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China’s defense minister on country’s nuclear weapons arsenal


Wei Fenghe is China’s Defence Minister. He spoke at the Shangri-La Dialogue summit, Singapore, June 12, 2022.

Roslan Rahman | Afp | Getty Images

China made an “impressive” progress in the development of new nuclear weapons. However, it will not use them to defend itself and they won’t be used first, Wei Fenghe, China’s Defense Minister, told Shangri-La Dialogue delegates on Sunday.

Answering a question regarding reports that China had built more than 100 new missile silos last year in China’s East, he replied that China “has always followed an appropriate path towards developing nuclear capability for our protection.”

He added nuclear weapons displayed in a 2019 military parade in Beijing — which included upgraded launchers for China’s DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles – were operational and deployed.

China’s capabilities have been developed for more than five decades. He said that there had been “impressive progress.” China’s… policy remains consistent. This is for our self defense. It is not likely that we will be the first ones to employ nuclear (weapons).”

According to him, the ultimate goal for China’s nuclear arsenal is to stop nuclear war.

He stated, “We created nuclear capabilities to safeguard the hard work and protection of the Chinese people”

Last year, the U.S. State Department called China’s nuclear accumulation concerning. It stated that Beijing appeared to be departing from decades of minimal deterrence-based nuclear strategy. The State Department urged China to cooperate with them on “practical measures to decrease the risk of destabilizing arm races.”