Amid mounting tensions between the US and China over disputed areas in the South China Sea, Beijing is set to send nuclear submarines to patrol the Pacific Ocean this year for the first time in history. The news first emerged after a report by The Guardian that Beijing is planning its first nuclear deterrence patrol. The newspaper quoted unnamed Chinese military officials, who said such patrols are the only tool to secure China from US’ weapons systems.

While Chinese authorities haven’t confirmed or declined the news, a piece in the state-run People’s Daily added evidence to the allegations. The report suggests that nuclear deterrence patrolling is essential to showcase China’s nuclear capabilities to the Americans. In the past, as reported, Washington politicians demonstrated ignorance toward Beijing’s nuclear potential. For instance, in the 2012 US presidential campaign, candidate Herman Cain stated that he was unaware China was a nuclear power. READ MORE