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China said expanding its nukes, ICBMs

  |   May 26, 2009 at 4:54 PM
LONDON, May 26 (UPI) -- China is developing and expanding its arsenals of nuclear warheads and strategic missiles, military experts say.

Satellite imagery acquired by Jane's Intelligence Review indicates Beijing is now deploying or developing up to five nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles -- China's most ambitious increase in ICBM capability since the late 1980s, the British publication said in a release Tuesday.

"Estimates gathered by Jane's Intelligence Review show that within 10 years China may have a much larger total missile force, although not as large as Russia or the U.S., and it will utilize a range of modern technologies to ensure the effective retaliatory purpose of China's long-range nuclear missile forces," Jane's editor Christian Le Miere said.

China's move to add ICBMs stands in contrast to nuclear reduction talks being pursued by the United States and Russia. Beijing's nuclear arsenal, however, remains small enough to justify its continued rejection of pleas to join the arms reduction talks, La Miere said.

"China's consistent opening position on issues of nuclear disarmament has been that it is up to the established nuclear powers to first eliminate their nuclear weapons," he said.

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