It was a remark made by Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Republican Leaders. “wake-up call”China is now the world’s leading intercontinental ballistic weapon (ICBM-) launcher manufacturer.
“The head of U.S. Strategic Command has informed us that China has surpassed the U.S. in the number of ICBM launchers – this should serve as a wake-up call for the United States,”In a statement, Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee (R–AL), Doug Lamborn, Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces (R–CO), Roger Wicker (R–MS) and Deb Fischer (R–NE), were among those who made these statements.
Then they added:
Not an exaggeration, the Chinese nuclear modernization plan is progressing faster than many believed. To deter Russia and China, we have no time for waste. It will require new capabilities and higher numbers.
U.S. Strategic Command (Stratcom), which is in charge of maintaining the nation’s nuclear forces, said in a recent letter to members of Congress that China has overtaken the U.S. military on the number of intercontinental ballistic missile launchers.
Stratcom Commander Adm. Charles Richard said in the January 26, 2023, letter — which was made public Tuesday, “The number of land-based fixed and mobile ICBM launchers in China exceeds the number of ICBM launchers in the United States.”
Richard’s letter was in response to a December 5, 2022, letter from Republican leaders on the committees, who had asked him to share that information in an unclassified form pursuant to the law. This is the Wall Street Journal first reported the letter, and Rogers later released it publicly.
Rogers stated in a statement that he was speaking on behalf of the Wall Street Journal, “China is rapidly approaching parity with the United States. … We cannot allow that to happen. The time for us to adjust our force posture and increase capabilities to meet this threat is now.”
According to WSJ, many of China’s land-based launchers are empty, but most U.S. officials are assuming that China will fill them with nuclear-tipped ICBMs over the next decade or so.
An annual Pentagon report on China’s military released last year said that China is on pace to field approximately 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035 — triple the number it reportedly has today.
Following the publication, Congress requested that Stratcom update Congress if China had additional ICBM rockets and nukes on these missiles as well as more ICBM launchers, than the U.S.
1.500 warheads is approximately what Russia and America are restricted to by the New START Treaty. This treaty limits warheads. China will not be party to this treaty. It expires in 2026.
Rogers made the argument to WSJThese limits prevent the U.S. of building up an arsenal to deter Russia or China. But proponents and supporters of arms control believe the U.S. should be focusing on talks with China and Russia, rather than building up its military forces.
Rogers, as the new chairman of HASC under the new Republican leadership, made China the focus of the committee’s first hearing, which took place Tuesday.
He addressed China’s growing military capabilities during the hearing in his opening statement:
China represents the biggest national security threat America faces in thirty years. The next 30 years will be very difficult for the United States if we don’t recognize this and act immediately to prevent it.
The Chinese Communist Party nearly doubled defense expenditures under President Xi in the last decade. From an outdated force incapable of protecting its borders to one capable of fighting regional wars, the PLA has transformed into a modern combat force.
With a vision of modernizing and integrating the entire CCP by 2027, the CCP controls the world’s largest navy and army. CCP rapidly expands its nuclear capabilities. In just two years, they have increased their warhead count by more than twice. They would need to double their warheads in a mere 2 years.
We’ve also just informed by DoD that the CCP now has more ICBM launchers than the United States.
Our new battlegrounds are also starting to see the CCP outpace us. We have been outperformed by the CCP in hypersonic technology. The CCP is already fielding the technology we’re still working on. Their quantum computing and AI advances are far more impressive than we can keep up with. The Space Force was founded primarily because of their incredible advancements in space.
These new, advanced military capabilities are not being built by the CCP for its own defense. The CCP’s military has been used by the CCP to expand its territory, attack our allies, and establish new territories. CCP broke international law when it built and commandeered islands in South China Sea. It has used stealth fighters, bombers and missiles to control these islands.
Taiwan is still intimidated by and coerced every day. Recently, it has surrounded the island with naval troops and launched endless fighter jets from the middleline.
The CCP has also set up a satellite tracking center in South America, which is used to track U.S. satellites. It also maintains an outpost naval base, just miles away from the CCP’s Horn of Africa facility. These are only a few examples of the CCP’s destabilizing activities.
Rogers also called last week’s Chinese spy ball a Rogers “calculated show of force.”He declared:
This balloon was not accidentally launched in a show of force. We have to stop being naïve about the threat we face from China. The luxury of time is no longer an option. To avoid this danger, we must act quickly. To ensure that our military is able to deter and defeat the threat, we must make smart investments.
“That will be the focus of this Committee this Congress,”Rogers.
“China is rapidly approaching parity with the United States. We cannot allow that to happen. The time for us to adjust our force posture and increase capabilities to meet this threat is now.” Chairman @RepMikeRogersAL https://t.co/0WABeuGNr3
— Armed Services GOP (@HASCRepublicans) February 7, 2023
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