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November Pentagon report revealed China’s new submarine plans include 24/7 nuclear sub patrols



A report issued by the Pentagon in November did not raise eyebrows at the time it was released, but as tensions between the United States and China continue to heat up over Taiwan, one particular part of the report has officials’ attention.

The November report from the Department of Defense revealed that China’s new plan for its submarine program includes an almost 24 hour, 7 day a week patrol of submarines equipped with long-range ballistic missiles with the capability to reach the continental United States if launched in that direction. The fleet of six Jin-class submarines has been patrolling the Chinese coast from the southern Chinese island of Hainan and into the South China Sea. 

“The extra demands on our assets are clear,” said security expert Christopher Twomey to Reuters. Twomey explains the improvements in China’s nuclear submarine capabilities will require extra surveillance by United States attack submarines with nuclear power. 

He also pointed out that given the quick jump in China’s nuclear sub tech, it may be difficult to ascertain what other capabilities China has come up with recently. “The point here is that the information – the near continuous patrols – has changed so rapidly that we don’t know what else has changed,” he said. 

A new agreement between Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom (AUKUS) will send nuclear-powered submarines into the Indo-Pacific region to bolster peace and security in the area as China continues to threaten Taiwanese independence.

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