China Ballistic Missiles and Nuclear Arms Thread


Temstar

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Here's an interesting piece:
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This bit I find pretty interesting:
“In the past, I’ve said that in 2019 China launched 225 ballistic missiles. That is a huge number, more than the rest of the world combined,” said Mr. Billingslea, the arms envoy. “The same was true in 2018,” he said. “As of October of this year, even with COVID-19, China has shot off 180 ballistic missiles.”

My understanding is DF-11 and DF-15 are approaching end of life and PLARF is letting them loose in exercises like fireworks to use up the stockpile. This yearly number should also give you some idea on the minimum numbers of new missiles being added to PLARF stockpile.
 

totenchan

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Here's an interesting piece:
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This bit I find pretty interesting:


My understanding is DF-11 and DF-15 are approaching end of life and PLARF is letting them loose in exercises like fireworks to use up the stockpile. This yearly number should also give you some idea on the minimum numbers of new missiles being added to PLARF stockpile.
Before you go and take this piece seriously, here's the CNN piece from last month about the same slides:
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"The images, reviewed by CNN, were not particularly revelatory, nor did they offer any new information that might sway allies reluctant to go after China for its nuclear program."
"It is no great secret," said Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. "The work at Jiuquan and Jintai is part of China's program to recycle plutonium from its civilian nuclear reactors. China has announced this work publicly...While this plutonium could be used to make a nuclear weapon, the United States and other nuclear states would not use plutonium produced in civilian reactors because it is undesirable in a number of ways."
" Mianyang -- one of the sites highlighted in Billingslea's presentation to NATO allies, is where China designs its nuclear weapons. Like the US, Russia and other nuclear-weapons states, China has a robust simulation program to sustain its stockpile without testing, and it makes no secret about that, Lewis added. "

Billingslea is a clown, always will be. The "secretive crash nuclear buildup" and "great wall of secrecy" are meaningless buzzwords he's using to try and bully China into joining arms control, and to fearmonger and build anti-China sentiment. Please don't take anything he says seriously. And please don't make the mistake of thinking that more nuclear weapons means that China is stronger. That is never the case.
 

ougoah

Major
Registered Member
Guys most of China's nuclear response material won't survive a surprise first strike. A surprise first strike is intended to cover the nation, even the hardiest of tunnels will barely support any remaining ICBMs into a proper position of responding. These can fail and get intercepted. The last hope would be a puny six Type 094 submarines carrying a maximum of twelve JL-2 missiles each giving us a total of a maximum 72 SLBMs carrying MIRV/MaRV and decoys. Comparing the relative nuclear stockpiles (including delivery) the US is incomparable to China's yet the economic difference is almost negligible and the population difference is huge. I think China justifiably should have a nuclear force several times bigger than what it currently has (assuming 1000 warheads and hinted number of long range ballistic missiles).

So 300 warheads being even smaller than that assumption is just too risky and quite unlikely to be the truth. It is still kept ambiguous or suggested as anything more than this for purely political reasons.

To totenchan,

Late reply, sorry

1. Because it's basically impossible to hide missile defense tests, for the same reason it's impossible to hide missile or rocket tests. Therefore, we at least have a good idea of what the TESTED capabilities are for American missile defense, and it's not particularly impressive. However, if it's demonstrated that American missile defense becomes an actual threat to a successful second strike, it would justify an expansion of the Chinese warhead stockpile. This hasn't happened yet though. As for the uncertainty regarding a successful Chinese second strike being "not good enough," I think you should consider the perspective of the American leadership. Because they are basically always to be the attacker, consider: to American leadership, is missile defense that has never been tested against sophisticated targets "good enough" to justify a first strike? The answer, in my opinion, is sure to be no.

I think there is enough unknown to keep this point uncertain.

2. If we assume that US leaders aren't rational actors, then the whole paradigm of MAD goes out the window anyways. What's to stop them from just nuking China, consequences be damned, in that case?

No this isn't true at all because to answer your question of what's to stop them? Well if China had 1000 warheads and the means of delivery, that's exactly what's stopping them even stopping the nutjobs. Irrational actors are stopped by this firstly and if they fail to stop them, then returning destruction is at least warranted is it not? It's not a matter a deterrence anymore beyond that point but revenge. Would you personally not seek revenge if you are killed? That's where this point has gone. You're already killed by the irrational actor. Your deterrence has failed at this point. So do you take revenge or not? Personal matter of course but the fair assumption for any state is they do ensure mutual destruction.

