China Ballistic Missiles and Nuclear Arms Thread


bajingan

Junior Member
China's outrageously small nuke arsenal is a historic legacy. China had the capacity to build a reasonable sized arsenal in the 1970's. but Deng saw the nuclear arm race between the US and the Soviet as senseless and madness. he first shut down and dismantled a massive facility in Sichuan which was just completed, later he shut down facilities in Lanzhou and Qinghai, which literally terminated China's nuclear program. the end of the cold war seems vindicated Deng's view, Jiang and Hu never revisited the issue.
If thats true its incredibly short sighted, for Chinese leaders who pride themselves for long term thinking
Did they not foresee the new cold war with the us? Did they underestimated the resolve of the us to use everything on her arsenal to bring down China?
 

Figaro

Junior Member
Registered Member
China's outrageously small nuke arsenal is a historic legacy. China had the capacity to build a reasonable sized arsenal in the 1970's. but Deng saw the nuclear arm race between the US and the Soviet as senseless and madness. he first shut down and dismantled a massive facility in Sichuan which was just completed, later he shut down facilities in Lanzhou and Qinghai, which literally terminated China's nuclear program. the end of the cold war seems vindicated Deng's view, Jiang and Hu never revisited the issue.
That's right. China has ceased the production of plutonium since the late 1980s.
This is simply not true. Here are comments from the director of US STRATCOM Intellgience in 2019. This implies a minimum of roughly 600 Chinese nukes (~300 nukes estimated in 2010) ... likely the real number is closer to 1000. I don't know why people put so much credence in these so-called Chinese nuclear weapons experts who desire to use China as their posterboy for nuclear arms control, even when the truth is obvious. Common sense would dictate that 300 nukes is far too little for a country like China.
China has long had a no-first-use policy, and yet they’ve doubled their nuclear arsenal in about the last decade, and they’re on track to double it again in the next decade,” Brookes said.
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bajingan

Junior Member
I think the russians knows whats up, they already got like 6000 warheads and a struggling economy, but still feel the need to build mad house weapons like status 6 nuclear torpedoes, unlimited range 9M730 Burevestnik cruise missile to deter the us, they know the neocons in the us is as bad as fascist nazi they are just better at hiding it
 

SimaQian

New Member
Registered Member
If thats true its incredibly short sighted, for Chinese leaders who pride themselves for long term thinking
Did they not foresee the new cold war with the us? Did they underestimated the resolve of the us to use everything on her arsenal to bring down China?

Because Deng Xiaoping was a pragmatists. He knew China cannot match the US USSR rivaly back in the 70s. It was enough for Deng to let the world know that China can hit back with nuclear weapons. what was the biggest problem then was how to feed the hungry 1B Chinese at his time.

In fact, in all the high ranking leaders after Mao era, probably only him has foresight that not all aspects of capitalism was bad, and not all aspects of communism is good for China. He tried to innovate. He tried to open up a bit. He mix some dash of capitalism in communism. And it worked. All the successes that we see in China today, is the result of his overarching vision.

Back in the 60s China was so poor, yet the leaders were able to secure China. They prioritize nuke first before food. But after that goal was achieve, the bigger problem was hunger.
 
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Sardaukar20

Junior Member
Registered Member
This is simply not true. Here are comments from the director of US STRATCOM Intellgience in 2019. This implies a minimum of roughly 600 Chinese nukes (~300 nukes estimated in 2010) ... likely the real number is closer to 1000. I don't know why people put so much credence in these so-called Chinese nuclear weapons experts who desire to use China as their posterboy for nuclear arms control, even when the truth is obvious. Common sense would dictate that 300 nukes is far too little for a country like China.

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I really do hope that this is true. That 300+ nuclear weapons stockpile is just not enough in the real world. With the Americans and Indians recently dreaming of a great war with China, this is even more urgent now. 1000 warheads is respectable, but China needs to set a goal for 3000 warheads.

And I think its better for China to not be too humble about its nuclear weapons stockpile. The whole idea of having nukes is nuclear deterrence. For nuclear deterrence to work, your enemies must know that you have the stockpile that can truly annihilate them. Announcing that China has only 300+ warheads, whether true or not is just not going to scare the USA and friends enough to deter war.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
I really do hope that this is true. That 300+ nuclear weapons stockpile is just not enough in the real world. With the Americans and Indians recently dreaming of a great war with China, this is even more urgent now. 1000 warheads is respectable, but China needs to set a goal for 3000 warheads.

And I think its better for China to not be too humble about its nuclear weapons stockpile. The whole idea of having nukes is nuclear deterrence. For nuclear deterrence to work, your enemies must know that you have the stockpile that can truly annihilate them. Announcing that China has only 300+ warheads, whether true or not is just not going to scare the USA and friends enough to deter war.
The best and safest is really going the Russian route of having enough nukes hidden away in many parts of the country so that even after a first strike attempt, there is enough to retaliate where some hidden silos are not destroyed even if all major cities are. The resulting fallout, radiation, and dust from just US's first strike would be enough to kill most of Asia and Middle East if they are throwing all their nukes on China in a sudden and coordinated first strike. Combine China's retaliation strike on the US and Europe, the global population will be reduced significantly and the survivors living in a terrible state for a short and probably unbearable period of time. This should be the minimum deterrence for nuclear weapons. Chemical and biological means of MAD should definitely also be explored by China since it is reacting to overt and unreasonably high levels of aggression from the US these days. None for first use but definitely more than enough for MAD if they decide to perform a first strike and even if they decide to go kinetic and conventional, when China's conventional forces lose, they have the option of destroying US invasion fleets with nukes, if the US want to escalate then with nukes on Chinese cities, we can all go after that.

