This week, the United States and Russia launched a series of verbal wars around the strategic nuclear weapons arms control agreement between the two countries. In the statement of the United States, you can clearly see the shadow of China, the third country outside the United States and Russia. In the field of nuclear disarmament and arms control, Chinas understanding and demand for its own country are quite different from those of other nuclear powers, especially the United States.
As the leader of all this, President trump naturally played an important role
On December 3, President trump of the United States, when attending the NATO summit, referred to the relevant topics between the United States and Russia on whether to extend the new strategic arms reduction treaty. As a treaty that will officially expire in February 2021, whether to extend the treaty or carry out corresponding negotiations on the extension has become an important topic in the field of arms control in the recent period. Russia is eager to sign the arms control agreement, trump said directly at the press conference. Its the same with us. Washington thinks its best to sign. As the president of the United States, his remarks naturally reflect and represent the main attitude of the United States towards such treaties to a large extent.
However, as the previous US officials at all levels have said, trump also referred to China inappropriately when talking about the bilateral agreement between the US and Russia. He said the United States also hopes that China can join the arms control agreement and that it hopes to reach an agreement with some nuclear powers, including China. He then stressed again that the agreement should include China and some other countries.
In the Sino US trade negotiations, the topic of nuclear disarmament really belongs to not playing according to the routine
Trump then added that he referred to the situation to Chinese officials in the course of trade negotiations with China and said Chinese officials were thrilled to join the treaty. Considering that the Ministry of foreign affairs of China has made it very clear that China is opposed to any country talking about China on the issue of arms control, and will not participate in the negotiation of any trilateral nuclear disarmament agreement. No matter how the politeness of Chinese trade negotiators is misunderstood by Trumps arrogance, or how trump himself just opens his mouth and talks nonsense, we dont know how he gets the statement from other Chinese officials that is totally contrary to the official voice of the Chinese government.
Chinas foreign ministrys statement at the press conference should be regarded as Chinas most official statement at present
In the field of arms control, the United States has tried to catch up with China in the past few years. On the face of it, though, the final collapse of the treaty was due to repeated accusations in recent years that the United States and Russia had violated it. However, from the wishful thinking that the United States sent Bolton, who was then the national security adviser of the United States, to Russia to mediate and hoped that Russia would help the United States to persuade China to join the China Guide treaty, it is undoubtedly obvious that the United States wants to cover the white wolf with empty hands and bring Chinas largest China Guide Arsenal into the treaty.
Whether its Boltons idea or not, the idea of going to Russia to urge him to persuade China is bold
In terms of extending the new START treaty, what the United States has done today is a repetition of the same trick. On December 5, during the hearing in the U.S. Senate, a member of the U.S. Senate asked John Rhode, deputy secretary of defense of the United States, why the U.S. Department of defense has not yet made a decision to extend the new START treaty, which expires in February 2021. Rhodes answer almost makes Trumps little calculation clear: if the United States now agrees to extend the new START treaty, there will be fewer cards for Russia and China in arms control negotiations. He added: there is still time by February 2021. If the United States and Russia decide to extend the treaty, there wont be much negotiation, just an extension date. At the same time, David hale, under secretary of state for political affairs of the United States, said, we do not exclude the possibility of extending the validity of the new START treaty.
The American way of thinking is also very clear: if there is nothing to gain from the delay, it will be a big loss
After all, compared with the current national strength and military strength of the United States and Russia, the new strategic arms reduction treaty has a moderate scale compared with the nuclear arsenals at the peak of the United States and the Soviet Union in history, but for Russia, whose strength is declining, even if it maintains and gradually renews such a scale of nuclear arsenals, The difficulty is not trivial.
Although the Soviet Union has left Russia with a three in one nuclear power system, due to the huge base number of various equipment in this system and the continuous aging of the equipment itself, just maintaining and maintaining their daily operation and normal renewal will cost Russia a lot of military expenditure. Especially in recent years, with the increasing number of strategic nuclear weapons and platforms that need to be replaced, salmat liquid intercontinental missile is used to replace Satan; more north wind god level strategic missile nuclear submarines are purchased to make up for the power gap after the decommissioning of the 667bdr nuclear submarine; the mass production of figure-160m is restarted as soon as possible to replace the old figure-95ms Compared with a tank with a unit price of only a few million dollars, these large-scale equipment with a cost of hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars is a gold gobbling monster.
For Russia, the speed at which nuclear submarines and missiles are being built is a struggle
If we want to replace the old-fashioned equipment of the Russian army with the ratio of 1:1, under the current military expenditure level of Russia, it will seriously affect the procurement of conventional weapons and the normal training and operation of troops. The U.S. is also right to accept that Russia needs the new strategic arms reduction treaty to maintain the surface balance of U.S. and Russian nuclear power. Almost conspiring to seek Russias support and ask China to join the bilateral nuclear disarmament agreement originally only between the U.S. and Russia. On this point, Russias understanding of Chinas position is already its goodwill to China under great pressure.
