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China to display nukes in military parade to ‘send message to US’

Military vehicles carry DF-5B intercontinental ballistic missiles during a parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender during World War II held in front of Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, Sept. 3, 2015. (Voice of America/Released)
August 30, 2019

In a “warning message” to the United States, the Chinese military plans to display some of its nuclear weapons in a military parade on Oct. 1.

China is making its nuclear weapons and fighter jets the centerpiece of the military parade in an attempt to threaten the United States’ military hegemony, the South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday.

“China has invested a lot of resources into military science and technology development in a bid to enhance its nuclear deterrence capability over the past years, which Beijing believes represents a strategic measure in countering the global military hegemony [of the United States],” Hong Kong-based military analyst Song Zhongping said.

The parade is a “warning message” to the United States, Song added.

Weapon systems such as the DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles and J-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles have already been moved to Beijing for the parade, while a squadron of J-20 jets, the country’s first stealth fighter, is also in preparation, according to the SCMP.

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The DF-41, the SCMP reports, is nuclear-capable and has a range of 7,460 miles, far enough to hit any city in the United States.

The JL-2 has a shorter range of 4,350 miles is also capable of hitting parts of the American continent when launched from the sea.

This development comes off the back of the communist nation releasing a recent white paper on the future of its defense initiatives.

The white paper, titled, “China’s National Defense in the New Era,” was released July 22 and is considered to be the most far-reaching military reform in the country since the 1950s – when the nation took “The Great Leap Forward,” propelling the nation to a communist state.

Per Japan Times, the white paper highlights a new emphasis on “combat readiness and military training in real combat conditions.”

Beijing “has organized naval parades in the South China Sea,” the white paper said according to Japan Times, and “conducted a series of live force-on-force exercises.”

Its air force “has conducted combat patrols in the South China Sea and security patrols in the East China Sea, and operated in the West Pacific.”

“China’s National Defense in the New Era is a clear and detailed 51-page response to the massive shift in U.S. strategy from a focus on counterterrorism and extremism to competition and possible conflict with China and Russia,” according to Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’, a centrist think tank based in Washington, D.C..

“It flags the fact that America and China are now competing superpowers, and that China’s growing military forces are developing to the point where they will be able to challenge the United States.”

Tensions between the United States and China have been escalating recently.

China has continued efforts to control the South China Sea, been accused of spying and stealing intellectual property.

While Beijing claims much of the South China Sea, the U.S. and Japanese navies routinely operate in the area, which could lead to a military conflict.