Chilling new satellite images have revealed that Beijing may be ramping up its nuclear arsenal, sparking fears that Chinese leader Xi Jinping and the US may soon engage in a new nuclear arms race. This comes amidst the backdrop of top US democrat Nancy Pelosi reportedly deciding to press on with her visit to Taiwan despite the concerns of the Biden administration, which fears what China’s reaction to such a high-profile visit would be.
Analysis of fresh satellite photos appears to reveal that Beijing is upgrading its nuclear test facilities in the controversial Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region after explosive testing in the region was paused for 25 years.
The images reveal excavation work of a new tunnel in a mountain, along with unpaved white roads that coming from a command post at the Lop Nur nuclear test site.
This test site, established in October 1959 with the help of the Soviet Union, was the site of the first Chinese nuclear bomb test in 1964.
The images further uncover power transmission cables and an area cleared to potentially store weapons, according to reports by Nikkei Asia.
An expert from AllSource Analysis, a US private geospatial company, told Nikkei: “China could conduct nuclear-related tests anytime, especially since the electricity line and road system now connects Lop Nur’s western military nuclear test facilities to new possible test areas in the east.”
This comes just a year after Beijing built a second missile base in the same region, in what has been considered its largest nuclear expansion yet.
The site was built in a desert about 1,200 miles west of Beijing, with analysts warning that it could have 110 nuclear missile silos.
Meanwhile, fears of a conflict between the US and China have grown Beijing conducted military drills near Taiwan, in what experts consider to be a response to Ms Pelosi’s plans to visit the island.
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