Satellite images show China building what appears to be over 100 new silos for its nuclear missiles, analysts say

According to analysts, the Washington Post has seen satellite images that show China building more missile silos than 100.A researcher stated that China has built at least 145 missile silos in China.According to the Pentagon, evidence indicates that China intends to create an "expanded silo based force."Check out more stories from Insider's business page.According to a Wednesday analysis of satellite imagery, China may be building more than 100 missile silos in desert areas. This was first reported by The Washington Post Wednesday.Jeffrey Lewis and Decker Eveleth, researchers at The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at Middlebury Institute of International Studies identified 119 intercontinental ballistic missile sites near Yumen, Gansu province, by analysing satellite images.ICBM silo construction Planet Labs/Center for Nonproliferation Research at MIISResearchers also discovered the possibility of a control center being constructed.Potential ICBM launch control centre Planet Labs/Center for Nonproliferation Studies, MIISThis report is similar to Hans Kristensen's February 2002 report, which noted that China was building additional missile silos in central China.Lewis explained to the Post that if silos are under construction on other sites in China, it would bring the total to approximately 145 silos.He stated that China is increasing its nuclear arsenal in order to be able to withstand a US strike in sufficient numbers to defeat US missile defenses.However, it's not clear if China plans to fill all the silos with nukes.ICBM silo construction Planet Labs/Center for Nonproliferation Research at MIISLewis stated that there is a "very good chance" that China has plans to play a "shell game". It would be similar to a US strategy used during the Cold War, and could boost deterrence by strategic uncertainty.ICBM silo construction Planet Labs/Center for Nonproliferation Research at MIISChina has only a handful of nuclear weapons compared to the US and Russia. However, the Pentagon stated that China is expanding its nuclear capabilities.In its 2020 China military power reports, the Department of Defense stated that there is evidence suggesting that China intends to increase its peacetime readiness of nuclear forces by shifting to a launch on-warning (LOW), posture with an expanded silo base force.Further, the report noted that China's current nuclear warhead stockpile (currently in the low 200s) is projected to double in size as China modernizes and expands its nuclear force.Some of the missile silos currently under construction in China may have been built to house the DF-41 ICBM. China may be considering silo and rail basing alternatives to the DF-41 road-mobile missile.The Biden administration, like its predecessor, has stated a desire to have an arms control mechanism that would cover China's developing nuclear arsenal. However, it is not clear how it intends this.