China Prepares to Send Nuclear Submarines into Pacific Ocean

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
By Paul Martin

By Peter Symonds
Global Research
May 31, 2016

An article last week in the British-based Guardian reported that the Chinese military “is poised to send submarines armed with nuclear missiles into the Pacific Ocean for the first time, arguing that new US weapons systems have so undermined Beijing’s existing deterrent force that it has been left with no alternative.”

While the timing is uncertain, the move ups the ante in an intensifying nuclear arms race between the US and China that heightens the risk of war. Since coming to office, the Obama administration has engaged in a military build-up and strengthening of alliances throughout Asia in preparation for war with China. It has committed more than $1 trillion over 30 years to the upgrading and expansion of the US nuclear arsenal and delivery systems.

The Chinese regime has responded by taking measures to maintain its ability to launch a reprisal in the event of a US nuclear attack on its military apparatus, cities and leadership. The decision to send nuclear-armed nuclear submarines (SSBNs) on patrol in the Pacific Ocean is the latest step in Beijing’s efforts to protect its relatively small nuclear force—estimated at 260 warheads, as compared to 7,000 for the US.

According to the Guardian, Chinese military officials insist that such patrols are “inevitable” following the announcement by the US and South Korea in March to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system to the Korean Peninsula. While Washington’s pretext is the supposed threat posed by North Korea, the THAAD deployment is part of the US anti-missile system build-up in North East Asia aimed against China.

There is nothing defensive about the Pentagon’s anti-ballistic missile installations, which are an integral component of its strategy for fighting a nuclear war against China. Unlike Beijing, Washington has never renounced a nuclear first strike—that is, being the first side in a war to unleash nuclear weapons. The Pentagon’s plan is to seek to obliterate the entire Chinese nuclear arsenal in a first strike, rendering China incapable of retaliating. The relatively small number of THAAD interceptors could not counter a Chinese first strike and only have significance as the means of destroying stray Chinese missiles that escaped the initial American onslaught.

In other words, the US is no longer seeking to maintain a balance of terror—the strategy known during the Cold War as Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)—but is aiming to achieve nuclear primacy, which means the use of nuclear weapons to render a rival completely defenceless against further attacks.

An article in the prestigious US-based Foreign Affairs magazine a decade ago entitled “The Rise of US Nuclear Primacy” provoked furious denials by the Pentagon and the White House. Nevertheless, behind a phony campaign of championing nuclear disarmament, the US has been striving to achieve nuclear primacy over any potential rival—especially Russia and China.

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