May 2014 Breaking News China nuclear war plans land & submarine missile strikes USA cities
The Obama administration declined to comment on Sunday on provocative state-run Chinese media reports outlining Beijing's nuclear war plans, including land-based and submarine-launched missile strikes on U.S. cities that would kill up to 12 million people.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf and Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith would not respond when asked about the highly unusual Chinese reports.
The Chinese nuclear war stories were first disclosed by the Washington Times on Thursday.
The failure to respond to the threats is undermining the confidence among U.S. allies and friends in Asia concerned with the American commitment to protecting Asia.
These stories should be a fire bell in the night for Washington to step up America's cooperation with allies in anti-submarine warfare.
Fisher said China's large-scale Maneuver 5 war games last week included submarine, surface ship, and bomber exercises.
The Chinese reports included maps showing nuclear strikes on Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest, along with the resulting radiation plumes stretching thousands of miles across the western United States.
Global Times, viewed as China's most xenophobic anti-U.S. media outlet, stated in its report that "the 12 JL-2 [submarine-launched ballistic missile] nuclear warheads carried by one single Type 094 SSBN can kill and wound 5 million to 12 million Americans." The newspaper is a subsidiary of the People's Daily, the organ of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.
Harf referred questions about the attack scenarios to the Pentagon, where Smith would not comment directly, despite the fact that a key mission of the Pentagon is to deter nuclear attacks like those outlined in the Chinese press.
Smith said annual Pentagon reports to Congress documented what she called China's "long-term modernization of strategic nuclear forces featuring the introduction of road-mobile, solid propellant ICBMs and continued development on ballistic missile submarine, the Type 094 and an accompanying new submarine launched ballistic missile, JL-2."
"We continue to monitor these development very closely," she said.
The Chinese nuclear saber rattling is expected to complicate the administration's push for a new round of strategic arms cuts with Russia. President Barack Obama in June repeated his call for ultimately eliminating all nuclear weapons and called for a one-third cut in the projected New START arms treaty warhead level of 1,550 warheads.
However, Russia has balked at further cuts and is developing a new medium-range nuclear missile partly as a result of China's growing arsenal of nuclear missiles.
China is rapidly expanding its nuclear forces with new missiles, submarines, and warheads. At least one of the warheads is based on warhead designs stolen from U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories in the 1990s, U.S. officials have said.
The Chinese reports last week stated that the nuclear forces revelations were the first time Chinese media had discussed detailed plans to counter U.S. nuclear deterrence in the Pacific.
Previously, details of China's nuclear forces were among the most closely guarded secrets in the Chinese military.
In addition to Global Times, the reports also appeared in other Party organs, including China Central TV, People's Daily, PLA Daily, China Youth Daily, and Guangmin Daily newspapers.
The reports also coincided with China's first official disclosure of new ballistic missile submarine capabilities, described by Global Times as "secrets of our first-generation underwater nuclear force."
The reports were unique due to the level of threatening rhetoric and rare public discussion of plans for nuclear attacks, including plans to fire road-mobile DF-31A road-mobile long-range missiles over the North Pole to attack U.S. cities. The missile has a range of up to 7,500 miles.
"If we launch our DF-31A ICBMs over the North Pole, we can easily destroy a whole list of metropolises on the East Coast and the New England region of the U.S., including Annapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Portland, Baltimore, and Norfolk, whose population account accounts for about one eighth of America's total residents," Global Times stated.
For submarine-launched nuclear missiles, the Chinese plan to target key west coast cities.
"Because the Midwest states of the U.S. are sparsely populated, in order to increase the lethality, [our] nuclear attacks should mainly target the key cities on the West Coast of the United States, such as Seattle, Los Angles, San Francisco, and San Diego," Global Times said.
One graphic showed eight warheads hitting Washington state and Oregon and the nuclear radiation spreading as far east as Chicago. Another map shows five nuclear warhead destruction radii in downtown Los Angeles.