3. I don't really agree with holding Western Europe responsible, and I feel like the scenario you described doesn't really reflect reality.

We disagree here then. I think I've more than explained my reasoning from a rational basis. It's not even about killing or revenge here but principle. Russia and US both insist on keeping enough warheads and missiles around to cover their allies as well many times over.

4. Neither survivable second strike nor a disarming first strike has been tested, and I dearly hope it stays that way. Both are totally theoretical, and that's not an issue, and should remain the norm for nuclear issues.

Exactly. Which means survivable second strike is not an option to even consider relying for your nation's existence. This has always been my point on the topic of survivable second strike.

5. The difference between a first strike and a second strike is that the first strike needs missiles to take out the enemy's missile silos and C4 infrastructure. A second strike does not. I don't think you quite realize how damaging arms races are. The main benefit of a no-first-use policy is in fact that you aren't obligated to match the number of nukes to your opponents. What happened in the Cold War was grotesque, and China rightfully wants nothing to do with it.

Very true. But China has not even touched that level of militarisation. China is running at 10% (arbitrarily low estimate) of Cold War build up and arms race.

Also second strike I'm assuming for China should involve destroying all of the western world if it is hit with a surprise first strike. Maybe you think taking out New York and a few US cities is enough payback for China being hit with 5000 nukes. But I'd like China to hit back at Europe and US with at least 1000 warheads to ensure all life is ended there as it is ended in China. That's fair. To achieve this, I personally consider a minimum of 1000 warheads is required due to the points explored previously.

6. 1000 stockpiles is the number I've seen floating around on weibo that people think the stockpile should increase to, I believe it was first floated by the editor-in-chief of the Global Times. He's no nuclear expert, and
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<-here's a good piece rebutting it. For the record, I do consider the US and Russian stockpiles criminally unholy, and I sincerely wish that China never joins them down that path. China's nuclear weapons are a deterrent, and you do not need many weapons as a deterrent. Even if China is beset on all sides by enemies, I don't see any evidence that those enemies will be able to stop a Chinese nuclear response, even if China's stockpiles remain low. China has rightfully invested much into delivery systems, and that's where the money should be focused, not building more warheads.

Sure all that. Don't disagree with it and the details really matter here. But again rehashing the old points would suggest 300 warheads or thereabouts may be extremely risky to place your survival on.
 

ILikeChina

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Here's an interesting piece:
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This bit I find pretty interesting:


My understanding is DF-11 and DF-15 are approaching end of life and PLARF is letting them loose in exercises like fireworks to use up the stockpile. This yearly number should also give you some idea on the minimum numbers of new missiles being added to PLARF stockpile.
1606307043107.png

Allegedly DF-17 is cheap. Most likely they will replace older short to medium-range missiles.

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Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
Now anyone still doubt that china does not have constant surveillance around her perimeter should read this article in East pendulum. the Yaogan series of satellite is complete now
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The Yaogan-30 constellation has already been the subject of two
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, but this should be the last: Following the launch of the seventh trio of satellites, the constellation now has six orbital planes distributed evenly. It has therefore reached its full capacity and its final form.
1606308590763.png
The six orbital planes of the constellation
Having only six orbital planes with seven launches may seem odd. As pointed out in a
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, the third and fourth launches injected their satellites into the same orbital plane, and created a "train" of five satellites which follow each other very closely. This makes it possible to have an extremely high revisiting rate when this train passes over a region of interest.


Blanket
Speaking of coverage, let's take a look at what the constellation can do. Given its inclination, it is optimized to observe the environment near China, in particular the approaches to its Pacific coast. Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is therefore a very representative area of interest, especially since the recent rearmament efforts of the Republic of China with the United States have heightened tensions in the region.

Based on the 3D models of the satellites that Chinese TV broadcast, they don't seem to carry radar or imaging systems, so they are probably used for electronic intelligence, possibly with a communications function as well. These types of sensors generally need to see their target at an angle of incidence of at least 5 °. Based on this assumption, we can calculate Taipei's coverage over a 24-hour period:
1606308717076.png

We see that the coverage is almost constant, with the longest interruption lasting around 30 minutes, and most of the interruptions lasting 10 minutes every half hour. The following video shows satellite position and coverage opportunities (in the form of a purple link between the satellite and the ground):


However, if we assume that the satellites carry an imaging payload, then the constraints on the angle of incidence are greater, which reduces the coverage. By taking 30 ° as the minimum angle of incidence, it then becomes:
1606308961977.png

In cyan, the periods of coverage.


