China Testing Submarine-Launched Missile Capable of Striking US Mainland with Nukes
There could be a new Cold War brewing — but this time, the nation steadily squaring off to counter the United States isn’t Russia. It’s China.
This week, outlets including The Washington Free Beacon broke the news that China has successfully tested a new and potentially lethal missile which can be launched from submarines hiding under the ocean’s surface.
Sub-launched ballistic missiles certainly aren’t new, but this was a major leap for the Asian country. Defense experts in America believe that China’s new missile is perfectly capable of carrying nuclear warheads and reaching the United States.
“The launch in late November was the first time the Chinese military flight tested the Julong-3, or JL-3 missile that will be deployed with the next generation of ballistic missile submarines,” Free Beacon reported. “Julong is Chinese for Big Wave.”
Top brass at the Pentagon are staying close-lipped about the long-range missile test. “The Pentagon will not comment on the intelligence related to Chinese missile tests,” stated Lt. Col. Chris Logan.
However, it is believed by officials familiar with the test that the U.S. government was able to detect when the missile was launched and track it.
Many major countries test military hardware including missiles fairly frequently. One test by itself is not particularly alarming, but the latest move could be part of a larger — and potentially conflict-provoking — strategy by China to stretch its military muscles.
“The flight test is a significant milestone for the Chinese strategic nuclear forces buildup—the most lethal component of Beijing’s large-scale military modernization program,” Free Beacon explained.
“In June, Chinese leader Xi Jinping visited a submarine base and announced that nuclear submarines are the country’s key weapons systems and being upgraded rapidly,” the news outlet continued.
Indeed, the Communist Chinese leader Xi seemed to strongly endorse military buildup during a speech earlier this year.
“As a nation’s ultimate instrument, submarines shall see great developments,” Xi said. “Our seaborne nuclear forces need to advance by leaps and bounds. We pin our hopes of development and advancement on your era so that our navy and our submarine forces shall have a rapid rise.”
The combination of long-range nuclear capable missiles and modern submarines means that China is serious about its place as a major player in the 21st century, and that’s something the United States must carefully consider.
“This missile will, for the first time, allow Chinese SSBNs to target portions of the United States from operating areas located near the Chinese coast,” a National Air and Space Intelligence Center report explained.
Americans often shrug off the military advancements of other countries, and take the U.S.’s superiority as granted. This isn’t entirely wrong — as one look at Pentagon spending shows — but it would be naive to ignore the rapidly-increasing capabilities and ambitions of nations like China.
While China has a long way to go, its leaders are clearly serious about making rapid progress. The last ten years have shown great leaps for that country and other previously underdog countries in Asia.
The next several decades can be times of great peace and prosperity, or an era of 1960’s-like conflict and fear. How we prepare for future scenarios and position ourselves in the world matters, and will shape the next century.
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