China Defense Minister Says Nuclear Buildup Is Justified – The Wall Street Journal
China’s defense minister said the country is developing its nuclear arsenal and warned that Beijing would fight to block Taiwanese independence. He also noted that the U.S. strategy in the Asia-Pacific region was pushing the two sides toward confrontation.
Gen. Wei and Mr. Austin met last week before the Shangri-La Dialogue, during which tensions over Taiwan and war in Europe were highlighted. Mr. Wei’s remarks in Singapore were denounced as an attempt at intimidation.
Gen. Wei said U.S. moves in the region could create conflicts by encouraging Asian countries to target China. He also repeated previous assurances that China isn’t providing Russia with any weapons and that China will never use nuclear weapons first.
China’s military modernization and the Dongfeng-41 intercontinental ballistic missile have been a focal point of concern. China has begun to rapidly expand its nuclear arsenal in recent years because it fears the U.S. may challenge it militarily over Taiwan.
China has declined to provide any clarity on its nuclear program and rejected U.S. moves to start arms-control talks. Satellite images suggest more than 100 suspected missile silos in China’s remote western region that could house Dongfeng-41 missiles.
Tensions between Washington and Beijing over the issue of Taiwan flared in May when President Biden said the U.S. military would defend Taiwan if China invaded.
In a meeting on Friday, Mr. Austin told Gen. Wei that U.S. policy toward Taiwan had not changed, but both sides emphasized the need to keep open lines of communication.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- China Defense Minister Says Nuclear Buildup Is Justified The Wall Street Journal
- China blasts US ‘bully’, says it will ‘fight to the end’ for Taiwan CNN
- China Alarms US With Private Warnings to Avoid Taiwan Strait Bloomberg
- China says its new nuclear weapons are only for self-defense Fox News
- China warns Taiwan independence would trigger war – BBC News BBC News
- View Full Coverage on Google News