The result is much more sparse, which is quite logical because each satellite must be much higher above the horizon to take an image. However, there is still a very high revisit rate with imaging opportunities every 30 minutes. This allows for near-permanent coverage, and would give China the ability to track the mobile military assets of its adversaries, such as missile batteries or ships.


Plans for the future
This revisit rate is already the highest among all known constellations in China or elsewhere, but the middle country does not intend to stop there, as academician Li Deren explains in a
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:

“The first step is to provide local (local) coverage from the South China Sea to the North China region . This requires around 20 remote sensing satellites and 1 to 3 communication satellites in geostationary orbit to achieve a time resolution of 15 minutes. High-resolution target images and sub-meter navigation and positioning accuracy are sent to users' mobile phones and other smart terminals;

The second step is regional coverage of China and neighboring countries along the Belt and Road. This requires a hundred remote sensing satellites. Among them, half of the remote sensing satellites are optical satellites and the other half are radar satellites to ensure the broadcasting of images by day and night, plus 150 communication satellites;

The third stage is global . To achieve a worldwide service, it is estimated that 200 remote sensing and 300 communication satellites will be required. The service index is the time resolution of 5 minutes, that is, the required image target is found within 5 minutes, the resolution and navigation accuracy reach 0.5m, and the time In-orbit processing and communication time is less than 1 minute before being delivered to the user's mobile phone. "


Yaogan-30 is the first step, with 21 satellites optimized for the Chinese coastline. However, it does not hit a revisit every 15 minutes, so Mr. Deren may be talking about another constellation that will be launching in the near future. The use of geostationary satellites as relays, in order to minimize the latency of the system, can however already be implemented on Yaogan-30.

Li Deren also explains that future developments will bring together the traditionally separate functions of communication, Earth observation and positioning in a single system, and that the data will be sent directly to end-user phones to minimize latency and maximize their impact:

" The perceived data will be intelligently processed to provide users with the function of PNTRC, P representing the position, N the navigation route, T the time, R the remote sensing image [Remote sensing in English], and C the communication, c ' that is, this information can be sent to the receiving device in your hand. "

This plan looks like two drops of water to the American ambitions to equip itself with a multi-layered military constellation to ensure communications, anti-ballistic missile warning and Earth observation. Giv
en the extent of Chinese investments in the field, we must not doubt that they will manage to develop an equivalent system, and that therefore we have not finished hearing about large constellations of Chinese satellites.
 

Sardaukar20

Junior Member
Registered Member
That would actually be intense overkill. 5000 warheads can basically cover the Earth more than once which is what Russia and US consider enough to have the desired effect of holding other powers to a certain limit. I'd think even 5000 warheads is too much seeing as China should have no desire to land nukes on Africa, south America, central Asia, Russia, or the Middle East. 1000 to 2000 warheads should be enough to have minimum security against US and western Europe and even against prolific and effective BMD, it's enough to make their leaders think twice about kinetic war.

Given the assumed and hinted numbers of Chinese ballistic missiles, nuclear capable cruise missiles, and SLBM + SSBN in service and being developed/built, 1000 to 2000 warheads seems about right.
Agreed. At the very least, China would need 1000 warheads. Nukes are not as strong as in the movies. A couple of MIRVed 100kT warheads is more effective than a single 1MT warhead. In strategic nuclear exchange, one major city would require up to a dozen 100kT warheads to effectively destroy. Additionally, BMD interceptions are gonna be far less effective on MIRVs than unitary warheads. So considering China might need 8-12 warheads for a major city like NYC or Washington DC. That gives China roughly 30-37 'shots' at cities, bases, etc. That's even assuming that no warheads are intercepted. And that all warheads are effective (i.e. no fizzle, missed shots, or failed detonation). Realistically, there would be hundreds of targets in the US mainland alone. So China has zero margin for error. That's not a comfortable position to be in if you rely on on the deterrence effect of MAD.

We have not even talked about US assets nearer to China that have nukes stationed there (like B61 bombs, nuclear tipped CMs). Like Guam, Okinawa, Yokosuka, and the various CBGs deployed near China. I suspect these would be priority targets too. It is very much in the US favor launch nuclear strikes from bases in Japan and Guam. Apart from the Ohio's, which are untouchable from China's nuclear force anyway. Then there are US's friends GB and France. If they join the US to nuke China, that'll be many more targets to hit back.

