U.S. Strategic Command Adm. Charles Richard issued a series of statements sounding alarms over the pace of development of the Chinese communist regime’s nuclear weapons program.
Richard made the statements during a closed event to which CNN had access. During his speech, he highlighted the regime’s development, stating that it is even greater than that of the United States, which he understood to be a serious and “short-term” problem.
Notably, the admiral is more than an authoritative voice to speak on these matters as he is in charge of overseeing the U.S. nuclear weapons program.
His job is to provide recommendations to the president and the secretary of defense on the military capabilities needed to keep the country safe and meet its strategic objectives.
In an attempt to be graphic about the situation, Richard said, “As I assess our level of deterrence against China, the ship is slowly sinking.” He added, “It is sinking slowly, but it is sinking, as fundamentally they are putting capability in the field faster than we are.”
He also criticized the U.S. military for being overwhelmed by internal bureaucracy.
Without saying so explicitly, yet being very clear with his warning message, Richard made reference to the fact that the Ukraine war could become just the beginning of something much bigger. He said that if that moment comes soon, the United States would not appear to be up to the task.
In addressing the Naval Submarine League Annual Symposium he said, “This Ukraine crisis that we’re in right now, this is just the warmup.”
He added, “The big one is coming. And it isn’t going to be very long before we’re going to get tested in ways that we haven’t been tested a long time.”
Communist regime continues to move forward with nuclear weaponry
As Richard warns of low U.S. investment in nuclear technology and weaponry, extraordinary photographs of the CCP’s military bases in the South China Sea have provided the most detailed view yet of what Xi Jinping has been building, and show them packed with defenses.
The CCP has spent the better part of a decade turning a remote series of atolls and reefs into highly developed military bases that are now equipped with naval guns, anti-aircraft systems, radar arrays, attack ships, and hangars capable of housing dozens of fighters.
According to a U.S. Pentagon report released in November 2021 the estimate, based on the Chinese regime’s rapid modernization of its nuclear strike options and its construction of missile silos, marks a dramatic increase over the projection in the report from the previous reporting period.
At the time, Pentagon officials stressed that there is no doubt about the exponential increase in Chinese nuclear weapons, and that there were no official explanations as to the reasons for such investments.
Of course, the U.S. nuclear arsenal continues to be far superior to China, but specialists are alarmed by China’s unexpected growth and its evident will to surpass Western powers in this respect.
Following the report a study of satellite imagery obtained by an NGO dedicated to curbing the spread of weapons of mass destruction noted that the regime is building more than 100 new silos for intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies is the organization that detected 119 manufacturing sites covering hundreds of square miles in total near the Chinese city of Yuman.
Jeffrey Lewis of the James Martin Center told Foreign Policy on June 30, 2021, that they began the satellite search following a rumor that China was seeking to double its nuclear missile inventory. What they found was a shocking number of them under construction in Yemen and elsewhere, along with underground command bunkers and other infrastructure.
The Chinese regime has shown no interest in joining arms control negotiations. Various Republican officials expressed to President Biden their concern about China’s rapid nuclear buildup, as well as the CCP’s unwillingness to engage with the U.S. to negotiate honestly on arms control.
Concurrently, during September 2022, a revealing private intelligence report released by Strider Technologies indicated that at least 154 Chinese scientists who worked on U.S. government-sponsored research at the country’s top national security laboratory have been recruited to perform scientific work in China associated with the design and manufacture of nuclear weapons. This is considered a high national security risk.
The report claims that the Chinese regime has carried out a systematic effort to place Chinese scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the United States, where the first nuclear weapons in history were designed.
Most of these Chinese scientists who have managed to get to work in the laboratory in question, after some time have resigned and returned to work for Chinese laboratories, many of which are known to have close relations with the communist regime and its military apparatus.
Against this backdrop of disquiet and concern over China’s ambitious expansion of its nuclear arsenal modernization, Washington is calling for talks with the CCP at the same time that its legislators are demanding that the Pentagon take steps to counter the Chinese advance.