Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe noted serious progress in improving the country’s nuclear arsenal. At the same time, he mentioned that China continues to adhere to the policy of “no first use” of nuclear weapons.
The Shangri-La Dialogue was held in Singapore on June 10-12 for the first time after a two-year break and has become a significant event in international politics. This Asian Security Forum is attended by more than 20 countries of the Asia-Pacific region. However, the American and Chinese delegations, as well as their headings, defense ministers Lloyd Austin and Wei Fenghe respectively, attracted the greatest interest. The parties exchanged polemical blows regarding their attitude to the events in Ukraine, as well as to the flaring crisis around Taiwan.
In addition to hot topics, many other issues were also touched upon, including the problem of expanding China’s nuclear arsenal. Last year in July, the media reported that China was building more than a hundred new silos for intercontinental ballistic missiles in its eastern provinces.
The question of the veracity of these rumors was asked on the final day of the forum on June 12, to the Minister of Defense of the PRC. Wei Fenghe responded that China “has always pursued an appropriate path to developing nuclear capabilities for protection of our country.” He added that the nuclear weapons displayed at the 2019 military parade in Beijing – including improved launchers for DF-41 ICBMs – were operational and deployed. Chinese Defense Minister also noted the “impressive progress” made by China in the field of nuclear weapons over the past 50 years
Wei Fenghe also emphasized that Beijing continues to adhere to the “no first use” policy, which means that China will use its nuclear weapons only in case of a nuclear attack on its territory. China’s nuclear weapons are a deterrent: “We developed nuclear capabilities to protect the hard work of the Chinese people and protect our people from the scourge of the nuclear warfare,” he said.