Also, considering Indian hostility to China. We should not rule out India launching some nuclear pot shots at China when USA and NATO are busy unloading their nukes on China. It is not beyond Indian leaders to take such a great opportunity to launch a genocidal backstab on China. China should not rely on Pakistan to retaliate on it's behalf. Pakistan has no obligation to do so, if its not nuked by India first. So China might need to consider reserving around 200 warheads just for India alone.

Unlike NATO, Japan, and SK, who has USA's nuclear umbrella protection. China has no nuclear umbrella protection from Russia. It is the nature of China-Russia relationship. It is just not a formal alliance. So if you're the USA, when you have parked so many THAAD, and SM3s between China and yourself. Plus you have 5000 warheads to spare vs China's puny arsenal of 300 warheads. Add in there defense analysts who write that nuclear war vs China is winnable. People like Steve Bannon, Tom Cotton, etc whispering in your ear. Why won't you fancy your chances?

Right now its very fortunate for China that even with the current US administration, the US is not yet crazy enough to go all out WWIII. But we don't know what a declining and desperate USA might do in the coming decades. So for the Chinese people (and everyone else) to sleep easy, China needs at least 1000 warheads. 2000-3000 warheads will give even better peace of mind. I understand that some people would be very uncomfortable with China having more nukes. Yes, China should want peace, but it cannot be stupid too. You cannot deter an evil bully who have shot people with just one revolver, when he has a collection of assault rifles. He won't care if you hate guns.
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
The only western observer who was allowed to visit and see Chinese nuclear facilities is Dr Stillman from Los Alamos laboratory and He confirmed Chinese primary fissile material is U 235 and not plutonium Their main facility is Mianyang and some of the facility is underground
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Inside China's Nuclear Weapons Program
Dan Stillman
Retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory

October 10, 2001​

This presentation is based on nine trips to nuclear weapon facilities in China during the 1990s that are described in a book currently undergoing security review by the government. The purpose of the book is to record for historical purposes my unique travels and experiences in China during the last few years of China's underground nuclear weapons testing, China's entry into a moratorium on nuclear weapons testing, the aftermath of the US bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and the release of the Cox Committee report on Chinese nuclear weapons espionage.

On my visits to China, I gathered information on the names and locations of Chinese nuclear weapon facilities, descriptions of the main activities at these facilities, and the known interactions between facilities. I was hosted by the director of the China Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP), China's main nuclear weapon organization, and visited all of China's nuclear weapons laboratories with the exception of their equivalent of PANTEX, the US facility that assembles US nuclear weapons.

My first introduction to Chinese nuclear weapon scientists was in June 1988 when I met Professor Yang Fujia then director of the Shanghai Institute of Nuclear Research. I expressed an interest in whether China had a Prompt Burst Reactor (PRB), a reactor of the type that I had helped design for the United States. After he showed me the location of the Chinese PRB on a map I asked if I could visit the facility. He replied "sure" and told me to send a resume and a list of other facilities that I would want to visit. The trip was scheduled for September and October of 1989 but was canceled following the events in Tiananmen Square in June 1989. In 1990, Yang Fujia renewed the invitation for a visit in April.

I visited China with my deputy and we were the first American visitors to these nuclear weapon facilities. The visit provided a unique opportunity to gather insights into the Chinese nuclear weapons complex. The Chinese inquired about nuclear verification measures, nuclear effects data, diagnostic techniques, and arms control issues but did not inquire about specific American nuclear weapons, components or materials. All of the information we provided our Chinese hosts was based on public information in the form of brochures, press releases, or technical reports.

On this trip and subsequent visits, I visited virtually all of China's nuclear weapons laboratories. In Shanghai, I visited Fudan University and the Shanghai Institute of Nuclear Research, where work was conducted on neutron initiators and sources. In Mianyang, near Chengdu, I visited the headquarters of the CAEP, which is China's equivalent to our Los Alamos, Sandia, and Lawrence Livermore nuclear laboratories and is composed (at that time) of twelve institutes. These institutes are responsible for research on applied electronics, nuclear physics and chemistry, fluid physics, structural mechanics, chemical materials, electronic engineering, and computing applications.

