NewsPentagon reports: China has over 500 nuclear warheads

Pentagon reports: China has over 500 nuclear warheads

Pentagon Report: China has over 500 nuclear warheads
Pentagon Report: China has over 500 nuclear warheads
Images source: © EPA, PAP | ROLEX DELA PENA
ed. BAR

6:14 AM EDT, October 20, 2023

A disturbing report from the US Department of Defense. According to the Pentagon's findings, China currently possesses over 500 nuclear warheads. What's more, the rate at which they are expanding their nuclear arsenal is faster than predicted in earlier forecasts. The report, which is an annual review of China's military forces, also suggests that the country may be working on biological weapons.

The report, which was submitted to Congress and published on Thursday, shows that China has more than doubled its nuclear arsenal over the past three years. The pace of this growth exceeds previous forecasts. The Pentagon estimates that by 2030, Beijing will have 1000 warheads, and by 2035 - 1.5 thousand. For comparison, currently the United States and Russia each have around 5 thousand warheads.

According to the plans of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, by 2035 the process of modernizing Chinese military forces is supposed to be completed. The goal is to create a "world-class army", capable of "leading and winning wars against a strong opponent", namely the United States. As assistant defense secretary for space policy John Plumb said on Wednesday, the pace of growth of Chinese nuclear forces is "breathtaking".

China's strategy assumes the completion of the "national rejuvenation" process by 2049. As part of this process, it is planned to resolve the "Taiwan issue". By 2027, Chinese armed forces are to be capable of confronting US forces in the Indo-Pacific area and force Taiwan to negotiate on terms dictated by Beijing.

The largest navy in the world and biological weapon

According to a Pentagon report, just last year, China built 300 new silos for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in three centers. According to the document's authors, the People's Republic of China currently has 350 such missiles and a total of 500 launchers.

The report also draws attention to the growing power of the Chinese navy, which is currently the largest in the world in terms of numbers. It has 370 ships, including 47 submarines and 6 nuclear-powered submarines carrying ballistic missiles. In 2023, the third Chinese aircraft carrier was put into service and the construction of another one likely began.

The Pentagon also reports that the PRC is engaged in work on biological means with possible military applications, including potent toxins. The United States assesses that Beijing likely possesses biological and chemical weapons, which pose a threat to US forces, allies and partners.

Aggressive maneuvers and gigantic advantage

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, China's strategy is to push the United States out of the East China Sea and South China Sea regions, as well as impede the US access to the entire Indo-Pacific region. The report is also emphasizing the fact that, over the past two years, Chinese air forces have conducted over 180 aggressive interception maneuvers of American aircraft in the region - more than in the previous decade.

The document also includes a comparison of the power between the People's Republic of China and Taiwan. According to the Pentagon, China's ground forces consist of approximately 1 million soldiers, with 420,000 of them stationed in the region of the Taiwan Strait. The Taiwanese army consists of about 89,000 soldiers. China also has around 4,200 tanks and 7,600 artillery units, while Taiwan has about 900 tanks and 1,300 artillery units. Beijing also has a similar advantage in air forces (1,900 fighters and 500 bombers, compared with Taiwan's 300 fighters) and naval forces.

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