U.S. to China: Let's talk about your nukes
November 14th, 2012
08:41 PM ET

U.S. to China: Let's talk about your nukes

By Jamie Crawford

China is modernizing its military at a "remarkable rate," including its own nuclear weapons capability, says a congressionally mandated panel exploring the relationship between the United States and China.

In its annual report to Congress, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said China has spent the past two decades improving and advancing its military nuclear posture and could have a "triad" of land, sea and air delivery systems "within the next two years."

China's People's Liberation Army "reportedly tested a variety of new nuclear ballistic systems in 2012, including a submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missile," Dennis Shea, chairman of the commission, told reporters Wednesday.

"We just urge Congress to get a better handle on the size of the Chinese nuclear arsenal, as well as the nuclear doctrine of China."

Estimates vary as to the exact size of China's nuclear arsenal, but most Western assessments, including those of the United States, say China possesses somewhere between 100 to 500 weapons. Members of the commission said the United States should push for more transparency and understanding from the Chinese on the size of their arsenal.

"We just don't know," Larry Wortzel, another member of the 12-person panel told reporters. "The Department of Defense seems especially stubborn about not changing its estimates."

And China's absence from the types of nuclear-arms reduction and limitation treaties the United States has with countries like Russia is another area ripe for action, the commission said.

"If the Chinese are going to go forward with all these modernization efforts which they are undertaking - road, mobile and air - they are going to upend the entire arms control regime that currently exists," C. Richard D'Amato, another commissioner on the panel, said.

"They need to be brought into some sort of dialog to develop some kind of understanding as to where we are all going together on arms control."

In addition to its nuclear arsenal, China has had a busy year modernizing other parts of its military machine, the report said.

Apart from commissioning its first aircraft carrier, China test flew a second advanced fighter with potential stealth capabilities, improved on its satellite navigation system, and expanded the scope of its military exercises and training activities.

The report sent to Congress on Wednesday also covered areas in U.S.-Chinese trade and economic capabilities, China's role in cyberespionage, and the consequences of its demand and consumption of global resources.

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Filed under: China • Nuclear
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. vasúti szállítmányozás Europa-Road Kft.

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    February 9, 2021 at 3:42 am | Reply
  2. zortilonrel

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    February 7, 2021 at 6:57 am | Reply
  3. Nanson Hwa

    United States corporations began outsourcing and formulating contract labor agreements with China over thirty years ago. As a result, China has saved American corporations millions of dollars in employer-employee taxes, payment of retirement and medical benefits, paid vacations and helped American manufacturing companies not deal with American labor unions. To neutralize threats from hostile and perceived potential enemies, China decided decades ago to modernize agriculture, her military, science and technology, and education. China's principles run deep in her foreign policy due to her historical past which she does not want to be repeated as a weak and divided nation dominated by foreign countries.

    March 8, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  4. john joe

    spread the nukes.....spread the nukes....let's be fair and let everyone have nukes!!!!

    March 8, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  5. john joe

    give the nukes to those South American countries...Venezuela, Argentina, etc., then let the nukes go!!!

    March 8, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Reply
  6. john joe

    spread the nukes to all the world, boys and girls, then let the nukes go!!!

    March 8, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  7. Nanson Hwa

    As one Chinese communist official put it "nuclear weapons are things people cannot eat or wear.......our goal is survival and security; not destruction."

    December 13, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  8. Max

    The issue here is that China has no where to go but up in regards to it's strategic nuclear forces. They don't look at strategic issues the same way the US and Russia does. Chinese weapons are primarily counter value, not counter force. A shift in policy and technological ability to bring about a more counter force aimed deterrent could pose troubling issues the USSTRATCOM.

    The US nuclear forces have the ability to deal with any threat from China, but that does not mean that it is responsible to simply sit back and feign disinterest while a potential adversary sharpens its nuclear stick. The US and China have strategic sticking points, Taiwan and North Korea likely being the most prominent but not limited to those two alone. We have a vested interest in watching, closely, China's strategic force balance.

    All that said I'm much less worried about a Chinese nuclear capability then I would be if they rapidly increased their ability to project power via their navy, which to a limited degree they are attempting to do. But they have no naval tradition and building one takes time. The US is being prudent.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  9. foustus

    USA should stick to bullying countries a tenth of its size.

