China builds fibre optic network along LAC with India; Expands its nuclear arsenal

By: |
November 05, 2021 7:22 PM

Though the world was in a state of lock-down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Chinese PLA in 2020 was more in a rush to deploy more troops and machines and this was going on even as the two sides were engaged in military and diplomatic dialogues.

By 2030, China is expected to have at least 1,000 nuclear warheads. This is a projection made by the US military – which is considered to be an acceleration of the Chinese nuclear weapons programme. (Representational image)By 2030, China is expected to have at least 1,000 nuclear warheads. This is a projection made by the US military – which is considered to be an acceleration of the Chinese nuclear weapons programme. (Representational image)

When the armies of India and China were locked in a standoff along the Line of Actual Control last summer, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was quick to install a fibre optic network in remote areas of that region. According to a report released by the Pentagon titled: ‘Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2021’, the PLA installed the fibre optic for increased protection from foreign interception as well as faster communication in the remote areas of that region.

Though the world was in a state of lock-down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Chinese PLA in 2020 was more in a rush to deploy more troops and machines and this was going on even as the two sides were engaged in military and diplomatic dialogues.

By 2030, China is expected to have at least 1,000 nuclear warheads. This is a projection made by the US military – which is considered to be an acceleration of the Chinese nuclear weapons programme.

In its report, the Pentagon has also stated that there is expected to be a marked increase in China’s nuclear weapon capability. It has been estimated that by 2027, Beijing is likely to have around 700 warheads and this number could go up in later years. In one of its previous estimates, the Pentagon had projected that China could have around 400 warheads by the end of the decade.

The report has also highlighted the growing tensions between Taiwan and China, and the dragon’s growing advancements in technology and biological programmes.

While it is not expected to have more warheads compared to the US or Russia, China is ready to challenge the US in all spheres of warfare – cyberspace, sea, land, space and air.

According to the Pentagon, China over the next decade is expected to focus on modernizing, diversifying and expanding its nuclear forces. “It may now have a nuclear triad – this includes land, sea and air launched missiles.” The US and Russia have had such a triad for decades now.

It is in the process of building at least three intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) silo fields. This according to the Pentagon report “cumulatively contains hundreds” of underground silos and these will be used for launching ICBMs.

What are the concerns?

The growing number of nuclear warheads and ICBM silo fields is a huge concern for India.

The US too is concerned by the growing numbers and is now planning to undertake a comprehensive review of its nuclear policy.

China’s attempts to bring Taiwan, which is an established democracy, under its rule. It has been trying to be increasingly active in the strait between the island and mainland of China.

The Pentagon report has talked about various scenarios China can use against Taiwan including the possibility of blockade, and missile strikes, seizing offshore islands, invasion through sea or air attacks.

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