With the protracted conflict in Ukraine and a Europe politically illiterate on the subject of "war", nuclear fear has an easy grip on the masses.
A paradoxical, hypocritical and ridiculous aspect is the significant increase in Chinese nuclear equipment precisely when the Beijing regime acts as a "dove of peace" in a conflict conventional.
According to the 2023 report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the number of Chinese nuclear warheads increased from 350 to 410 in just one year. By the end of the decade the country could potentially have as many ICBMs as the United States or Russia.
"China has embarked on a significant expansion of its nuclear arsenal", said Hans M. Kristensen, associate senior fellow in SIPRI's Weapons of Mass Destruction Program and director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). "It is increasingly difficult to square this trend with China's official goal of having only the minimum nuclear forces needed to maintain its national security".
Xi Jinping during the 20th Party Congress in October pledged to build world-class armed forces with a "strong strategic deterrence system", able to "fight and win wars" by 2049 (the centennial year of the People's Republic of China).
Last year, the US defense strategy (National Defense Strategy) was revealed to deal with the new geopolitics of the planet1. "The current and growing importance of nuclear weapons in our competitors' strategies and strengths increases the risks".
China has been called the "most significant strategic competitor for the next decades". The text also stated that "The People's Republic of China and Russia now pose more dangerous challenges to internal security and safety, even as terrorist threats persist". Do we, restless (and with one hand in our pocket...), want to remember that terrorist actions are (almost?) always inspired/sponsored by states?
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had stated that China "it is the only contender both with the intent to reshape the international order, and increasingly with the power to do so".
The Chinese regime, through its foreign ministry, had rejected the Pentagon report, stating that the number had been amplified to instead develop its military power.
According to the US report, China's nuclear buildup is an unprecedented challenge. It could be commented that the increase in nuclear arsenals is a global trend and is not limited to China alone... However, Beijing is the only one to do so today in such an evident way.
It's Italy? Here too, even today, there are those who persist in seeing in the five star red flag (name of the ensign of the People's Republic of China) a "dove". We limit ourselves to recalling the surprising result of the research of Konrad Lorenz (ethologist Nobel Prize in 1973) in this regard… "they are the most ferocious with animals of their own kind".
Images: Xinhua - Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China / Sipri