After all, for Russia, the comprehensive arms race after the complete abolition of the China Missile Treaty is not affordable
On the diplomatic level, because China has far less nuclear weapons than the United States, it occupies a moral commanding height in talking about various nuclear weapons reduction topics. As the foreign ministry spokesperson stated in May this year in response to Secretary of state Peng Peios view that China is expected to join the arms control agreement between the United States and Russia, many people in the international arms control community have a question about this. Does the U.S. want to talk about Chinas nuclear power to the level of the United States or reduce its own nuclear power to the level of China? In the specific operation of arms control negotiations, it is clear that China has no intention of expanding its nuclear arsenal to the level of the United States, and it is even more impossible for the United States to give up its advantages in nuclear weapons.
The United States has a great advantage in strategic nuclear weapons, and its advantage in tactical nuclear weapons is even more difficult to shake
The so-called nuclear disarmament negotiations involving China and some other countries can not be a fair competition among all countries from the very beginning, but more likely to be a discriminatory negotiation similar to the Washington Naval Treaty of the 1920s, which divides different countries into 369 grades. According to the political correctness of nuclear weapons reduction, all nuclear powers may further reduce their nuclear weapons in the treaty, but the number of nuclear weapons they retain will still be divided into several levels according to the number of nuclear weapons available to each country. For the United States, the reduction of one or two hundred nuclear warheads can only be regarded as a technical adjustment, while for China, the reduction of even 50 nuclear warheads is a serious impact on its strategic nuclear arsenal.
Once China joins in such negotiations and refuses to reduce nuclear weapons in accordance with the U.S. vision, the criticism of China in the international public opinion field will make China lose its previous moral advantage. As the U.S. that has played with the Soviet Union for more than 50 years in nuclear arms control and nuclear disarmament, it is naturally experienced in negotiations on related issues and making bad of various technical details Even if we start the negotiation, there is no small risk for China.
In terms of the negotiation experience of nuclear disarmament, the experience of the United States is also overwhelming
Chinas nuclear strategy itself, to some extent, is also an important factor in Chinas unwillingness to join the US Russia arms control treaty. The game of arms control and the design and adjustment of nuclear strategy of big powers are very complicated. But even at the peak of the cold war, the nuclear strategies of several other nuclear powers, apart from the United States and the Soviet Union, are far from complicated as a whole. Whether the United Kingdom has tried different forms of nuclear attack means (including land-based ballistic missiles and medium range nuclear bombers) and finally selected a single means of nuclear deterrence of nuclear submarines and submarine launched missiles, or Frances Trinity nuclear deterrence which seems to be smart and has nuclear bombers, land-based nuclear missiles and strategic missile nuclear submarines at the same time, facing the Soviet Unions far greater nuclear arsenal Because of the popularity of tactical nuclear weapons in the cold war and the long-term advantages of the Soviet Union in the strength of the central European army, Britain and France did not think much about whether they could use nuclear weapons first.
The nuclear arsenals of Britain and France are very small, so there is no special operation to carry out. The only choice is to launch or not to launch
By contrast, Chinas nuclear strategy was more complicated during the cold war. For one thing, China has been in a state that the US, the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union have to deal with for a long time after possessing nuclear weapons. The target of its nuclear arsenal is not only the United States, but also the Soviet Union, which has a huge threat to the north of China. Although the scale of Chinas nuclear arsenal has been smaller than that of Britain and France for a long time, and there are not many means of attack (after the 1970s, except for the strategic nuclear missiles with growing strength, there are only theoretical ones The air force with combat capability will bomb the air force, and the strategic nuclear deterrence of submarine launching will not be formally built until the 21st century). The nuclear means of attack will also be the nuclear retaliation mainly aimed at attacking densely populated areas.
Although Chinas strategic nuclear deterrent force has made great progress before the 1980s, it will be later to establish a truly effective nuclear deterrent force against the United States and the Soviet Union
At the same time, the propaganda of no first use of nuclear weapons also complicates Chinas nuclear strategy. On the one hand, Chinas nuclear strategy seems to be more defensive than that of Britain and France, but on the other hand, almost all foreign military observers do not think that in the 1970s and 1980s, when facing the obvious disadvantage of the Soviet Union in the Far East, China will continue to adhere to this principle after the devastating failure of the conventional war. After the cold war, due to the disappearance of the threat from the Soviet Union, Chinas strategic nuclear power turned to the United States as its main opponent. However, in the 1990s and the beginning of this century, when Chinas conventional military strength was obviously inferior, no first use of nuclear weapons still caused a heated discussion within the academia and the military for a long time.