    December 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  10. Steve

    This arcticle fails to mention the uS has THOUSANDS of nukes.

    December 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      That's right. Because we had to counter the Soviet AND Chinese nuclear threat. Are you seriously comparing the world's democracies that are on the side of Right and Good, to brutal military dictatorships like China and Russia (and N. Korea), about why they have these weapons in the first place? Dear God. That's just sad.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:02 am | Reply
  11. CharlieSeattle

    Google this thread: China, Loral, Clinton, Betrayal

    Clinton should be tried for Treason!

    December 1, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
  12. CharlieSeattle

    Betrayal : How the Clinton Administration Undermined American Security (Hardcover) @ Amazon.com

    After reading this book, the only two relevant questions remaining for the Clinton's and their minders should be:


    Those who voted, cheered, and applauded this pack of traitors into office share a portion of the complicity for the betrayal of our nation.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
    • atlsouth56

      Lets all go out and buy more made in china products so china can build the military they want.

      December 12, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  13. CharlieSeattle

    Betrayal : How the Clinton Administration Undermined American Security (Hardcover) @ Amazon.com

    Bill Gertz has earned a great reputation as a hard nosed beat reporter covering defense and intelligence issue in the Nation's Capitol. In this book, he presents some shocking details about the Clinton administration's mismanagement, naivete, double dealing and outright betrayal of American interests. This stuff is much more disturbing to me than the Monica thing. While Clinton was busy finding new uses for cigars in the Oval Office, the Chinese were stealing the store. From what Gertz tells us, it wasn't just the Chinese, either. And our adversaries didn't even need to steal some of it. Clinton's appointees were busy giving it away, and turning a blind eye to some very serious breaches of national security. This book is a must read.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
  14. dou44

    China to US: The USA is the only country to incinerate undefended cities of civilians with nukes- twice. It is you that needs to disarm and to be tried for crimes.

    November 27, 2012 at 12:37 am | Reply
    • Brian

      one of the most asinine, moronic, uneducated comments I've ever seen

      December 10, 2012 at 8:05 am | Reply
  15. Raven


    November 27, 2012 at 12:14 am | Reply
  16. Seriously

    I've never seen so many idiots,on both sides,comment.

    November 25, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  17. echo

    CNN. Shouldn't it be "Lets talk about our nukes"? Typical egocentric and hegemony mentality from the US. China is the first nuclear nation that declares they would not use their nuclear weapons on any non-nuclear power nation. US is the first nation that used nuclear power on a non-nuclear power country. They threatened to use it against China during the Korean war and in the 1960s. Unless all countries agree to abolish nuclear weapons, this stupid CNN article is nothing more than a hegemony display.

    November 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • counter

      What a naive comment. The US used nukes to end WW 2 , idiot. And that is right, you are an idiot. We are tryinig tg to keep our nukes down in the no of them and we want China to do the same.

      You have an obvious anti US bias.

      November 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Reply
      • Sharpy

        What is your justification for using the nukes is they ended the war? I'd imagine that is an excuse that any nation or Country could use but it is unjustified. If China has to reveal its hand then where is the push for Israel to reveal its nukes? He is not anti american he is quoting history!

        November 24, 2012 at 12:15 am |
      • jon

        Yet, we are Israels biggest supporter and provider of nuclear technology/weapons and they are the only nuclear armed country who isn't publicly nuclear. Sounds like some major hypocrisy there.

        November 29, 2012 at 12:56 am |
      • Brian


        December 10, 2012 at 8:06 am |
  18. YourDAD


    November 21, 2012 at 6:40 am | Reply
  19. Peace4thecommors

    Disarm all of your nukes and destroy them, USA! Reassign all of your capitalists' exploitative wealth to the poor in USA and the world, and USA will be the example of the world! Otherwise, shut up, USA warmongers and humangrinders!

    November 20, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Reply
    • Canadian Sense



      November 28, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  20. pete

    The United States of America is the biggest thouble maker in the world.This is not Iraq if you play with fire then be prepare
    to get burn.

    November 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      another idiotic comment

      December 10, 2012 at 8:07 am | Reply
  21. pete

    The United States of America is the biggest thouble maker in the world.This is no Iraq if you play with fire the be prepare
    to get burn.

