Fears of open conflict between the two nations have once again soared after the editor of the Chinese state-run newspaper the Global Times said his country should reach the quantity of nuclear warheads “that makes US elites shiver.” Hu Xijin weighed in on China’s stance towards the United States in an op-ed piece for the news outlet.
He wrote: “We must be prepared for an intense showdown between China and the US.
“The number of China’s nuclear warheads must reach the quantity that makes US elites shiver should they entertain the idea of engaging in a military confrontation with China.”
He also voiced his support for “rapidly” building up the number of commissioned nuclear warheads, an intercontinental ballistic missile, DF-41s and strategic missiles that have “long-range” capacity.
It follows Mr Biden’s approval of extra weapons being shipped to Australia in preparation for a potential clash.
Chinese hostility in the South China Sea has led to cooperation between the US and Australia’s militaries.
Karen Andrews, Australia’s Home Affairs Minister, stressed that the move was a “message” but that the two nations were not “alarmed”.
She said: “It’s sending a very strong message that we are alert, we are not alarmed.
“But we are doing all that we can to be prepared.”