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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/9/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Subs are the latest sign of growing power.

According to a U.S. Congressional commission report, China is just two years from deploying around-the-clock ballistic missile submarines that could strike almost anywhere in the world, including the United States. The report recommends the U.S. enter arms-reduction talks with the new superpower.

The Chinese navy is prepared to deploy around-the-clock ballistic missile subs which will change the balance of power in the Pacific.

The Chinese navy is prepared to deploy around-the-clock ballistic missile subs which will change the balance of power in the Pacific.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/9/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: China, navy, nuclear, submarines, missiles, hegemony, superpower, talks


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Ballistic missile submarines can travel undetected to the shore of another country and launch nuclear missiles that can destroy cities with only minutes of warning time. So far, only the United States and Russia have wielded this capability on a round-the-clock, 365 days per year basis.

Other countries, such as Britain and France, naval have nuclear capabilities as well, but China is now poised to become a major player in the nuclear race.

Beijing already commands hundreds of nuclear weapons augmented by an improving  intercontinental ballistic missile capability.

The concern then, is not that China could someday use these weapons, which goes without saying, but that China's development of further weapons capability could spark an arms race across Asia. Nuclear weapons are seen as an international status symbol and a deterrent against foreign aggression. This is why so many countries have programs, often secret, to develop these weapons of mass destruction.

The report therefore urges the U.S. government to enter arms-reduction talks with China to ensure both sides can preserve a deterrent arsenal without proliferating the weapons. There is a general fear that if the weapons become more prevalent, so do the odds of their eventual use. 

China is on a crash program to modernize its military forces, especially its navy. China recently launched its first aircraft carrier, a refurbished Soviet-built ship purchased from Ukraine. The development of ballistic missile submarines is the natural next step for the growing superpower.

The U.S. is uniquely vulnerable to China since America relies heavily on Chinese imports of both raw materials and finished goods. China has long been hampered by its massive population, poor economy, and low-tech capability, but the government has spent the past few decades aggressively reversing these factors.

Today, China is much more high tech, employing hundreds of thousands in industries that produce everything from raw materials, to consumer goods, to state-of-the-art weaponry. One outward sign of this is the country's blossoming space program which aims to send astronauts to the moon, probably long before the U.S. redevelops the same ability.

As China becomes the world's newest, and possibly most powerful superpower in the years to come, the United States will have to reckon with the country on terms that are less favorable than those of before.

The deployment of nuclear missile submarines is only the start.

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