    November 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  22. SayanIndia

    A better headline would be:

    U.S. to China: Let’s talk about (notorious proliferation of) your nukes.


    November 16, 2012 at 7:21 am | Reply
  23. Nanson Hwa

    China does not base its economy on a wartime footing like the United States. It has a huge population and its first priority is the production of food to feed its population and secondly modernize its military, medical services, technology, communications, transportation and up grade the people's livelihood. China's military is totally set up for defense and not engage in offensive wars. Border disputes resulting in armed clashes were the result of aggression by other countries. The number of missiles and atomic warheads are unknown for China, but she is capable to initiate retaliatory strikes if attacked.

    November 15, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      I'm sorry, but you are misinformed. Anyway, China now has the economic might to carry out the dictatorship's goals that started back with Mao. They are using their economic wealth not to help the vast majority (about 80% ) of the country, which is the rural poor in their teeming hundreds of millions, but in a huge armaments build-up both OFFENSIVE conventional and nuclear. First significant target of all this will be Taiwan.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:10 am | Reply
      • Nanson Hwa

        The only aspect of your argument is the issue about Taiwan which is a remote possibility since China and Taiwan have more direct contacts including money exchange and direct flights. China's wealth is being used to modernize and find more efficient ways to redistribute wealth and get rid of corruption within the ranks of government officials.

        December 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  24. Kevin

    The world will never be peaceful as long there are countries like Russia, China, and Iran.

    November 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Reply
    • zhuubaajie


      WHY so? Because China has a president that spends the mornings sipping coffee and writing up the day's drone execution list? Because China has 1,000 military bases around the globe, and SOFAs that allow its military men to rape, kill with vehicles, kill in general, etc., with no real consequences? Because China spends more on its military than the rest of the world put together?


      November 15, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Reply
      • Brian

        If ignorance is bliss, you must be one happy person.

        December 10, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • USA

      The world will never be peaceful as long there are countriy like USA. It kills any people in the world if it like.USA is the enmey of all persons in the world.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:47 am | Reply
      • lobsang choephel

        China is only the threat to the world, stationing its nuclear warheads in Tibet and using Tibet as its nuclear dumping pit.
        Its cheap product is reason for world economic crisis. Tibet is source of Major rivers flows into Asia. Excessive exploitation of Tibets environment leads to global warming. More than seventy Tibetans mostly youth self immolated calling for return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom to Tibet. Stop sleeping U.N.O. PLEASE SENT FACT FINDING DELEGATION TO TIBET TO ACCESS THE REALITY. ASK CHINA TO WITHDRAW ITS HEAVY MILITARY PLACED AT TIBET, ALLOW MEDIA INTO TIBET. APPOINT SPECIAL MEDIATIOR OF U.N.O. FOR 'TIBET.. support the Truth........

        November 16, 2012 at 6:06 am |
    • Breeze

      which country invaded Iraq with lies?

      November 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  25. JohnParryJones

    Arms reduction is a myth. Once the genie is out of the bottle, that's it. It's irreversible.

    November 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • William


      November 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
  26. caokaifeng

    I want to say, in fact, our Chinese is very open, criticize the Communist Party called Communist point all right, just like you, just your media to discredit us,

    November 15, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
    • Hyrax

      lol 'communist party', about as communist as Mitt Romney

      November 15, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
    • 用轰炸带来皿煮

      朋友你错了 进这个网站根本就不用翻墙 就只有U2B之类的要翻而已 现在大部分网站都不用翻 :)
      好 骂死这些无脑宅喷

      November 20, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Reply
  27. caokaifeng

    I am Chinese cross the wall. I took the silly party say hello to you, because we have one hundred million party.

    November 15, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • chen


      November 20, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Reply
      • 用轰炸带来皿煮

        哈哈 是的 不用翻墙

        November 20, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  28. George Patton

    I see a lot of dimwitted Tea Partiers here bashing the Chinese out of their own stupidity. It was we who stated the cyber wars and it is we who rule the vast Pacific Ocean. As for military prowess, we dwarf the Chinese by leaps and bounds!!!

