Big story you missed: China's missiles could thwart U.S.

American defenses may not be able to stand up to China's new advances, analysts say

Published August 24, 2012 10:59PM (EDT)

The New York Times reports that the United States may be falling behind China when it comes to weapon technology, according to military analysts. China is developing new and more capable intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched missiles.

Global Times, a newspaper directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, reported Wednesday that China was developing the capability to put multiple warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles.

According to Larry M. Wortzel, who sits on the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, China has been developing the capability to put up to 10 nuclear warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles, though dummy warheads could be substituted for some of the nuclear warheads.

“The bigger implication of this is that, as they begin to field a force of missiles with multiple warheads, it means everything we assume about the size of their nuclear arsenal becomes wrong,” Wortzel said.

In addition, China has tested submarine-launched missiles within recent weeks, Wortzel said.

By Jaime Cone

Jaime Cone is an editorial fellow at Salon.

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Asia Big Story You Missed Biggest Story You Missed China National Security Nuclear Weapons