I also visited the Northwest Institute of Nuclear Technology (NINT), which designed and produced diagnostic equipment to monitor nuclear weapon tests, assembled the instrumentation trailers used in each test, and conducted radiochemical analysis after the test to determine the yield of the explosion. I also traveled to Malan in northwest China, where their nuclear weapon tests were conducted. China's nuclear weapons test site is seven times bigger than the Nevada Test Site and was manned by 2,000 Chinese military and 8,000 civilian personnel. The Chinese provided me with a tour of several vertical hole test sites and I was able to walk into a tunnel that they had previously used for a horizontal test. I was told that China's first seven nuclear weapon tests all used highly enriched uranium (93.5% U-235) as primaries because the Soviets had pulled their support for China's plutonium production reactor. China's third test was China's first use of thermonuclear material. By the sixth test, China had developed a thermonuclear weapon with a yield of 3.3 megatons. My trip to this facility was unique: more Americans have walked on the Moon than on China's nuclear weapons test site.

In Beijing, I met with Chinese nuclear weapon designers who worked for the Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics. China's nuclear weapons are not designed to be one-point safe like American weapons. (One-point safe means there is only one in a million chances of exceeding greater than four pounds of high explosive equivalent yield.) Since their nuclear weapons are not one-point safe, excess amounts of fissile material can be used in the weapon to ensure that they will work properly.

My visits to China allowed me to be an eyewitness to the Chinese nuclear weapon establishment from its original concept to its final test. The information I received was remarkably detailed and it was provided without any apparent reservations. My hosts told me of their methods, achievements, failures, and future plans. China's nuclear weapon scientists are eager to cooperate with their American colleagues, but the China Lab-to-Lab program was halted by the Department of Energy after the Cox report and the US bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. In my opinion, the failure to cultivate relations with these Chinese scientists is a mistake. The information the Chinese scientists willingly gave to me and my fellow travelers would have cost the government several millions of dollars to collect by traditional intelligence methods. There is no substitute for having been there, seen it and touched it.

Dan B. Stillman worked for 32 years at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, and the Nevada Test Site. Since April 1990, he has made ten extended trips to China to visit nuclear weapons laboratories in Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, and Mianyang, as well as the Chinese nuclear test site near Malan.
 

Insignius

Junior Member
China definitely needs more nukes. With these little amount of nukes, no proper war-fighting can be done. Imagine China managing to sink an US carrier during the war over Taiwan and the US answers with nukes against Chinese military bases while telling China to suck it and not even think about nuclear retaliation or Beijing, Shanghai and the Three Gorges Dam will be next... What can China do to prevent that with their puny nuclear arsenal?

If you have fewer nukes than your enemy, he has total control over the escalational spiral and can conduct strikes on you with impunity while forcing you to stand down, since you know that your nuclear retaliation will be disarmed, intercepted and retaliated against hundred times over. It's like rape at gunpoint, at which point the victim decides to just take and suffer the rape in order to not get her head blown off.
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
Here is the origin of "now famous 300 warhead" see it is just estimate
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Based on Gregory Kulacki estimate
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Mianyang city of Bomb
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On 16 October 1964 China exploded its first nuclear device. [1] China has since consistently asserted that its
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is based on the concept of no-
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, and Chinese military leaders have characterized the country's nuclear weapons as a minimum deterrent against nuclear attacks. [2] Although the exact size of China's nuclear stockpile has not been publicly disclosed, reports indicate that as of 2011 China has produced a total of 200 to 300 nuclear warheads. [3] ] In 2015, Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen estimated the size of China's current nuclear stockpile to be approximately 260 warheads and slowly increasing. [4] Roughly 190 of these warheads are currently considered operational. [5]

Since the inception of its nuclear weapons program, China has relied on a mixture of foreign and indigenous inputs to steadily develop and modernize its nuclear arsenal from its first implosion device to the development of
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in the 1980s. [6] As a result, The Federation of American Scientists assesses China to have at least six different types of nuclear payload assemblies: a 15-40
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; a 20 kt missile warhead; a 3
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missile warhead; a 3 mt thermonuclear gravity bomb; a 4-5 mt missile warhead; and a 200-300 kt missile warhead. China is thought to possess a total of some 150 tactical nuclear warheads on its short-range ballistic, and possibly
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. [7]
 
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Sardaukar20

Junior Member
Registered Member
1. 10 is in the animation but basic measurements make it extremely obvious that ten is completely unrealistic, at least for the DF-41. The measurements for the DF-5 could probably fit that many. Decoy balloons are inferior to decoy reentry vehicles, and are easier to discriminate. That said, why can it only be one or the other? Why not both?

Why is 10 MIRV on the DF-41 not realistic? Do you know the dimensions of each MIRV? The Trident II missile could fit up to 14 x W76 warheads each. And that is a relatively smaller missile than the DF-41.

