China building nuclear missile silo field, scientists say

China building nuclear missile silo field, scientists say
China is said to be growing its still small nuclear arsenal. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: According to US scientists, China is building a nuclear missile silo field in the west of the country.

The report from the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) said that satellite images from Xinjiang province suggest the site could house about 110 silos when it is finished.

US defence officials have expressed their concern about China’s nuclear development.

It is the second new missile silo field reported to be under construction in the western part of China in the last two months.

The Washington Post newspaper reported last month that 120 silos were detected at a site in a desert area in Yumen, in Gansu province.

In its report on Monday, the FAS said that the new site at Hami, about 240 miles north-west of Yumen, was at a much earlier stage of development.

The Pentagon said in 2020 that the Asian nation was set to double its stockpile of nuclear warheads, from a low base.

The news comes as Russia and the United States prepare for arms control talks.

The talks, between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, are being seen as a first step towards reviving stalled negotiations on reducing nuclear arms.

But so far Beijing has not taken part in arms control negotiations.

The US Strategic Command voiced its concern about the report in a tweet.

“This is the second time in two months the public has discovered what we have been saying all along about the growing threat the world faces and the veil of secrecy that surrounds it,” it said.

The missile silo field in Xinjiang province was spotted using commercial satellite imagery, but higher-resolution pictures were later provided by Planet, a satellite imaging company.

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