The third leg in China's nuclear weapons triad has finally been achieved by the People's Liberation Army (PLA), and uneasily for the United States, this nation if firmly fixed in the Chinese thermo-nuclear sights now that their submarines are capable to hitting most of America, as reported by The Washington Times on Oct. 31, 2013.
With all branches of the Chinese Armed Forces generically referred to as The People's Liberation Army, the PLA Navy has announced that their submarine force can now launch and strike not only the American Western Pacific territories of Guam and American Samoa, but also Alaska, Hawaii, the US West Coast and as far into the heartland as Chicago, Illinois.
Citing the Global Times, China's sub fleet is only second on the planet to that of the US Navy.
With best public estimates at 70 submersibles, it is widely held that 10 are nuclear powered.
Of these ten, at least four if not all, are classified as nuclear ballistic submarines (SSBMs - nuclear armed and powered subs), known to sailors as "boomers," capable of launching both conventional and nuclear missiles.
Chinese military officials were cited as stating:
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.
Just a singular PLA Navy boomer, the Type 094 Jin class, has the capability of launching 12 to 16 JL-2 missiles of almost 9,000 miles "with single or multiple, independently targetable re-entry vehicle warheads."
It was also reported certain specifics on Chinese nuclear sub-launched missiles as well as their leathality:
The 12 JL-2 nuclear warheads carried by one single Type 094 SSBN can kill and wound 5 million to 12 million Americans.
Nuclear Triad of Weaponry Complete...
China has long had the Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) wherewithal to strike deep into the United States with their deadly and accurate the DF-31A missiles:
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.
As reported by the Global Security Newswire last June, the PLA Air Force upgraded its nuclear bomber fleet with the introduction of the H-6K aircraft.
The bomber's Changjian 10 cruise missiles can be equipped with nuclear warheads, and if launched from within Chinese airspace are capable of wiping out the tens of thousands of US Marines and Air Force personnel stationed on Okinawa, Japan, along with the 100,000 Okinawan civilians and allied Japanese forces on the island.
Also within the airborne nuclear weapons platform striking distance would be American civilians and military as well as the millions of civilians and military forces of our South Korea and Japanese allies.
Also, American citizens and troops on Guam, Hawaii and Alaska would easily fall within the missiles reach.
Chinese Marines in the Mediterranean...
Largely ignored by most of the American media, Examiner.com previously covered Chinese naval power projection recently reaching as far as the Mediterranean Sea.
During last September's Syrian crisis, a Chinese Amphibious Assault Force consisting of the CNS (Chinese Navy Ship) Jing Jangshan was verified entering "The Med," reportedly slated to "observe" elements of the US 6th Fleet's flotilla poised to strike the Bashir al-Assad regime, as well as the warships of the Russian Navy's Mediterranean Squadron.
The CNS Jing Jangshan is capable of embarking 1,000 Chinese Marines along with their necessary equipment consisting of helicopters, armored fighting vehicles, boats and landing craft.