According to an assessment released by the Pentagon last month, if China keeps up its present rate of nuclear construction, it will likely have a stockpile of 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035. Even if the forecasts do not indicate China is speeding up the pace of its already rapid warhead development, the statistic highlights growing US fears about China's intentions for its growing nuclear arsenal.
However, China's defense ministry on Tuesday (Dec. 6) denounced a Pentagon report regarding the development of its nuclear arsenal as unjust "gesticulation" and speculation. Given that it possesses the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, the United States should review its own nuclear strategy, the ministry added.
The United States was conducting nuclear proliferation through its security relationship with Britain and Australia, it claimed, and was "vigorously" developing and attempting to deploy front-line tactical nuclear weapons. It also lowered the bar for deploying nuclear weapons.
"It should be emphasized that China firmly pursues a self-defence nuclear strategy, always adheres to the policy of not being the first to use nuclear weapons at any time or under any circumstance and maintains its nuclear forces at the lowest level required by national security."
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) think tank, the United States possesses a stockpile of around 3,700 nuclear warheads, 1,740 of which have been used. According to the Chinese ministry, when it comes to international security, the United States is the "biggest troublemaker."
"It has fanned the flames for its own self-interest, creating divisions and confrontation in the world, and bringing turmoil and disasters wherever it goes," the ministry said.
According to a Pentagon assessment from last year, China might have 700 warheads by 2027 and perhaps 1,000 by 2030 after initiating a four-fold buildup in its nuclear arsenal. As per a recent assessment published on November 29, China currently has more than 400 nuclear warheads, and if its aggressive arsenal-building continues, it may have 1,500 warheads by 2035.
China's nuclear arsenal will still be considerably smaller than the United States reported stockpile of 3,750 warheads, which can be delivered by hundreds of land-based and sea-launched missiles as well as a fleet of strategic bombers, despite China's tremendous growth.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is expected to be a more credible military tool for the Communist Party (CCP) to wield as it pursues Taiwan unification." by 2027, the PLA's modernization will be complete by 2035, and China's military will be a global force by 2049, according to a publicly stated target date for China's military.