U.S. Intelligence: China is Now a Major Nuclear Threat

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U.S. Intelligence: China is Now a Major Nuclear Threat

A senior U.S. intelligence analyst has warned that China now holds the world’s largest arsenal of hypersonic missiles with capabilities of hitting U.S. targets with nuclear warheads.

The advances have fueled fears that the U.S. has fallen behind two major adversaries, China and Russia.

However, Pentagon officials told the House panel’s strategic forces subcommittee that it does not intend to equip its planned future hypersonic missiles with nuclear warheads over concerns they would prove strategically destabilizing.

The Washington Times reported:

The hearing on hypersonic missiles revealed that several recent U.S. test failures have left the Pentagon scrambling to catch up to China and Russia in developing and deploying new high-speed missiles that travel faster than Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound.

Jeffrey McCormick, an intelligence analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center, said China “dramatically” tested and built hypersonic missiles over the past two decades for both nuclear and conventional strike systems against the United States and now has “the world’s leading hypersonic arsenal.”

Beijing’s most lethal hypersonic missile is the DF 17, deployed in 2020 and capable of traveling at least 994 miles, “enabling it to reach U.S. military basing and fleet assets in the western Pacific,” he said.

Since 2014, China’s military has conducted multiple tests of intercontinental range hypersonic missiles, including the July 2021 flight test of an orbiting hypersonic weapon.

“China’s investments will enable it to deploy large numbers of hypersonic missiles in line with its plans for building a strong and modernized rocket force,’” Mr. McCormack said.

Beijing also is “actively advancing” powered hypersonic missiles using “scramjet” technology,which will “further expand its hypersonic weapons capability,” Mr. McCormack said.

He added that China flight tested a faster-than-Mach six scramjet-powered missile in its work on heat-resistant materials.

During the hearing, U.S. military officials told the Pentagon that they are speeding up work on hypersonic missiles. However, several test failures have set back the multibillion-dollar weapon program.

“We’ve had some hiccups, and we’re learning from that,” said Vice Adm. Johnny R. Wolfe Jr., director of the Navy’s strategic systems program.

Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn said the development of hypersonic missiles is “one of the most pressing issues for our national defense.”

“China and Russia continue their own program developments at a breathtaking pace,” the Colorado Republican said.

Last October, a Pentagon report on China’s military power revaled it was xceeding previous projections in its build of nuclear wespons.

NBC reported:

The report warned that China may be pursuing a new intercontinental missile system using conventional arms that, if fielded, would allow Beijing “to threaten conventional strikes against targets in the continental United States, Hawaii and Alaska.”

The China report comes a month before an expected meeting between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden on the sidelines of next month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco.

The annual report, required by Congress, is one way the Pentagon measures the growing military capabilities of China, which the U.S. government sees as its key threat in the region and America’s primary long-term security challenge.

Last year’s report warned that Beijing was rapidly modernizing its nuclear force and was on track to nearly quadruple the number of warheads it has to 1,500 by 2035. The United States has 3,750 active nuclear warheads.

The 2023 report finds that Beijing is on pace to field more than 1,000 nuclear warheads by 2030, continuing a rapid modernization aimed at meeting Xi’s goal of having a “world class” military by 2049.

READ: Bill Gates’ Foundation Busted for Paying Millions to China

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