China will at least double its nuclear arsenal in the next decade. Such a forecast was made by the Pentagon in its annual report on China’s military power prepared for the US Congress.
“Over the next decade, China’s stockpile of nuclear warheads, currently estimated at 200, is expected to at least double as China expands and modernizes its nuclear force,” CNN said in a report on Tuesday, September 1.
The number of nuclear warheads deployed on China’s intercontinental ballistic missiles that could threaten the United States will increase to 200 in the next five years, the document says.
The Pentagon also noted great successes of China’s armed forces in a number of key areas, in some of which, as the report notes, the Chinese not only caught up with the US, but also bypassed it.
The fact that China may catch up with Russia and the U.S. by 2025 by the number of warheads was announced by James Hove, vice president of the analytical company Vision Centric Inc. in February this year. According to the expert’s calculations, within five years China will have a minimum of 1382 nuclear warheads, and a maximum of 2058 nuclear warheads.
Hove reminded that according to official data that has not changed for 30 years, China has 180-260 nuclear weapons. According to unofficial information, the number of warheads in China’s arsenal varies from 1.5 to more than 3 thousand. By 2035, this figure could reach 5,000 warheads.
Russia and the United States are currently negotiating an extension of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which expires in 2021. The Americans are also trying to join the renewed agreement by inviting Beijing to participate in the discussion of this issue. China, in turn, replied that it could take that step if the U.S. reduced its nuclear arsenal to the level of China.