China’s underground Great Wall: subterranean ballistic missile
Belfer Center’s Power and Policy blog
January 31, 2012
Commentary by: Hui Zhang, senior research associate with the Project on Managing the Atom
Topic: China’s nuclear arsenal
“Recent concerns about the size of China’s nuclear arsenal have arisen in the wake of a study by Georgetown Prof. Phillip Karber, which considers the question of why China has a vast network of underground tunnels referred to as China’s “underground Great Wall.” Karber suggests that these 3,000 miles of complicated tunnels could host about 3,000 nuclear weapons. My recent paper (“ The defensive nature of China’s underground great wall,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Jan.16, 2012 ) provides a comprehensive response to Karber’s report — and offers an alternative explanation.
Here I want to consider: What are the purposes of this 3,000-mile network of underground tunnels?”