    November 15, 2012 at 9:50 am | Reply
  29. caokaifeng

    反正我们涛哥不管事了。现在是习老板管事,美利坚也是选党内的人。我们中国有什么不同,另外鄙视江泽民那货还在参政,和你们有钱议员一直在一样。 我笑了........

    November 15, 2012 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • Hyrax

      Chinese caligraphy is like the character of China itself(complex, hard to learn and not particularly willing to absorb outside influences). Thank God for the Phoenician alphabet

      November 15, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply
  30. Hai

    all u guys r morons china doesnt have any nuk le ur wepons only we do!

    November 15, 2012 at 9:18 am | Reply
    • David

      Yeah right look whos talking here you fool China do play tricks on us before but never again We mean business Communist will die out with their allies too

      November 15, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
    • JohnParryJones

      Another by-product of the U.S. public "shool" system.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
      • William

        Unfortunately I wounder how many people think you really misspelled school.

        November 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
      • Joe

        Good job William! You were able to decipher from the quotations that he intentionally misspelled school, but for misspelling "wounder" (wonder) you don't get a gold star today.
        Now, please keep comments to yourself while riding the short bus.

        November 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  31. Dovepalm

    Some thin ass folks like ED needs to wake up......

    November 15, 2012 at 9:04 am | Reply
  32. Obama

    U stupid American.US are the reason why the world is a mess now! US are the reason the world still fall apart now!Selfish Basterd!screw you !US will destory in 20years! and replaced by China in 10 years,all the american will be chinese pp slaver!

    November 15, 2012 at 7:38 am | Reply
    • Hyrax

      Why would that be the case? The Chinese fascist( not communist) leaders have plenty of countrymen for slavelabor!

      November 15, 2012 at 8:42 am | Reply
      • echo

        Most of these so-called "slave labors" have been making products for the US for the last 10+ years. Your Apple gains 99% of the profit while leaving 1% or less to these "slave labors". Yes. On one hand, you greedy slave masters of the West are enjoying these cheap products; on other other hand, you are judging others from the so-called moral high ground? hahha... What a stupid hypocrisy!

        November 23, 2012 at 11:49 am |
      • counter

        Alert, Echo nutcase alert.

        November 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  33. Hyrax

    I'm no fan of China( a fascist state), but;

    The astounding hypocrisy of the United States telling others to pipe down on their military programs. Start reducing your own military budget first, America. Lead by example and curtail the military industrial complex.

    November 15, 2012 at 7:27 am | Reply
  34. We are the Borg, you will be assimilated.

    Bow to China? You're people are only eating because the West keeps ur economy going. China's GDP is less than half the GDP of the US. I wish I were rich too China, but wishing doesn't change facts. There is only one Super Power, you are not even close. China is like the borg, copy all tech, bunch of ignorant brain washed drones. You will always be the West's slaves till u innovate. Learn ur place...

    November 15, 2012 at 4:06 am | Reply
    • Juan de la Cruz

      if China is a copycat according to "We are the Borg" so, why bother talking to them???

      November 15, 2012 at 7:32 am | Reply
    • Obama

      U stupid American.US are the reason why the world is a mess now! US are the reason the world still fall apart now!Selfish Basterd!screw you !US will destory in 20years! and replaced by China in 10 years,all the american will be chinese pp slaver!

      November 15, 2012 at 7:36 am | Reply
  35. brown

    hahaha! China say fo ck you Amerika!

    You will learn to bow in due time.

    November 15, 2012 at 3:13 am | Reply
    • Seriously

      *America. Maybe you'll learn how to spell.

      November 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Reply
      • Nanson Hwa

        Seriously; Spelling is not important as the message is understood.

        November 26, 2012 at 12:39 am |
  36. Rowan Vermeulen

    With the ever increasing military spending of the US, wich now exceeds 700 billion, what the hell do you expect of China? BTW, Russia is bringing up its military spending too, though both countries are nowhere near to the amount the US is spending. Cold war arms race!!

