Last week, Hu Xijin, the editor of China’s state-run Global Times, called for China to increase its nuclear arsenal in anticipation of “a high-intensity showdown between the US and China.”
According to the Australia-based Daily Telegraph, Hu gave his remarks on the Chinese Weibo social media app nearly immediately after President Joe Biden called on U.S. intelligence agencies to redouble their investigations of the origins of COVID-19, including the possibility that the virus leaked from a virology lab in Wuhan, China.
“Given the intensifying US strategic containment of China, I would like to remind once again that we have many urgent tasks, but one of the most important is to keep rapidly increasing the number of nuclear warheads and strategic missiles like the Dongfeng 41 with extremely long-range and high survival capabilities,” Hu wrote in a post translated by Chinese human rights activist Jennifer Zeng and communicated to the Daily Telegraph. “This is the cornerstone of China’s strategic resilience against the United States.”
“We must be prepared for a high-intensity showdown between the US and China, at which point a large number of DF-41 and JL-2 and JL-3 will be the backbone of our strategic will,” Hu continued.
The Chinese DF-41 is a mobile intercontinental ballistic missile. The JL-2 and JL-3 are intercontinental ranged submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
“Our nuclear missiles must be so numerous that the US elite will tremble at the thought of military confrontation with China at that time,” Hu added. “On such a basis, we can calmly and actively manage our differences with the US and avoid all kinds of gunfire. As US hostility toward China continues to burn, we need to use our strength and the unbearable risks they would face if they took the risk to force them to remain calm.”
Hu’s comments come amid growing support for the theory that COVID-19 originated from an outbreak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Last week, Biden said the U.S. was looking into whether COVID-19 originated from natural transmission from animal to human hosts or if it resulted from a laboratory accident.
“While two elements in the [intelligence community] leans toward the former scenario and one leans more toward the latter – each with low or moderate confidence – the majority of elements do not believe there is sufficient information to assess one to be more likely than the other,” Biden said.
Biden said he asked the intelligence community to “bring us closer to a definitive conclusion, and to report back to me in 90 days.” He added, “As part of that report, I have asked for areas of further inquiry that may be required, including specific questions for China.”
Biden is not the only U.S. figure providing new support to the theory COVID-19 was developed in and leaked from a Chinese lab. Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said he is “totally in favor of a full investigation of whether” a lab outbreak could have happened, after saying a year earlier that the evidence is “strongly leaning toward this [virus] could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.”
Following Fauci’s remarks in support of the lab outbreak theory, Hu wrote for the Global Times, “Even figures like Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top expert in public health, have echoed their opinion war against China,” adding Fauci “knows he is fanning a huge lie against China.”