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Pexton 'Mysterious Tunnels' (2011.12.18)

Pexton 'Mysterious Tunnels' (2011.12.18)

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Published by guchinaarms
Pexton on Asian Arms Control Project
Pexton on Asian Arms Control Project

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Published by: guchinaarms on Dec 29, 2011
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12/29/2011

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December 18, 2011
Pg. 25
Those Mysterious Chinese Tunnels
China nuclear tunnel story was good journalism
By Patrick B. PextonArms controllers are an interesting lot. They’re smart, dedicated people -- okay, they’rewonky, too -- who engage in an arcane pursuit that is vital to U.S. national security.After all, it’s important to know the strategic capabilities of your enemies, or potentialenemies, especially in their most destructive capacities -- their nuclear arsenals. That’swhy the United States spent decades negotiating with the Soviet Union, and now Russia,to limit and make more transparent both sides’ strategic and tactical nuclear weapons.That’s why so much attention is paid to Iran and its possible nuclear quest. That’s whynuclear-armed Pakistan is such a worry, and India too. And it’s why the Pentagonwatches closely what the Chinese are doing not only with nuclear weapons but also withconventional ballistic missiles: The rockets can threaten, and intimidate, Taiwan andother neighbors.So it was that arms control experts went apoplectic over a Nov. 30 front-page story inThe Post by diplomatic correspondent William Wan, about a research project, conductedby Georgetown University students, into the vast tunnel system that China has built toprotect its ballistic missiles and launchers.The tunnels have been known about for a long time; they’re called the “UndergroundGreat Wall.”The Chinese use the tunnels to hide, and move, the country’s missiles so that a potentialenemy, if it were thinking of attacking China, could never find them all. China would

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