China’s hawkish state-run media Global Times said Beijing should increase its build-up of nuclear weapons after recent Sino-U.S. trade talks.
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held an online meeting on May 26, the first trade talks for both countries since U.S. President Joe Biden took office in January.
Both sides described the talks as “candid” and stated that they looked forward to future discussions, according to separate press releases from the two countries. The U.S. trade office also stated that Tai raised “issues of concern” without providing more details. However, China’s Ministry of Commerce did not say that the U.S. side had raised any concerns.
While the two sides failed to disclose any concrete details about the talks, Tai told Reuters before the online meeting that the United States faces “very large challenges” in its trade and economic ties with Beijing and that the Biden administration needs to pay attention across the board.
Several hours after Tai and Liu concluded their meeting, Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times took to his WeChat account to say that China should be ready militarily in the face of “increasing strategic containment” by the United States.
Hu urged Beijing to “rapidly increase its number of nuclear warheads and long-distance, highly-viable strategic ballistic missiles DF-41.” He said these weapons would serve as the “cornerstone” for China’s “strategic resistance” against the United States.
The ultimate goal, Hu explained, was for China to have enough nuclear ballistic missiles so that U.S. policymakers would “tremble” whenever they thought of having a “military confrontation with China.”
The Federation of American Scientists, a U.S.-based policy think tank, estimated in September 2020 that China had about 320 nuclear warheads. In comparison, the United States had 3,800 nuclear warheads with another 2,000 waiting to be dismantled.
BY WINNIE HAN