Is China Leading a New Nuclear Arms Race?
EUROHenke Euro Wednesday 01st March 2023 04:34 PM REPORT
Fears of a new nuclear arms race similar to the Cold War are mounting now that China is apparently importing Russian uranium.
Why is this important?
Nuclear weapons are so dangerous that they are capable of destroying our planet. During the Cold War, the two strongest states continued to develop these weapons and there was an arms race. Given the danger of this, nuclear powers decided to conclude treaties with each other to limit and reduce nuclear arsenals. Russia pulled out of the only remaining nuclear treaty, New START, last week. Now nothing can stop a new nuclear arms race.
In the news: China is currently building the CFR-600 nuclear reactor on Changbiao Island.
- That island is located about 220 kilometers north of Taiwan in the East China Sea and is one of the most closely monitored nuclear facilities in the world. That writes the financial website Bloomberg.
- America suspects that the reactor will produce plutonium suitable for nuclear weapons. This would allow Beijing to quadruple its nuclear arsenal, estimated today at more than 350 nuclear missiles, in the next twelve years.
- This would put China’s nuclear arsenal on par with those of the United States and Russia. Last December, Russian engineers delivered another huge shipment of nuclear fuel to the island.
- It is of course still possible that this will remain just an infrastructure project. Curiously, China recently stopped reporting its plutonium stocks.
- So the current US fear is that China is taking advantage of Russian support to expand its nuclear weapons stockpile. Particularly given the current geopolitical tensions, that would add to ongoing concerns about a new nuclear arms race. As a result, Washington can then decide to make nuclear weapons again, after which the fence is off the dam.
zoom in: On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his withdrawal from the last remaining nuclear New START treaty.
- That deal included an agreement under which both Russia and the US inspected each other’s weapons caches and limited their arsenal. Now there is no stopping this and the way is clear to build more nuclear weapons again.
- In 2020, the US already stated that trilateral negotiations should take place with Russia and China for a new nuclear treaty. China refused to participate at the time because it did not yet consider itself an equivalent nuclear power.