Washington (CNN)China is attempting to at least double the number of nuclear warheads in its arsenal in the next decade and its military has already equaled or surpassed the United States in a series of key areas, according to a new Pentagon report released Tuesday.
It suggests that Beijing has made major strides in areas such as ship building, the development of ballistic and cruise missiles as well as integrated air defense systems.
The report detailing China’s military capabilities comes amid mounting tensions between the Washington and Beijing over a range of issues, including Chinese military activities in the South China Sea and US-support to Taiwan. It’s also published in the run up to the 2020 election as President Donald Trump is looking to make his increasingly aggressive stance towards Beijing a key campaign issue.
“Over the next decade, China’s nuclear warhead stockpile—currently estimated to be in the low- 200s—is projected to at least double in size as China expands and modernizes its nuclear forces,” the report says, adding that the number of warheads on Chinese land-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles that are “capable of threatening the United States is expected to grow to roughly 200 in the next five years.”
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WNU Editor: My Chinese contacts told me years ago that their goal was to have a nuclear arsenal on par with Russia and the U.S.. If that is the case, I think this US assessment that China may expand their stockpile to 400 nuclear weapons within a decade to be a bit on the low side.
Pentagon concerned by China’s nuclear ambitions, expects warheads to double — Reuters
China plans to double nuclear arsenal, Pentagon says — Army Times
China planning to double its stockpile of nuclear warheads: Pentagon — FOX News
Pentagon discloses its count of China’s nuclear warheads and says the arsenal could double this decade — Business Insider
U.S. Reveals First Assessment of Chinese Nuclear Weapons Stockpile — US News And World Report