China demonstrates nuclear capabilities ahead of Blinken’s visit

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23rd April 2024 – (Hong Kong) Just days before U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s anticipated meetings in Beijing and Shanghai, China has showcased its nuclear second-strike capabilities through a strategic display involving a JL-2 ballistic missile launch from a nuclear submarine. This demonstration underscores China’s ability to respond to a nuclear attack, signalling a robust defensive posture.

On Monday, the Chinese navy unveiled footage from a recent drill featuring its Shandong aircraft carrier group. The video highlighted several submarines, including a nuclear one, engaging in a simulated exercise that culminated in the dramatic launch of a ballistic missile. The scene is narrated with the declaration that the submarine had reached its launch position and was ordered to execute a “fatal strike.”

The missile, identified as the JL-2, which was first publicly revealed during a 2019 military parade, signifies a substantial component of China’s sea-based nuclear deterrent. Deployed on Type 094A nuclear submarines since 2015, the JL-2 boasts a range of 7,400 kilometres, capable of targeting locations across the western United States and as far as Hawaii and Alaska.