China has made “spectacular progress” in creating new nuclear weapons, however will solely use them for self-defence, and by no means use them first, Chinese language Defence Minister Wei Fenghe advised delegates on the Shangri-La Dialogue on Sunday.
In response to a query about reviews final 12 months on development of greater than 100 new nuclear missile silos in China’s east, he mentioned China “has all the time pursued an applicable path to creating nuclear capabilities for cover of our nation”.
He added nuclear weapons displayed in a 2019 navy parade in Beijing – which included upgraded launchers for China’s DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles – had been operational and deployed.
“China has developed its capabilities for over 5 a long time. It is honest to say there was spectacular progress,” he mentioned. “China’s … coverage is constant. We use it for self defence. We won’t be the primary to make use of nuclear (weapons).”
He mentioned the last word purpose of China’s nuclear arsenal was to stop nuclear battle.
“We developed nuclear capabilities to guard the laborious work of the Chinese language folks and defend our folks from the scourge of the nuclear warfare,” he mentioned.
The U.S. State Division final 12 months referred to as China’s nuclear buildup regarding and mentioned it appeared Beijing was deviating from a long time of nuclear technique primarily based round minimal deterrence. It referred to as on China to interact with it “on sensible measures to scale back the dangers of destabilising arms races.”