Some Hong Kong and Taiwan media reported that pictures of China's Dongfeng-41 ballistic missile were exposed on Chinese mainland websites. It was revealed that the pictures were taken in Heilongjiang Province. Military analysts believe that this is perhaps the second Dongfeng-41 strategic missile brigade and it should be deployed in northeastern China.
According to reports, the Dongfeng-41 is a nuclear solid-fuel road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile. With a range of 14,000 kilometers and a payload of 10-12 nuclear warheads, it can target anywhere in the world and is widely considered one of the most advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles.
There has been constant speculation about the Dongfeng-41. Its deployment is classified at the highest military levels. But most military experts believe that China has finished the research and production of the Dongfeng-41 and the conditions for deployment are optimal. But there has been no authoritative information on whether China has a Dongfeng-41 strategic missile brigade, how many such brigades it has and where they are deployed.
Some media claimed that the Chinese military intentionally revealed the Dongfeng-41 and connected it with the inauguration of US President Donald Trump. They think this is Beijing's response to Trump's provocative remarks on China.
Before Trump took power, his team showed a tough stance toward China, and in turn, Beijing will ready itself for pressures imposed by the new US government. It is logical that Beijing attaches particular importance to the Dongfeng-41 as a strategic deterrence tool. With China's rise, China's strategic risks are growing. China bears the heavy task of safeguarding national security. Nuclear deterrence is the foundation of China's national security, which must be consolidated with the rising strategic risks.
The US has the world's most powerful military strength, including the most advanced and powerful nuclear arsenal. But Trump has called for a nuclear arms build-up many times. Even Washington feels that its naval forces and nuclear strength are lacking, so how can China be content with its current nuclear strength when it is viewed by the US as its biggest potential opponent?
China's nuclear capability should be so strong that no country would dare launch a military showdown with China under any circumstance, and such that China can strike back against those militarily provoking it. A military clash with the US is the last thing China wants, but China's nuclear arsenal must be able to deter the US.
The US has not paid enough respect to China's military. Senior US officials of the Asia-Pacific command frequently show their intention to flex their muscles with arrogance. The Trump team also took a flippant attitude toward China's core interests after Trump's election win. Enhancing communication and mutual understanding is not enough. China must procure a level of strategic military strength that will force the US to respect it.
A China with or without the Dongfeng-41 is different to the outside world. That is the significance of the Dongfeng-41. We hope this strategic edge will be revealed officially soon. It will not bring the China Threat theory, but will only add authority to the People's Liberation Army.