China plans to double its nuclear arsenal says Pentagon
By Ritika Nath
China is planning to increase its collection of nuclear warheads in this decade, including those warheads which are designed to be carried atop ballistic missiles that can straight reach The United States, without facing any issues, as stated by Pentagon in a recent report released on Tuesday.
Even if China increases its stockpile of the nuclear arsenal, its forces would remain smaller than that of The United States, as they have over 3,800 warheads inactive status and other warheads in their reserve, as per the estimation. Whereas compared to the U.S., China has zero nuclear air force which the United States has, but the report stated that this gap might get filled by developing a nuclear air-launched ballistic missile.
China has been continuously declining the offer made by the Trump administration to join the U.S. and Russia for negotiating into a three-way deal to limit strategic nuclear arms. Officials of the Chinese Foreign Ministry has said that China’s nuclear stockpile is very low to get included in the negotiated limits and that by pressurizing China to join in such three-way deals the Trump administration had created a camouflage for walking away from the existing arms treaty of U.S.-Russia, which is known as New START.
In February 2021, that treaty is going to expire but it could get renewed for another five years if Moscow and Washington agree to it. Pentagon stated in its annual ‘China Military Power’ report to Congress that the modernization, refurbishing, and the expansion of China’s nuclear arsenal is a part of a broader and massive effort by Beijing to evolve a more assertive and authoritative position on the world stage and to match or outshine the U.S. by 2049 because of the dominant power within the Asia-Pacific region.
“China’s nuclear forces will significantly evolve over the subsequent decade because it modernizes, diversifies, and increases the amount of its land-, sea-, and air-based nuclear delivery platforms,” the report stated. “Over the subsequent decade, China’s atomic warhead stockpile—currently estimated to be within the low 200s—is projected to a minimum of double in size as China expands and modernizes its nuclear forces,”
The report also stated, “China is expected to grow its warheads roughly 200 in the next five years.” Within the stated force, the numbers of nuclear weapons on land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles are very much capable of threatening and throwing foreshadow on The United States.