- List of states with nuclear weapons
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List of states with nuclear weapons
China: Suspected Acquisition of U. You Are Here: home unt libraries government documents department this report. Physical Description 60 pages. Who People and organizations associated with either the creation of this report or its content. Author Kan, Shirley A. Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division. Publisher Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
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Creation Date December 20, Description Last Updated Feb. Usage Statistics When was this report last used? Yesterday: 0. Past 30 days: 0. This saga grew out of a strange incident in , in which a Chinese intelligence agent walked in to a U. The CIA later concluded that, for unknown reasons, this "walk-in" had acted at the direction of Chinese intelligence. Of particular interest were some design details of the W warhead, America's most sophisticated design.
The details fell far short of evidence that China had obtained anything close to a complete design however, a fact that was often ignored in the later controversy, and it transpired could have been obtained from documents about the warhead distributed at many sites around the country and accessible to thousands of people. Nonetheless, because the warhead design had originated at Los Alamos, an FBI investigation focused there, and because Wen Ho Lee was the only Chinese-American employed in the X-Division, he quickly became the focus of the investigation. Lee's early appearance in Tiger Trap essentially clenched him as the prime and sole suspect in the eyes of Department of Energy investigator Notra Trulock.
The Wen Ho Lee investigation was kicked into hyperdrive when the Cox Committee, organized to investigate the transmission of space and missile technology to China, got wind of it and hastily added a sensationalized section on nuclear weapon espionage to the committees final report in December Virtually no attention was paid to Chinese nuclear spying allegations until a front-page 6 March New York Times story about the investigation.
During the next 18 months circumspection was rarely seen in pronouncements made politicians, pundits, and officials. The extravagant claims made about Lee and supposed intelligence compromises led to Lee's arrest, extended imprisonment in solitary confinement, threats of capital punishment, and sworn testimony by government witnesses that was later admitted to be false. In the end the espionage case utterly collapsed with no evidence of spying by Lee ever having been found. Finally a plea agreement was reached on 13 September in which Lee pleaded guilty to one count of improperly handling classified information and was released.
As far as can be determined from publicly available information, there appears to be no real evidence of China obtaining actual nuclear warhead designs from the U. At most the information seems to have been information about warhead design and technology, possibly quite sketchy, that would help guide Chinese research and development down the most productive tracks. Without detailed designs of warheads "blueprints" , Chinese weapons would necessarily be based on indigenous designs even if they incorporated design features and concepts derived from U.
China's nuclear delivery system program's have traditionally proceeded very slowly. This has resulted in the deployment of forces that have been one to two decades behind the other nuclear powers in technology although cause and effect may be reversed, lack of advanced technology may have been the cause of such tardy deployments. It is believed that fewer than ballistic missiles have ever been deployed with only the first cryogenic liquid fuel missile having been retired.
The vast majority of China's arsenal is not capable of reaching the United States, and thus seems geared towards deterring or threatening its immediate neighbors.
The DF-3 has a range of km. The DF-4 missile has a range of km, making it capable of reaching any part of Russia. This figure is surprising in light of China's ability to produce the same basic booster in larger numbers as the Long March 2 satellite launcher. The U. It is thought to carry the largest warhead ever tested by China Mt. China has placed little emphasis on aircraft as a strategic weapon carrier.
The Hong-6 and Qian-5 are short-medium range, light payload aircraft suitable more for tactical or regional-strategic operations.
The main bomber, the Hong-6, is based on the Tu Badger which entered Soviet service in and first flew in China on 27 September This plane was used to drop two live nuclear weapons in tests: a fission bomb in May and a megaton-range thermonuclear bomb in June The Xian Aircraft Company has been developing the Hong-7 FB-7 , a supersonic fighter-bomber, for over 10 years, but no date has been given for its deployment.
The most attractive possibility for modernization of the air arm is simply to purchase advanced fighter bombers from Russia where they are readily available on easy terms and modify them to carry Chinese nuclear weapons. Russia has also sold production rights for the Su to China, and an assembly plant has been set up at Shenyang.
The first two Chinese-made SUs flew in December China plans to build at least SUs over the next 15 years. There is no information available to indicate that they have been assigned a nuclear role however. China has only one operational ballistic missile submarine, the Xia No.
This ton nuclear-powered boat was laid down in , and launched in April from the Huludao Shipyard and Naval Base on the northern Bohai Gulf but achieved operational status only with great difficulty. The first attempt to fire a missile from the Xia failed in , and it entered service only after a successful test launch was conducted on 27 September It was deployed to the Jianggezhuang Submarine Base, where the nuclear warheads for the missiles are believed to be stored, in January A second submarine was reportedly launched in , but is not now in service.
Timeline of the Cox Report controversy
Unsubstantiated reports claim it was lost in a accident. The Xia underwent a modernization refit beginning in It has never sailed beyond China's regional waters and is believed incapable of deployment to distant areas. The submarine is armed with the Julang-1 Giant Wave, or Tsunami two-stage solid fuel missile, which was first test fired 30 April There will very probably be no more submarines of this class. A new design Type submarine, to be equipped with the longer range three stage Julang-2, a variant of the DF, is been under development for several years but probably won't see deployment for several more.
China's Nuclear Weapons
Much less is known about Chinese tactical nuclear weapons, which are believed to comprise a large part of the Chinese nuclear arsenal. The neutron bomb claimed by China is strictly a tactical weapon designed for use against armored vehicles. China has conducted a number of low yield tests that may have been tactical weapons, and a large military exercise incorporating simulated nuclear weapons was held in June China's M-family of tactical ballistic missiles, the M-9, M and M, are believed to be nuclear capable.
Taiwanese officials have said that over the last four years the number of M-family missiles in China's three southern provinces nearby, have increased from to today. Estimates of Chinese tactical warheads range from to , with yields from a few kilotons to hundreds of kilotons. M s?