A Chinese Nuclear Deterrent Aimed at the U.S.

MIN READJan 25, 2017 | 01:10 GMT

A Chinese Nuclear Deterrent Aimed at the U.S.
China has added the long-range Dongfeng-41 to its nuclear missile fleet. Like this Dongfeng-21 variant displayed in a military parade in Beijing, the Dongfeng-41 is a solid-fueled road-mobile missile system.

(GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)

Deployments of nuclear-capable missiles always send a message, but it isn't always immediately clear who the target is. Chinese media reported Tuesday on the possible deployment of long-range Dongfeng-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles in northeastern China close to Russia, triggering speculation in Russian media about China's intent. One possibility that has been raised is that the move was in response to potential U.S-Russian negotiations over arms treaties. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rebutted the idea, adding that Russia does not consider China's positioning of the nuclear-capable systems in Heilongjiang province a threat. And with a quick look at the Chinese nuclear missile force structure, the Kremlin's reaction makes sense: The nature and capabilities of the Dongfeng-41, along with its deployment near the city of Daqing close to the Russian border, mean that the systems are far more likely intended as a nuclear deterrent against the United States....

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