Chinese state-owned media outlet Global Times has urged the regime to equip the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with the largest possible number of nuclear warheads and missiles in a short time, to “make the U.S. elites tremble when they think about fighting with China.”
“We must prepare for a tense ending to the United States’s and China’s relationship,” Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, wrote in a May 28 editorial. “Once this happens, having a big stock of DF-41, JL-2, and JL-3 missiles will be a pillar of strength to support China’s will to fight.”
The DF-41 is China’s solid-fueled, road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, and the JL-2 and JL-3 are China’s intercontinental-range, submarine-launched ballistic missiles. All three of these missiles can carry nuclear warheads.
Hu’s comments are in response to Kurt Campbell, President Joe Biden’s Indo-Pacific policy coordinator, who recently said the United States and China are competitors.
In a May 26 speech, Campbell told an online event hosted by Stanford University: “The dominant paradigm [with China] is going to be competition … a period that had been broadly described as engagement has come to an end.”
Campbell said in the speech that the Beijing regime’s behavior is shifting toward “harsh power, or hard power,” which “signals that China is determined to play a more assertive role.” To support his opinion, Campbell mentioned China’s recent clashes with India regarding the border and against Australia in trade, as well as the aggressive diplomacy style the regime has launched worldwide.
In the responding editorial, Hu expressed a wish that the United States could reduce its hostility toward China.
“We should use our power and their intolerable risk to force them to calm down.”
Zhang Tianliang, a U.S.-based current affairs commentator, said on his media channel on May 28 that he thinks the reason why Hu published the threat theory is that the Beijing regime is worried that the Biden administration will implicate it for its role in the pandemic.
On May 26, Biden said that the U.S. intelligence community believes there are “two likely scenarios” that may have caused the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus outbreak in China, noting that a significant number of officials believe the virus was spread due to a “laboratory accident.”
Zhang points out that Hu took the same action last year when the Beijing regime was alarmed on May 3, 2020, when then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed that significant evidence linked the CCP virus to a Wuhan laboratory, and the international community asked for an investigation into the origin of the virus.
On May 8, five days after Pompeo’s comments, Hu called for the production of at least 1,000 warheads and 100 DF-41 missiles in an editorial. Hu claimed that nuclear weapons would threaten the United States into being more friendly to China.
Chinese people don’t buy into Hu’s threat theory.
Liu Xiaofei, a military commentator from the School of International Relations at China’s Huaqiao University, said on May 30 that the United States won’t fear China even though China has more nuclear warheads because China’s weapons are far inferior.
Chinese netizens posted on Hu’s Weibo—China’s social media platform—that Russia has more nuclear warheads than the United States, but still is weaker than the United States. Also, they note that a large number of the children of Chinese senior officials and military senior commanders are in the United States, making it unlikely that the parents could launch missiles against cities where their children live.