Pentagon announces expansion of China’s nuclear forces

Pentagon announces expansion of China's nuclear forces

China is capable of increasing the size of its nuclear arsenal to at least 1,000 warheads by 2030. This forecast is contained in the Pentagon’s annual report on China’s military power, released Wednesday and transmitted to the U.S. Congress.

“The PRC’s accelerating pace of nuclear expansion could result in the PRC having as many as 700 nuclear warheads ready for delivery to potential targets by 2027. The PRC probably intends to have at least 1,000 warheads by 2030. That is more than the pace and size that the U.S. Department of Defense projected for 2020,” the report noted.

A similar document released by the US military in September last year predicted that China’s nuclear arsenal, then estimated at just over 200, would at least double in size over the next decade.

The current report states that the U.S. Defense Department believes China “may have already established” an initial nuclear triad. It also claims that “the PRC intends to increase the peacetime readiness of its nuclear forces.” “Over the next decade, the PRC intends to modernize, diversify, and expand its nuclear forces. The PRC is investing in a number of land-, sea-, and air-based nuclear weapons delivery platforms and is building the infrastructure necessary to support this major expansion of its nuclear forces.”

The U.S. nuclear arsenal currently consists of 3,750 warheads, according to official figures. As of September 1 this year, 1,389 of them were operationally deployed.

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