Pentagon issues stark warning on China’s nuclear stockpiles
Whether or not a war will break out between the US and China, it is clear that the latter is getting ready for one.
According to an assessment by the Pentagon, China will quadruple its nuclear stockpile by 2030, a move that could have big ramifications for the balance of military power on the world stage.
PENTAGON WARNS CHINA'S NUCLEAR STOCKPILE IS OUTPACING FORECASTS— zerohedge (@zerohedge) November 3, 2021
The pentagon added that China could have up to 700 nuclear warheads by 2027, which would bring its stockpile to above 1,000.
Its currently estimated stockpile is just above 200.
*China Is Expanding Nuclear Arsenal Faster Than Expected, Pentagon— *Walter Bloomberg (@DeItaone) November 3, 2021
*Beijing Could Field 1,000 Nuclear Warheads by 2030, Pentagon Says
*A Year Ago Pentagon Estimated China Had 200-plus Warheads
*Annual Report on Chinese Military Power Also Cites Increasing Pressure on Taiwan
Having previously expected China to only double its stockpile, the Pentagon’s latest estimate is a dramatic increase.
To compare, the US currently has 3,8000 nuclear warheads, 1,800 of which are deployed.
China is “expanding the number of land, sea, and air-based nuclear delivery platforms and constructing the infrastructure necessary to support this major expansion of its nuclear forces”, read the Pentagon’s military power report on China.
I am pleased to announce the release of the 2021 China Military Power Report. The report illustrates the importance of meeting the Department’s number one pacing challenge. https://t.co/gw0UbtY6Vo— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) November 3, 2021
The Pentagon’s report comes less than a month after news emerged that China had tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic weapon, which has been compared to a “Sputnik moment”.
Additionally, tension is simmering over the possibility of a war over Taiwan. There are specific concerns from US military officials that China’s expansion of its nuclear weapons would make such a conflict more problematic.
The top U.S. military officer said China’s hypersonic weapon test was “very concerning.” Is it this century’s Sputnik moment? https://t.co/8P84TDkZB0— TIME (@TIME) October 31, 2021
“The Chinese are clearly and unambiguously building the capability to provide those options,” said General Mark Milley, chairman of the US joint chiefs. “But near future? Probably not. But anything can happen.”