According to the Department of Defense’s annual report to Congress on military and security developments in China, it is strongly suggested that China already has more than 500 operational nuclear warheads.
Moreover, this number is projected to double by 2030.
This marks a notable acceleration of China’s nuclear expansion and modernization plans, which had been expected to reach this milestone two years later than anticipated.
China’s nuclear expansion and modernization efforts are projected to carry on through 2035 in order to fulfill President Xi Jinping’s ambition of constructing a “world-class” military capable of rivaling the United States by 2049.
This initiative is reflective of the global trend of nuclear-armed nations modernizing their respective arsenals in anticipation of potential power conflicts. As of January 2021, Russia held roughly 5,889 operational nuclear warheads while the United States had 5,244.
An anonymous Defense Department official discussed the unprecedented speed and scale of China’s expansion of its nuclear arsenal, as well as its other military capabilities.
“Comparatively speaking,” the source said, “what they are doing now far exceeds what was happening around a decade ago in terms of scope and complexity.
They are investing heavily in land-, sea- and air-based nuclear delivery platforms, as well as the infrastructure supporting this massive growth in their nuclear forces.”
The Pentagon expects China to use its new “fast breeder” nuclear reactors and reprocessing facilities to produce plutonium for its nuclear weapons program, despite official claims by the Chinese government that these nuclear facilities are intended only for “peaceful purposes.”
Furthermore, the Pentagon report notes that China has likely completed construction of three new fields for solid-fueled missile silos in 2022, containing at least 300 new missile silos with some missiles already loaded and ready to launch.
A Defense Department official tried to downplay this situation, claiming that long-term projections about the growth of China’s nuclear arsenal become less reliable as time passes.
He added that the U.S. is expected to continue using diplomatic channels to urge China towards more transparency regarding its nuclear capabilities.
In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning declared at a press briefing in Beijing that the Pentagon report is “filled with prejudice and distorts facts.”
She stated that China is dedicated to a peaceful approach and has an unwavering nuclear policy that can be relied upon. To gain a better understanding of the global increase in nuclear armament, readers are encouraged to visit NuclearWeapons.news.
Additionally, Fox Business journalist Gordon G. Chang recently asserted on their platform that a potential nuclear conflict between China and the United States may be closer than many realize.