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New satellite images appear to show China developing missile silos. What’s next?

New photos appear to show China making progress on developing new missile silos that could launch nuclear weapons

The Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Taishan in southern China’s Guangdong Province,
The Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Taishan in southern China’s Guangdong Province is seen on Thursday, June 17, 2021. An analysis of new commercial satellite images appears to show the construction of three silo fields in China that could eventually launch long-range nuclear missiles.
Associated Press

An analysis of new commercial satellite images appears to show the construction of three silo fields in China that could eventually launch long-range nuclear missiles.

Experts with the Federation of American Scientists, which is a nonpartisan national security research and advocacy organization, said that China has made progress on developing these silos.

  • “For China, this is an unprecedented nuclear buildup,” the FAS report said.

The silos are being built outside the cities of Yumen, Hami and Ordos, per The Hill.

  • But The Chinese government has not confirmed or denied these facilities are silos, according to The Hill.

So what could happen? Well, the FAS report suggests the silos aren’t operational quite yet.

  • “The missile silo fields are still many years away from becoming fully operational and it remains to be seen how China will arm and operate them,” according to the FAS report.

Per CNN, the first reports of China developing a missile silo field came in June. There were some other reports of fields being built, too.

Navy Adm. Charles A. Richard, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, said the silo construction is a “strategic breakout by China,” per CNN.

  • “The explosive growth and modernization of its nuclear and conventional forces can only be what I describe as breathtaking. And frankly, that word breathtaking may not be enough,” he said.