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U.S. is worried about China’s rising nuclear arsenal, Blinken tells Southeast Asian officers

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks about refugee packages for Afghans who aided the U.S. throughout a briefing on the State Division in Washington, DC, U.S. August 2, 2021.

Brendan Smialowski | Reuters

America’s high diplomat expressed concern to Southeast Asian overseas ministers about China’s rising nuclear arsenal, the State Division stated Friday.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken outlined to the ASEAN Regional Discussion board, an internet assembly of greater than 20 international locations, a listing of provocative Chinese language habits.

“The secretary additionally famous deep concern with the fast development of the PRC’s nuclear arsenal which highlights how Beijing has sharply deviated from its decades-old nuclear technique based mostly on minimal deterrence,” State spokesman Ned Worth stated, referring to the Individuals’s Republic of China.

A report final month from the American Federation of Scientists concluded that Beijing was constructing greater than 100 missile silos in its Xinjiang area, elevating questions on China’s nuclear weapons ambitions.

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The Stockholm Worldwide Peace Analysis Institute estimates that China holds roughly 350 of the world’s nukes, a fraction of the 5,550 possessed by the US and 6,255 by Russia.

Blinken additionally warned concerning the violent army regime in Burma in addition to human rights abuses in Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

Final month, the Biden administration warned companies with ties to Hong Kong and Xinjiang of sweeping regulatory dangers as China continues to limit political and financial freedoms within the area.

Blinken additionally referred to as on China to stop its provocative habits within the hotly contested waters of the South China Sea.

The South China Sea, which is residence to greater than 200 specks of land, serves as a gateway to international sea routes the place practically $four trillion of commerce passes yearly. Greater than $1 trillion of that’s linked to the U.S. market. The ocean can also be residence to an estimated $2.6 trillion in recoverable offshore oil and gasoline.

5 claimants — China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam — occupy practically 70 disputed reefs and islets throughout the South China Sea. Over time, claimants have constructed and expanded roughly 90 outposts on these contested options, in response to analysis gathered by CSIS’s Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.

The quite a few overlapping sovereign claims to the land have led to it being a house for army outposts. Beijing holds the lion’s share of those land options, with roughly 27 all through the world.

Beijing’s curiosity in creating the land throughout the South China Sea is under no circumstances new.

China first took possession of Fiery Cross Reef and Subi Reef in 1988 and has since outfitted them with deep-water ports, plane hangars, communication amenities, administration workplaces and a 10,000-foot runway.

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