    November 15, 2012 at 1:50 am | Reply
    • KSquared

      It's what we do best in the U.S. anyways so we might as well crank up the Cold War again. Everyone will prosper here in the U.S. but unfortunately that would mean millions of jobs would be lost in China by bringing them back to the U.S.. Their economy would implode overnight. And don't think this isn't already being talked about in D.C.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
      • Nanson Hwa

        China is not fearful of imploding. China has other markets in Russia, Latin America, Africa and the Pacific rim countries. I think the any fear that China holds against the United States is defaulting on the line of credit or the outstanding loans. Other than that her continued development will prosper the entire world since her foreign policy is based on mutual benefit and mutual respect regarding other country's territorial integrity.

        November 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  37. Tembisa

    Reblogged this on World Chaos and commented:
    Add your thoughts here... (optional)

    November 15, 2012 at 12:37 am | Reply
  38. Hu Jinato

    The Chinese really don't understand why the US is building a missle defense shield? Hmm, it's only for N Korea....lol. We dont trust you slimey little buggers. BTW, I agree we should stop all business with them and let em starve. China owes the US. The reason they bought bonds is without us buying their junk, their economy goes KABOOM overnight.

    November 15, 2012 at 12:36 am | Reply
  39. Richards

    To hell with talking. Just cut off all trade with them and starve them into eating their nukes.

    November 14, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply
    • Leo

      US has 100 times of the nuclear weapons that China has. So shut up US. You have the largest stock of weapons of mass destruction in the world, US is a true treat to world peace!

      November 14, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Reply
    • john

      the us economy would collapse without china...hahaha
      dumb redneck

      November 14, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Reply
      • JM

        Poor John. How could the economy of US collapse if China collapses. The trade balance is heavily skewed towards china. I don't think we would have to worry. We would just pay a lil more for a goods to be produced in India. China isn't the only country with more than a billion people.

        November 15, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  40. Andy in Oz

    It is a bit rich for the likes of the US to get all up tight about China's possession of well short of a thousand nuclear arms when the US itself possesses more than a few orders of magnitude more such arms than China. And as of yet is still the only nation to have employed such devices in conflict.

    November 14, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Reply
    • Andy's in Beijing

      You have a woman shortage, and a water shortage. You better invade someone soon. Hahahhaahahah.

      November 14, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Reply
    • Cho

      I guess someone didn't read the article. China's nuclear abilities are starting to approach that of the Cold War we all left behind. Except China isn't bound by the same Cold War guidelines.

      November 14, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Reply
    • Beans

      He's not Australian, Chinese go to Australia to get away from their pollution and get better medical care. They dump themselves on the Australian dole.

      November 14, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Reply
      • craig

        Australians are aboriginals. The White Australians simply stole that land and then dumped their criminals on there. At least the Chinese immigrants got their legally and peaceably.

        November 15, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Anthony Kovic

      China is a dictatorship – the regime does not listen to its own people, let alone foreigners.
      World War 2 showed that you can not appease or negotiate with Fuehrers or Comrades. It is always brute strength that rules. Let's hope the power is on the side of the free nations.

      November 14, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
    • rp1588

      USA has many more nukes than China, but the difference is not "more than a few orders of magnitude". It is estimated to be about one and a half orders of magnitude by various sources. Of course, that ratio is plenty large enough not to detract from your main point.

      USA has many hundreds of nuclear weapon launchers near Iran, although it is not known how many actual nuclear weapons it has deployed there. Israel has publicly leaked it is deploying nuclear weapons off the coast of Iran, and USA has publicly leaked that it assisted Israel in doing this. When is USA going to come clean about nuclear weapons capability in the Gulf region?

      November 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  41. alexanderang

    When is our government going to learn how to humble down and respectful of others ? Our government ( NOT the American commoners like u and me) are just so judgemental / hypocrite / ill-mannered group of people. It is them (our government) that often puts us commoners to shame ! It is them who are responsible for American flag-burning in those countries.

    November 14, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Reply
  42. Ed

    The Chinese don't have nuclear weapons, we 've been fooled!

    November 14, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  43. Frank

    People of the United States of America,
    Seriously, are you kidding me, when did this Administration wake up to the fact that China is a real player in the Nuclear Game and have been since the 1970's.

    November 14, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Reply
    • Beans

      They've always been a player, never been a player on the level.

      November 14, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Reply
      • wh

        And what level is that? To destroy the earth 10 times over vs merely 1 time?

        November 15, 2012 at 6:31 pm |

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