U.S. deploys nuclear-armed ballistic missile sub to Asia amid China’s dramatic buildup

FPI / January 20, 2021


The U.S. Navy disclosed on Twitter that the nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine USS Ohio was deployed to Apra Harbor, Guam.

China’s DF-26 ballistic missiles worry the U.S. because they can be fired from long ranges with enough precision to attack a moving ship. / AP

The U.S.’s strategic submarine activity near Guam comes amid heightened tensions with China over Taiwan and the transition of U.S. presidential administrations.

“The disclosure of the Ohio’s deployment is unusual as missile submarine deployments are usually kept secret,” security correspondent Bill Gertz noted in a Jan. 14 report for the Washington Times.

China has nearly tripled its ballistic missile production capability and deployed a wide array of nuclear and conventional missile systems, according to an intelligence assessment released by the U.S. State Department.

The department also notified Congress on Jan. 14 that it believes Beijing is close to violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by refusing to join the United States in nuclear arms reduction talks underway with Russia.

“As of the writing of this letter, China appears to not be in compliance with its Article VI obligations under the NPT and it will be essential that the next administration continue to apply the full range of diplomatic, economic and defensive measures to bring Communist China to the negotiating table,” said Marshall Billingslea, special presidential envoy for arms control.

Billingslea’s warning, contained in a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, noted: “In the case of China, we are witnessing the single greatest expansion of a nuclear arsenal since the dawn of the Cold War.”

The missiles of greatest concern to the United States are China’s “carrier-killer” DF-21 and DF-26 missiles. The unique missiles can be fired from long ranges with enough precision to attack a moving ship at sea.

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