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The Defensive Nature of China's "Underground Great Wall"

Chinese underground tunnel: The Chinese text at top of photo reads: "CCTV-7 Military Records—Traveling together with the Motherland, the sharp sword toward heaven, PLA Second Artillery." Text at bottom reads: “the modern underground great wall”

The Defensive Nature of China's "Underground Great Wall"

Op-Ed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

January 16, 2012

Author: Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Managing the Atom

 

A study by Georgetown University's Phillip Karber claims that a vast network of tunnels in China, often called the "underground great wall," could hide up to 3,000 nuclear weapons. Writing in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Hui Zhang argues that the study leaps to unwarranted conclusions based on simplistic reasoning and questionable extrapolation from decades-old estimates of Chinese weapon levels. New information on fissile materials inventories and other authoritative data indicate that China has a nuclear arsenal of a few hundred weapons and that the underground great wall is meant to protect this small deterrent from a first strike.

Read the full article at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

 

For Academic Citation:

"The Defensive Nature of China's "Underground Great Wall." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, January 16, 2012.

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