China will rival the United States and Russia for nuclear capability by the end of the decade, leading to a three-way showdown for the first time, a U.S. commander said yesterday.
Throughout the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union were the only competitors, each with long-range nuclear weapons delivered by Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched missiles, and strategic bombers. However, China has made such rapid progress in nuclear weaponry that it will also have all three components – the nuclear triad – when its dedicated strategic bomber becomes operational. The H-20 is the first stealth bomber designed in China.
“China is on a trajectory to become a strategic peer for us by the end of the decade, so for the first time