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'Difficult to hide': China building 100 new missile silos leaves US concerned

The Washington Post reported and cited a study of commercial satellite images by a California-based group that observed the silos were being built in a desert near the northwestern city of Yumen. 

WaPo report on China building 100 new missile silos leaves US concerned-VPN
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Washington D.C., First Published Jul 2, 2021, 1:46 PM IST
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The United States expressed concern over a report that said China was building more than 100 new silos for intercontinental ballistic missiles. 

The Washington Post reported and cited a study of commercial satellite images by a California-based group that observed the silos were being built in a desert near the northwestern city of Yumen. 

According to the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, the 119 construction sites in the Gansu province in Northwest China were similar to existing Chinese launch facilities for nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles. 

The silos are reportedly intended for Chinese ICBM DF-41, which can carry multiple warheads and reach targets as far away as 9,300 miles. 

The Washington Post report claimed that major excavation work on the sites began early this year, but preparations were probably underway for months.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said it is fair to say is that these reports and other developments suggest that the nuclear arsenal of the People's Republic of China will grow quicker and to a higher level than perhaps previously anticipated. 

Terming the buildup as concerning, Price said that the revelation raises questions about the PRC's intent and reinforces the importance of pursuing practical measures to reduce nuclear risks. 

Despite what appears to be PRC obfuscation, this rapid buildup has become more difficult to hide, he added. 

The State Department spokesman said that the developments highlight how the PRC appears again to be deviating from decades of nuclear strategy based around minimum deterrence.

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