Letter to the Hon. Donald J. Trump, President of the United States - Cheney Leads Letter Calling For U.S. To Rein In China's Nuclear Aggression
We are writing to express our strong support for your commitment to ensuring China is
included in meaningful U.S. arms control efforts. The Chinese Communist Party is an
irresponsible predatory actor that has spent many years working against America's interests.
Even amid the global coronavirus crisis--which the CCP created with its lies and deception--the
Chinese regime has put its aggressive nuclear ambitions on full display.
Just recently, a CCP state media editorial said that China should expand its nuclear
arsenal to 1,000 warheads, which according to some estimates would mean tripling the regime's
stockpile. The CCP was careful to note China's specific need for "at least 100" DF-41
intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach the United States. This rhetoric underscores the
need to cap China's arsenal at existing levels--at a maximum--through effective arms control.
The CCP's aggressiveness is nothing new. In April, the State Department raised concerns
that China may not be conforming with the "zero-yield" standard under the Comprehensive
Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Last May, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Robert
Ashley warned that China will likely at least double the size of its nuclear stockpile over the next
decade. China, he said, is "implementing the most rapid expansion and diversification of its
nuclear arsenal" in its history.
Powered by the state-mandated fusion of its defense and civilian sectors, China, after
many years of proclaiming its minimum nuclear deterrent, has developed its own nuclear triad to
directly rival America. It continues to modernize its nuclear arsenal. It is also developing
capabilities to evade U.S. missile defenses, including maneuverable reentry vehicles and
hypersonic glide vehicles, and is topping some of its missiles with multiple independently
targetable warheads. These advances, among others, do not signal a policy of restraint or lean
force structure.The United States must contain China's malign nuclear and conventional military
ambitions. That includes fully funding efforts to increase U.S. readiness and lethality in the Indo-
Pacific, continuing to develop advanced missile and missile defense capabilities, and
modernizing all three legs of our nuclear triad. But, as you have rightfully said, Mr. President, it
also means reining in China through effective arms control.
Your directive to bring China to the table has only grown in urgency since the spread of
the coronavirus pandemic, a crisis for which the U.S. and its allies must hold China accountable.
We must compel the CCP to be transparent about both this devastating virus and its nuclear
capabilities and ambitions. As the Chinese regime continues to engage in pernicious behavior in
the Indo-Pacific and around the world, we reiterate our support for your efforts to protect
freedom and stability through meaningful arms control.