China’s state media boast of Chinese nuclear subs attacking U.S. cities

In a sign of the People’s Republic of China’s determination to stake out its irredentist territorial claims in the East and South China Seas, as well as its growing confidence and belligerence, a number of Chinese-run state media last week simultaneously boasted that “China for the first time possesses effective underwater nuclear deterrence against the United States via nuclear submarines that can attack U.S. cities on the west and east coasts.

PRC submarinePhoto of a Chinese navy nuclear submarine taking part in a nuclear safety drill at the Qingdao submarine base in Shandong province, taken on Oct. 26, 2010, and released by the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) the next day.

Miles Yu reports for The Washington Times that on October 28, 2013, China’s state-owned media outlets — China Central TV, the People’s Daily, the Global Times, the PLA Daily, the China Youth Daily and the Guangmin Daily — ran identical, top-headlined reports about the “awesomeness” of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) strategic submarine force.

In an article titled “China for the First Time Possesses Effective Underwater Nuclear Deterrence against the United States,” the Global Times chillingly detailed, with photos and graphics, damage projections for Seattle and Los Angeles after being hit by Chinese nuclear warheads and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), and the deadly radiation that would spread all the way to Chicago:

Because the Midwest states of the U.S. are sparsely populated, in order to increase the lethality, [our] nuclear attacks should mainly target the key cities on the West Coast of the United States, such as Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.

The 12 JL-2 nuclear warheads carried by one single Type 094 SSBN can kill and wound 5 million to 12 million Americans.

If we launch our DF 31A ICBMs over the North Pole, we can easily destroy a whole list of metropolises on the East Coast and the New England region of the U.S., including Annapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Portland, Baltimore and Norfolk, whose population accounts for about one-eighth of America’s total residents.

Here’s PLAN’s map showing the estimated range of radioactive fallout from a nuclear attack on Seattle (English translations are mine – Dr. C):

PLAN's map of USA

China’s land-based ICBMs include notably the DF-31A, which has a range of 7,000 to 7,500 miles.

The Chinese state media also emphasized that the PLAN’s missile submarines are now on routine strategic patrol, which means China for the first time has acquired the strategic deterrence and second strike capability against the United States: “Our JL-2 SLBMs have become the fourth type of Chinese nuclear missiles that threaten the continental United States, after our DF-31A, DF-5A and DF-5B ICBMs.”

China’s sub fleet is reportedly the world’s second-largest, with about 70 vessels, 10 of which are nuclear-powered, with four or more of those being nuclear ballistic submarines capable of launching missiles.

Heavily influenced by Soviet naval models, China’s nuclear submarine development began with the reverse-engineering of a Soviet Golf-class conventional-powered sub in the 1950s. In the 1980s, China developed its first ballistic missile sub, the Type 092 Xia-class, which has 12 launch tubes for the Julang (Giant Wave)-1 missiles. The JL-1 had a limited range and failed multiple test launches. In 2010, a new class of missile sub, the Type 094 Jin class, entered the service. It is capable of launching 12 to 16 JL-2 missiles with a range of about 8,700 miles, covering much of the continental U.S. with single or multiple, independently targetable re-entry vehicle warheads.

In addition to threatening the United States, the PLAN’s chest-thumping evidently is also meant for domestic consumption. On October 27, 2013, PLAN gave Chinese media unprecedented publicity on its first nuclear submarine fleet, one of its most secretive military programs. China is devoting increasing resources to its naval forces to safeguard its maritime interests and assert its territorial claims.

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9 responses to “China’s state media boast of Chinese nuclear subs attacking U.S. cities

  1. This is frightening. However, I suppose China senses that America is terribly vulnerable right now, due to our current regime’s actions and policies.


  2. So this is what liberals wanted with their “peaceful rise” b.s. about the PRC– they miss the Cold War and Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) that much?


  3. You can thank Clinton for handing over the technology to target us. Be interesting to know how much campagn funding he got in return. One problem the chinese still have not assessed, how much harder will we hit them back?


  4. A. James Gregor, Ph.D. & Professor

    It is clear that Beijing has convinced itself that the United States has entered into irrevocable decline as an economic, military, and political power. It therefore considers itself free of Deng Xiaoping’s injunction to not advertise its own aggressive and deterrent military capabilities.

    In the late 1990s, the US had deployed two aircraft carrier battle groups to the Taiwan region in order to deter the PRC’s aggressive effort to influence the national elections on Taiwan. So the Chinese Communist leadership elected to make public its prospective general program designed to counter any such moves by the US in the future. That would require special attention to Beijing’s naval inventory. Since then, Beijing has invested impressive resources into naval aviation and the construction of suitable blue water platforms for its effective use. That required the construction of missile capable destroyers and frigates for carrier defense. To render the entire program plausible an impressive deterrent was required–hence the nuclear attack submarines with multiple missile launching capability (theoretically) capable of inflicting punishing damage on the continental U.S.

    Of course, it is one thing to have a strategic plan and an appropriate inventory; it is quite another to have all parts of the required inventory operational and competent in the “fog of war.” Conversely, it is obvious that the U.S. is required by the demands of self preservation, and the defense of free nations, that its military capabilities be protected and fostered, and its military command remain secure and committed. It is neither time to reduce our military response capabilities through “automatic” budget cuts, nor the total commitment of our military by arbitrary political command choices.


  5. Pingback: China says its anti-ship ballistic missile can sink U.S. aircraft carriers |

  6. Pingback: China Has Missile To Sink U.S. Carriers | PatriotsBillboard

  7. Pingback: China reveals its ability to nuke the US: submarine fleet capable of launching warhea - ALIPAC

  8. I too worry about china s military , we all can squelch it by not buying or selling chineses junk ! Buy clothes and goods from vietnam , south american countrys , japan etc friendly countries . Look at where its mfg , bar codes that start I think 690-695 don’t buy ! …If there military submarines are anything like the Chinese electronics or mechanical poor Copies we always have to keep rebuying because of poor reverse engineering and workmanship I guess it’s not much of a concern . Besides with the amount of Chinese nationals and there 1 million foreign students in the USA will be in there missle targets too .. Haha


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