Decoy balloons are designed to mimic nuclear warheads in space. In the mid-course phase, which is in space, these balloons travel at the same speed as the other warheads. So to the radars and thermal detectors on the ground or in space, this complicates the targeting procedure. They would have to calculate the trajectory of the warheads during this slim window of the mid course phase. So, once the warheads start the terminal phase, and if their trajectory is miscalculated. It will be virtually impossible to stop them anymore. So yeah, the balloons do work. They are called penetration aid by weapons designers far smarter than most of us.

Are there actual decoy warheads? Yes, they are part of the family of penetration aids.

2. If it's a surprise first strike with only SLBM? That's not nearly enough for counter-value. Intermediate range ballistic missiles in Korea and Japan? THE USA DOES NOT HAVE ANY. Cruise missiles? How close do you think Japan and Korea are? Do the math. You think you're gonna ensure counter-value with Tomahawks? This isn't even taking into consideration that the US does not station nukes in either Korea or Japan. The US may have thousands of nukes, but they do not in fact have perfect intelligence. If you assume that the US can nuke every single tunnel with no failures and perfect accuracy, no number of extra warheads saves China.
One Ohio-class carries 24 x Trident II SLBMs. Each Trident II can carry 8-14 x warheads. That makes it 192 warheads per Ohio-class boat. The US has 14 x Ohio-class boats for SSBN duty. So lets be conservative and assume the US is still obeying the START treaty. Let it be 20 missiles per Ohio boat with 8 warheads per missile. The USN could spare 2 Ohio boats sitting in the Pacific to put 320 warheads on China (that's a little more than the entire assumed Chinese nuclear stockpile of 300). What if the US fancies to add more Ohio boats to the task?

We cannot be naive to assume that the US never stations nukes on Japan, South Korea, and Guam. The US have never officially confirmed or denied this. And why shouldn't the US put them there? There are 3 nuclear enemies sitting close by: China, North Korea, and Russia. Is nuclear Tomahawk and ALCMs beyond the capabilities of the USA? Especially with their withdrawal from the INF treaty? The nuclear Tomahawks could be launched by Ohio-class SSGNs, and Virginia-class SSNs hiding in the seas near China. The ALCMs could be launched by the assortments of B-52s, B-1s, and B-2s that could deploy at Guam at anytime. Then each air base and aircraft carrier has its own stocks of B61 bombs.

3. Do you think the fucking "hegemon" stays a "hegemon" without an economy? It takes ten nukes to take out a third of the US's economic potential, likely for good. If China is nuked, the US will never be relevant ever again, even if it doesn't expand it's stockpile to stupid numbers. Do you want China to arms race with the US? Do you think it's a good thing that the US's defense budget is swollen and drains the entire national budget? Do you think spending all of China's treasury on pursing pointless nukes is smart? China can become a great country where people are happy, things are convenient, and people feel safe. If China spends so much money and human capital trying to arms race with the US, being any of these things becomes extremely difficult. Let the Russians and Americans play with their nuclear toys. China can avoid the pitfalls they've fallen into.

I have to disagree here. A bankrupt hegemon will do very well when its no.1 economic adversary is dead and gone. The next economic competitors, Japan, Germany, UK, India, France, etc. are either vassals or friends. Russia is no economic challenger to the US. Especially not with China gone. A bankrupt USA will continue to be no.1 in a no-China bankrupt world. Crazy you say? I don't think Steve Bannon, Tom Cotton, or Donald Trump would think so. The US could put 1000 warheads on China, and still have plenty to spare for Russia.

I strongly disagree that nukes serves no purpose for China. If China focuses mainly on economic development and ignores pressing defence matters. This is the same mistake that the Qing dynasty made right before the Century of Humiliation. "All is fine in China, let the barbarians play with their superior toys." That is until these barbarians started to use these toys on China. With these toys, they can dictate economic terms with China, push Opium into China, and take territories from China. In the context of the 21st century, the USA could wipe China off the map for the price of some millions of dead Americans and a bankrupt economy. Economies can return, the dead don't. Now that's absolute power.

So no, nukes do matter for China. If China have the ability to wipe the USA and friends of the map like what Russia can do. Then that would help to eliminate any American wet dream of winning a nuke fight with China. Today, we have an increasingly irrational crowd of USA and friends. So nukes are the best guarantor of peace and continued prosperity for China. If the US and friends are too insane and would nuke China anyways, then China shall have its ultimate revenge. To deny them an ultimate victory over China.
 
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