China deploys missiles amid calls for more nuclear weapons to deter Donald Trump

By Neil Connor

Beijing is moving advanced ballistic missiles which are capable of hitting the US to its north-eastern frontier with Russia, according to media reports, amid suggestions that the weapons were revealed in response to Donald Trump’s “provocative remarks” towards China.

The Chinese Internet has carried unverified pictures of the deployment of the nuclear capable Dongfeng-41 missiles to Heilongjiang province, which is also the closest point of China to the US.

The weapon has a range of 8,700 miles (14,000 kilometres) and a payload of 10 to 12 nuclear warheads, reports said.

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“They think this is Beijing’s response to Trump’s provocative remarks on China,” added the outlet, which is known for taking a strongly nationalist tone and making inflammatory comments.

The newspaper also called for a ramping up of China’s nuclear capabilities, saying: “China’s nuclear arsenal must be able to deter the US.”

“Even Washington feels that its naval forces and nuclear strength are lacking,” it added. “So how can China be content with its current nuclear strength when it is viewed by the US as its biggest potential opponent?”

The reported deployment comes after Mr Trump has angered China with his stance on Taiwan, trade and security – particularly in the South China Sea.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer vowed that the US would “defend” its interests in the strategically-important waters at his first press conference on Monday, causing Beijing to assert its “indisputable sovereignty” in the region.
His comments came after secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson said the US could block China’s access to man-made islands it has constructed in the disputed waters, a move which analysts say could result in conflict.
Mr Trump broke years of diplomatic protocol by taking a congratulatory call from Taiwan’s president last month.
He then rattled Beijing further by casting doubt on the “One-China policy”, in which Washington recognises that there is only one China and Taiwan is part of that.
China has become increasingly assertive with its military in recent weeks. A group of warships led by China’s sole aircraft carrier entered the Taiwan Strait earlier this month.
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