After the Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1996, the domestic academic circles once had a new discussion on the principle of the use of nuclear weapons
With Chinas continuous progress in the research and development of strategic nuclear weapons, contemporary China is also increasingly rich in means of strategic nuclear strike. At the beginning of this century, China began to equip Mobile launched long-range ballistic missiles with a range up to that of the United States. In recent years, China has completed the combat readiness duty of the submarine launched ballistic missile nuclear submarine force, equipped with a new type of strategic bomber, and established a special combat readiness duty force. The number and quality of intercontinental missiles with a range up to that of the United States are also developing. In this years naval and National Day military parade, the comprehensive appearance of the 094 type strategic missile nuclear submarine and its julang-2 missile, dongfeng-31ag, dongfeng-5b and dongfeng-41 ballistic missiles, and the hong-6n strategic bomber undoubtedly shows the establishment of Chinas Trinity strategic nuclear deterrence system.
Although as a strategic bomber, it is still a little reluctant, but the h-6n has a milestone significance for Chinas nuclear power
However, such modernization does not mean a substantial increase in Chinas total nuclear arsenals for the time being, but rather a structural adjustment under the condition that the total number of nuclear warheads remains unchanged as a whole, that is, while eliminating the old medium-range nuclear missiles, China is equipped with more long-range and intercontinental nuclear missiles. But different from the United States and Russia, for China, the Trinity nuclear deterrence system does not mean the fundamental change of Chinas nuclear strategy at present.
For China, more and more advanced long-range and intercontinental ballistic missile services have greatly increased the number and penetration probability of nuclear warheads that China can attack the United States, and the attack accuracy of nuclear weapons has significantly improved. However, even if all Chinese nuclear warheads are concentrated, the number may not meet the requirements of the United States and the Soviet Union in the cold war The nuclear warhead demand of the first nuclear strike and the second nuclear counterattack.
In nuclear arsenals at the height of the cold war, multiple insurances and repeated backups were the norm
According to the Western point of view, with the continuous enhancement of Chinas nuclear weapon throwing capability, China will inevitably continue to seek more nuclear warheads, even adjust its nuclear strategy, seek multiple rounds of nuclear strike capabilities for different purposes like the United States and Russia, and launch a nuclear arms race with the United States and even Russia.
However, the products in nuclear arsenals, both in purchase price and maintenance cost, are much higher than conventional weapons. Only taking the strategic missile nuclear submarine as an example, the total budget of the 12 Columbia class strategic missile nuclear submarines currently planned to be built by the US Navy is as high as US $125 billion, and the estimated budget of the first ship is as high as US $12.4 billion (this does not include the budget overrun problem that the submarine will encounter after the actual construction), which is no lower than the price of the Ford class nuclear aircraft carrier How much? The budget of the next generation of four successor strategic missile nuclear submarines in the UK is 31 billion pounds, and the average price of a single one is 7.75 billion pounds, while the cost of a single aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth with a displacement of nearly 70000 tons is only 3.1 billion dollars.
Although the strategic missile nuclear submarine is far less powerful than the nuclear aircraft carrier, it costs a lot of money
According to this situation, the cost of a type 094 strategic missile nuclear submarine (or its next-generation successor model) will be at least equivalent to 1-2 domestic aircraft carriers. However, with the same proportion, the cost will only be doubled on the basis of the existing nuclear arsenals, that is to say, the number of nuclear warheads required by the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of the United States and Russia is about 40% We need an additional 4-8 domestic aircraft carriers, that is, hundreds of billions of dollars for the construction of strategic missile nuclear submarines. If we take into account that this does not include the capital, manpower and material resources needed for the production and manufacture of ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads, as well as for the corresponding command, preparation, daily maintenance and decommissioning processing, even if we increase the number of nuclear warheads to 40% of that of the United States, the capital required has reached hundreds of billions of levels, which can be apportioned into the defense budget for decades, But the number is still considerable.
For this reason, China has a high degree of control over its strategic nuclear power even during the Cold War
For China, in the face of the hostile negotiation invitation from the United States, there are two things worth thinking about more than how to negotiate or what kind of negotiation conditions are needed: first, when China has solved the problem of almost all the equipment on the strategic nuclear weapon vehicle, how large-scale, what proportion of the nuclear arsenal it needs to build at the end, and what kind of nuclear strategy it needs to use It can meet Chinas national defense needs and realize Chinas national strategy; secondly, whether China is ready to disclose the number, composition and deployment of its nuclear arsenals to the international community, including the imaginary enemy, or not. After all, the high confidentiality of the scale and deployment of nuclear arsenals and the vagueness of the national nuclear strategy have long been an important part of Chinas strategic nuclear deterrence, and the publication of this series of contents itself is a significant weakening of the national strategic nuclear deterrence.
The hidden truth of strategic nuclear power is completely invalid once it is negotiated
Of course, if Chinas nuclear power is strong enough to make similar publicity, its a good choice to join similar strategic nuclear arms reduction negotiations and publish the general situation of its nuclear power to enhance the transparency of Chinas armed forces, and at the same time enhance Chinas nuclear deterrence effect, but when Chinas nuclear power is not strong enough to accomplish such a task Through the fuzziness and uncertainty of confidentiality, it will affect the decision-making of hypothetical opponents on related issues in strategy, so as to achieve the effect of deterrence on another level.
Source: responsible editor of observer network: Wang Xuyu b12062