Billingslea’s efforts are part of a broader push by the Trump administration, which asserts its view that China, rather than Russia, poses the greatest threat to US national security, especially after the Covid-1
The Obama administration argued that China’s efforts to scale up mean that the United States and its allies must take preemptive defense actions, including the deployment of more missile defense systems to counter the thousands of missiles that China is said to be building. The US government also argued that China’s nuclear expansion legitimized the expansion of its own deep strike capabilities, thereby pushing back China’s missile battalion.
“Unlike the United States and Russia, our nuclear weapons programs are completely different in function and characteristics-whether this particular reactor is for military or civilian purposes, and China mixes everything together. Therefore, all of their civilian use Nuclear programs are all under the same conditions. Chinese Communist Party enterprises,” a senior government official told CNN.
They pointed out that the Chinese “have a doctrine called military-civilian integration, which says that any civilian company should provide military application technology to the party. This is a shocking thing.”
U.S. shows satellite imagery to allies
In the process of conveying information to NATO allies, Billingsley displayed a series of satellite images depicting the expansion of China’s nuclear program over the past decade. The images reviewed by CNN are not particularly enlightening, nor do they provide any new information that may affect allies who are unwilling to follow China in its nuclear program.
Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asian Non-Proliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said: “This is not a secret.” “The work of Jiuquan and Jintai is part of China’s plan to recover s from its civilian nuclear reactors. China has already Announcing this work publicly…Although this could be used to make nuclear weapons, the United States and other nuclear nations will refrain from using civilian reactors because it is undesirable in many ways.”
Mianyang-Billingslea (Billingslea) emphasized one of the locations when introducing NATO allies to the place where China designed nuclear weapons. Lewis added that it is no secret that China, like the United States, Russia, and other nuclear-weapon states, has a powerful simulation program that can maintain its stockpiles without testing.
A NATO spokesperson declined to comment on the meeting. A senior official with a NATO member state told CNN, “Obviously we are all paying attention to this,” but he said that the meeting ended without a clear US request or action plan.
Despite the progress made in reducing nuclear arsenals during the Cold War, the world’s total inventory of nuclear warheads is still at a very high level, although the number is decreasing. Russia and the United States have approximately 91% of nuclear warheads, and Russia and the United States each have approximately 4,000 warheads in their military reserves.
In other words, the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom are reducing their total warhead inventory, France and Israel have relatively stable inventories, while China, Pakistan, India, and North Korea are increasing the number of warheads they own. American scientist. This is particularly disturbing for Washington and other allies who have seen an increase in border disputes between China, India and Pakistan.
The Pentagon lists China’s warhead inventory as “low 200,” although since the Pentagon’s latest estimate from 2019 only includes “combat” warheads, this number is considered higher. In contrast, Russia’s total inventory is believed to exceed 6,000 warheads, while the United States currently has only 5,800 warheads.
Billingslea has made outreach efforts to China on its nuclear program, but the Chinese have not responded, and their enthusiasm for nuclear negotiations with the United States or Russia is very small. All the while, in recent weeks, with the expiration of the new “START” agreement aimed at reducing the risk of war between Russia and the West in February 2021, progress has been made in efforts to encourage Russians to participate in arms control discussions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump’s democracy challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, both said they wanted to expand the treaty. However, Trump stated that he would only agree to an extension if both parties also agreed to freeze all warhead inventories. Putin said he would consider freezing all warhead stocks, although officials said it is not yet clear how sincere he is with this promise.
The United States has previously proposed that Russia sign a presidential memorandum, which will become the blueprint for the next comprehensive agreement and cover the United States’ concerns, including China’s nuclear potential and Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons.
Ryan Browne of CNN contributed to this report.