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China unveils nuclear missile that can possibly strike US in 30 minutes with 10 warheads during military parade

Vehicles carry DF-5B intercontinental ballistic missiles during a Chinese military parade. (Voice of America/Released)
October 01, 2019

China showcased its latest nuclear weapon, the Dongfeng-41 (DF-41), during its 70th anniversary of communist rule.

The DF-41 is designed to reach speeds of  7,672 miles per hour, which would allow the missile to reach parts of the United States within 30 minutes, according to The Sun. The new missiles were displayed on 16 separate launchers, bringing up the rear of Tuesday’s 70th year celebration of the communist People’s Republic of China.

“No force can shake the status of our great motherland, and no force can stop the progress of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said, commemorating Mao Zedong’s pronouncement of the founding of the modern Chinese government from the Tiananmen gate.

The Sun reports that analysis by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington has determined the DF-41 could carry 10 separate nuclear warheads, allowing one missile to attack multiple targets.

The new missile may also hold the record for the longest range at 15,000 kilometers; reportedly outshooting U.S. long-range ballistic missiles by “a few thousand kilometers” according to The Sun.

The current backbone of China’s nuclear capabilities is the Dongfeng-31 missile, which has a reported range of 11,200 kilometers.

“Dongfeng” is a Chinese word for “east wind” and the word denotes a wider family of Chinese missiles, many of which were also on display during the Tuesday parade.

The Chinese government said around 40 percent of the weapons in the parade were being shown for the first time.

Among other new weapons, the Chinese paraded out the Dongfeng-17 (DF-17), which is a nuclear-capable glider that can evade missile defense systems with high-speed maneuvers, including maneuvers at many times the speed of sound.

Nozomu Yoshitomi, a retired major general in Japan’s Ground Self-Defence Force said the DF-17 would challenge both U.S. and Japanese missile defense systems.

“There is a possibility that if we do not acquire a more sophisticated ballistic missile defence system, it will become impossible for both the U S and Japan to respond,” he said.

The parade also saw appearances from the anti-ship DF-21 “carrier killer” and the “Guam killer” DF-26 missiles.

Despite the appearance of those many missiles, a defense ministry spokesperson told the Sun ahead of the parade that China did not intend to “flex its muscles” but the country instead intends to showcase a “peace-loving and responsible China.”

The parade also showcased various aircraft, such as the Gongji-11 attack drone and Z-20 medium-lift helicopter that bases its design of the UH-60 Black Hawk, and Chinese fighter jets.

In total, the parade included 15,000 troops, 160 aircraft and 580 pieces of military equipment.

China’s People’s Liberation Army is the world’s largest current standing army, with two million personnel.

The U.S. has been monitoring China’s military buildup, including its navy. While the country only has one aircraft carrier currently, this February China announced plans to add six more aircraft carriers to its fleet by 2035. Four of the new carriers will be nuclear-powered, challenging the 11 U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and nine additional amphibious ships that are capable of deploying as carriers.