclear capacity building by making an issue of it and putting China in a passive position to defend itself,” it said on July 2.
But the FAS report commented that the silo construction at Yumen and Hami constitutes the most significant expansion of the Chinese nuclear arsenal ever. China has for decades operated about 20 silos for liquid-fuel DF-5 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).
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With 120 silos under construction at Yumen, another 110 silos at Hami, a dozen silos at Jilantai, and possibly more silos being added in existing DF-5 deployment areas, the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) appears to have approximately 250 silos under construction – more than ten times the number of ICBM silos in operation today, the report said.
In a statement provided to CNN, a US State Department spokesperson described the apparent buildup as “deeply concerning,” noting that it raised questions as to China’s true intent. “Despite the PRC’s obfuscation, this rapid build-up has become more difficult to hide and highlights how China is deviating from decades of nuclear strategy based around minimum deterrence,” said the spokesperson, referring to China by the acronym for its official name, the People’s Republic of China.
“These advances highlight why it is in everyone’s interest that nuclear powers talk to one another directly about reducing nuclear dangers and avoiding miscalculation,” the spokesperson added.

(With Inputs From Agencies)

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