Spy Balloon Threat Pales In Comparison To Chinese Nukes

A report published by The Federalist on Thursday points out a much more dangerous threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) than spy balloons – a quickly growing arsenal of nuclear weapons.

The standard metric analysts use to measure a nation’s capacity to wage nuclear war is its number of nuclear warheads. As of June 2022, China had at least 350 warheads. That number is much smaller than the almost 6,000 possessed by Russia and the 5,500 maintained by the United States. Nevertheless, the Chinese military is building its arsenal at a much faster rate than any other nation.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) reported last year that it believed “China would field a stockpile of about 1,500 warheads by 2035.” Then, just last month, a new report to Congress stated: “The number of land-based fixed and mobile ICBM launchers in China exceeds the number of ICBM launchers in the United States.”

ICBM launchers are designed to deploy intercontinental ballistic missiles at a range of more than 5,000 miles.

The Chinese spy balloon that slowly traversed the continental U.S. last week flew nearby more than 100 American ICBM stations in Montana.

Thursday’s report observed that the CCP is likely taking a cue from Russia on an effective strategy to combat the U.S. and other Western democracies. Seeing that Russia’s nuclear arsenal has deterred the West from becoming directly involved in the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine, the concern is that the CCP will use a similar strategy to impose its will on neighboring Taiwan.

In addition, the CCP’s China Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP), China’s leading nuclear weapons development agency, has acquired American-made microchips on the international market over the last two years. Those U.S. materials have substantially assisted the Chinese in their nuclear weapons research.

Many observers were surprised to learn the CAEP is using American technology in weapons development, especially since the semiconductor chips are on an export restriction list and the CAEP is blacklisted from receiving U.S. technology products.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden has failed miserably in his administration’s feeble efforts to bring China into the New START arms control agreement with Russia. Biden renewed the New START agreement with Russia for five years immediately upon assuming office. The CCP has flatly rejected every invitation the White House has made for it to join the pact.

Russia is reportedly ignoring its obligations under New START by refusing independent inspections of its nuclear arsenal.

The Federalist expressed some optimism that the Chinese spy balloon incident would serve as a “wake-up call” for a dangerously divided America. Unfortunately, the nation may face a dangerous international situation involving Chinese weaponry sooner than it is prepared to handle.