The Obama administration is funding a joint nuclear security center in Beijing designed to stem nuclear weapons proliferation — despite recent state-run media reports showing Beijing’s plans to hit U.S. cities with nuclear missiles that would kill millions of Americans during a conflict.
A White House official said the Beijing center would not be used to help protect Chinese nuclear weapons.
However, critics say the center will indirectly support China’s growing nuclear arsenal because the U.S. equipment, training and other security know-how provided to the Chinese will be used at facilities involved in nuclear-weapons production.
Also, the Defense Department is part of the center, indicating a military component to the assistance.
The security cooperation also is unusual because China failed to cooperate with the U.S. government in resolving past large-scale nuclear espionage against the United States. The CIA concluded in the late 1990s that Chinese spies obtained secrets on every deployed warhead in the U.S. arsenal. The FBI botched its investigation of the nuclear spying and has said it is still investigating the matter.
The state-run China Daily newspaper last month announced that work has begun on a U.S.-funded “Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security” that will be completed by 2015.
The facility is being built at the Changyang science and technology park located on the southwestern suburbs of Beijing. It will be outfitted with environmental labs, response-force exercise facilities, test sites for physical protection, and buildings for experiments, scientific research and technology displays and training, the newspaper stated.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz traveled to China for the groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 29.
The Chinese announcement of the nuclear center appeared in several state media outlets that day.
By coincidence news about the center was followed a day later by an alarming report in another newspaper, the xenophobic Communist Party-affiliated Global Times, revealing for the first time the Chinese military’s detailed plans for using submarine-launched and road-mobile nuclear missiles to attack American cities.
The Global Times article included photos of missile systems and maps showing nuclear attacks on downtown Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, and other U.S. locations.
“In general, after a nuclear missile strikes a city, the radioactive dust produced by 20 warheads will be spread by the wind, forming a contaminated area for thousands of kilometers,” the report said.
“Based on the actual level of China’s one million tons TNT equivalent small nuclear warhead technology, the 12 JL-2 [submarine-launched] nuclear missiles carried by one Type 094 nuclear submarine could cause the destruction of five million to 12 million people, forming a very clear deterrent effect.”
Pentagon and State Department officials had no comment on the nuclear attack reports that were given official weight by their appearance in several major party-controlled news outlets.