Even 1000 warheads and a few hundred ICBMs and SLBMs is precarious for China when you consider it is targeted by the entire US and European stockpiles.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
China should honestly revoke the no first use principle or at least change its own stance so that it reserves the right to use nukes against military targets like US invasions on the mainland or islands and their naval fleets. If China has a credible and highly secure (>99% reliable) means of MAD for not just the US but basically every living person on the planet, then China can really use nukes on USN fleets. A conventional war is almost certainly going to favour the US (personal opinion so don't respond) and threatening to use nukes on the remaining US conventional invasion forces will deter them from starting any kinetic war in the first place.

There is no chance the US will go into certain MAD (assuming PRC has reliable MAD) over the loss of even its entire armed forces as long as there is no invasion on the US mainland or serious threat which would push it towards using nukes as well. One can be sure that the US would use nukes against an invading conventional force if its own conventional forces were somehow defeated and its mainland is being invaded. So why shouldn't China do this? Of course China will as well despite what the PRC's laws currently says about nuclear weapons use. That would be the existential threat overcoming the last line. Not using has the exact same effect as using for you (death) but using means killing the opposition and making the posture means deterring the opposition from going down that path. It's all rather simple.

If anyone thinks the US will respond to the use of nukes on just its military while even risking MAD, they need to get their heads checked. It's an impossibility UNLESS the US leadership understands their opponent well and is confident in their ability to prevent retaliation on the US. Or the US actions are not decided by people from and in the US, essentially the US is just the sacrificial lamb but the threat of nuclear fallout affecting them or even landing on them is pretty high still. If the retaliation isn't just a risk but guaranteed beyond reasonable doubt, then there would be only smaller consequences on using nukes against US military forces. The worst retaliation from the US would be a slow and gradual escalation of nuclear attacks starting with US nuclear strikes on Chinese military positions in the ocean/islands which would be fair enough.
 
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ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
Has anyone considered that the NFU policy is a strategic ruse? Just because a country says it has a NFU policy does not mean it cannot launch a first strike.
I think it absolutely is and the whole "only 300 warheads" is also a part of the same structure. The strategic thinking is an old one, where China shows the other powers that it is not a military threat and will "behave" with their nukes unlike other "rogue states" they like to point out such as North Korea, or even Pakistan and India who have in the past worried people in the 90s. Same would apply to potential Iranian nukes (so they must stop them and really anyone else who isn't on their leash).

The truth is the 300 warhead count is from the 2000s and still declared up to around 2010 but more recent estimates are publicly disclosed by the US to be around 600 to 1000. Just based on apparent size and variety of Chinese missiles, the 600 to 1000 count seems to be far more realistic, possibly higher now due to unprecedented levels of threat and the breakdown in relations. Also the escalations happening with India. If it hasn't already been stockpiling for any absolute "worst case scenarios" the CCP certainly is getting to it. The Chinese rumours were talking about (last year and this year) the apparent unwillingness to stockpile significant numbers being attributed to the CCP waiting for next generations of weapons which are soon to be ready or have only become ready recently. There are also other methods of MAD being considered and hedged. The attitude is nuclear weapons, even extremely high yield or small tactical thermonuclear (incl neutron bombs) are "ancient" MAD technologies albeit proven, simple, and reliable. The tone is almost fanboyish when describing how much more capable and superior new generations of weapons are and indeed even non-nuclear MAD. Although there is of course a total absence of evidence and the whole thing is word of mouth rumour spreading.

The nuclear escalation theories are all still built on speculation and conjecture as they range from the very simplistic "you nuke me >0% and I nuke you back 100%" to the escalation chains. I think the true nature of CCP's motivations on their MAD program development relies considers everything and must have redundancies and be fool proof while still holding utility even though the law specifically states otherwise, such as how to respond in case of Indian nuclear attack on PLA positions for example. They obviously need a way to respond and certainly have. The formal posture is now half a century old or older with minimal if any changes. I am confident the US knows better about what the CCP has and how it plans on playing their cards depending on the situation.

As for a SCS war, I doubt the PRC even needs to resort to nukes to make it politically unpalatable for the US. They only need to make the costs prohibitive enough and that is first achieved through US death toll. Although the US does have an appetite for losses and bear them even in recent Middle Eastern wars, if the PLAN can do enough damage, the threat could be more than enough to stop any kinetic action. But you can't rely on one layer of defence and assumption. Say the US miscalculates, CCP would need to meta consider everything and have effective tools and responses for every move and every outcome. But I'm sure it does since it's like 2 hours of work given the intelligence (information) available to the ones in charge.
 

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