China’s nuclear submarines escalate tensions with US in Sth China Seas

The tensions between the US and China over Sth China seas territorial claims are growing again after China announced plans to send nuclear submarines into the region.

China’s General’s have attempted to justify this expansion by claiming US advances in military technology leave them no choice. The Guardian says

They point to plans unveiled in March to station the US Thaad anti-ballistic system in South Korea, and the development of hypersonic glide missiles potentially capable of hitting China less than an hour after launch, as huge threats to the effectiveness of its land-based deterrent force.

What his means in basic terms is that the US, with at least a 7000 nuclear warheads on call could destroy all of China’s 270 inland based warheads before they were launched, or shoot them down in mid air if by chance any were launched.

With missiles on subs in the Sth China seas, China would still be able to get missiles off to the US even if land based launch pads were destroyed. Each submarine is capable of carrying 12 nuclear missiles.

China’s belligerence in the Sth China seas and its obvious antagonism toward the US means NZ’s relationship with China is fraught with all kinds of possibilities. A decison will have to be made in the future as to whether any kind of close trade or diplomatic relationship with the Chicoms can be continued.