US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley
US won’t be able to stop Chinese nuclear development: Gen. Milley
China has ‘intercontinental ballistic missiles that can range the United States,’ says Joint Chiefs chairman
Servet Günerigök |30.03.2023 – Update : 30.03.2023
US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said Wednesday that China’s nuclear weapons capability is “bothersome” and Washington will not be able to stop its development.
“They have a significant nuclear capability today, and they have intercontinental ballistic missiles that can range the United States,” Milley said during a House Committee on Armed Services hearing alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
“We are probably not going to be able to do anything to stop slow down, disrupt, interdict or destroy the Chinese nuclear development program that they have projected out over the next 10 to 20 years,” he said. “They’re going to do that in accordance with their own plan.”
The intelligence community said in its annual threat assessment earlier this month that China may have surpassed the US in the number of nuclear warheads in the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program.
The top general said China is on a “disturbing” path to becoming militarily “superior” to the US by mid-century.
“They have a national goal to be a global coequal with the United States and superior militarily by mid-century. They’re on that path to do that and that’s really disturbing. That’s really bothersome,” he added.
Regarding China, Milley said in addition to Beijing’s nuclear weapons capacity, Washington is also concerned about China’s rapprochement with Russia.
“In this particular strategic environment that we’re seeing that two of them are getting closer together. I wouldn’t call it a true, full alliance in the real meaning of that word. But we are seeing them moving closer together. And that’s troublesome,” he added.
The general also warned that China and Russia have the means to threaten US interests but “war with either is neither inevitable nor imminent,”