Building up nuclear deterrence best response to THAAD

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/3/10 0:33:39

Some equipment for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system, including launch vehicles, has been delivered to South Korea for deployment. Beijing has also started to impose sanctions on Seoul. However, the US is the initiator and the major promoter for the THAAD installation. How China should react to US strategic provocations is more crucial.

Economic sanctions against the US are unlikely. THAAD producer Lockheed Martin is the world's most powerful weapons manufacturers, and is beyond China's grasp. Given the US' economic scale, economic sanctions against it will be strategically unfavorable to China.

South Korea is a different story, with a much smaller economy and is highly dependent on China. We have more leverage in sanctioning it. 

However, the US must pay the price for the THAAD deployment. The THAAD system is key for the US' "rebalance to Asia" strategy and its global anti-missile system so as to contain Russia and China's military capabilities, and secure its dominance in intercontinental ballistic missile deployment. China should take countermeasures to upset such plans.

China is the only nuclear state that has pledged not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons on non-nuclear states. It has kept a low profile over its nuclear armaments.

However, China has abundant financial capacity to expand its nuclear arsenal and upgrade strategic missiles. The THAAD deployment on China's doorstep has broken the previous strategic balance, and China should counter it with more advanced nuclear warheads and missiles.

We should not only recover losses from THAAD and rebuild the regional balance, but also become more powerful and reliable in nuclear deterrence.

A rapid increase in the number and quality of China's strategic nuclear weapons will be a painful price for the US. This isn't a nuclear arms race. China has no need or intention to engage in an endless arms race. While Beijing strives to safeguard its core interests, Washington pursues global hegemony. Given its growing financial budgets, China isn't worried about a limited "arms race."

Beijing should make it clear to Washington that the THAAD deployment will definitely lead to China's increasing nuclear prowess. If the US further intensifies its anti-missile attempts and strategic containment, China may reconsider its pledge of not being the first to use nuclear weapons.

The Sino-US relationship seems to be returning to a stable state, but the nuclear game between the two will continue for a long time. China must be clear-minded about not trading its national security for temporary prosperity in ties with the US.

THAAD poses threats to both China and Russia. Joint work against the system is the new bond of the Sino-Russian comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, and will strike a heavy blow to the US.

Posted in: OBSERVER

blog comments powered by Disqus