Pentagon says China's nuclear arsenal will triple by 2035

Pentagon says China’s nuclear arsenal will triple by 2035


China's nuclear arsenal is on track to more than triple by 2035 to reach 1,500 nuclear warheads, the Pentagon said in a report released Tuesday that also highlighted the continued improvement of the military Chinese air. 

Washington has identified Beijing as its main military challenge, and the annual Chinese military report highlights an increase in both nuclear and conventional forces.

“The Department of Defense believes that the (Chinese) stockpile number of operational nuclear warheads exceeded 400,” the report said. “If China continues to increase its nuclear stockpile at this rate, it will in all likelihood have a stockpile of around 1,500 warheads” by 2035.

An arsenal, however, still far behind those of the United States and Russia, which each possess several thousand nuclear warheads.

Beijing, which is also working to modernize the ballistic missiles that could carry these nuclear warheads, in tested 135 in 2021, “more than the rest of the world” if you don't count those fired in military conflicts, the report claims.

And the Chinese air force is progressing to great strides, “quickly catching up with Western air forces.”

A senior military official clarified before the report was released that the Chinese Air Force was trying to “move rapidly on all fronts,” including equipment, pilots and other personnel.

The report also finds that China is taking “more coercive and aggressive actions in the Indo-Pacific region”, a term used by the US administration to refer to a changing reality of alliances in Asia-Pacific.

This is especially the case around Taiwan, an island claimed by Beijing as part of its territory.

A visit to the island by the speaker of the American House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, in August, heightened tensions, with China conducting its most aggressive military exercises around the island since the 1990s in response.

Tension has since subsided, but the senior military official said the activity China around Taiwan, even if it decreased, remained more important than previously, and was a source of concern.