(Natural News) A recent report published by the Department of Defense claimed that China is continuing to build up its stockpile of nuclear weapons and will likely have 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035 at its current rate of production.
This report from the Pentagon builds on the department’s warning last year that China is reinforcing its nuclear force much faster than American officials had earlier predicted, highlighting the communist nation’s broad goal of building up its military muscle to enable Beijing to match or even surpass the United States before 2050. (Related: RED SHIFT: 162 Scientists who used to work for a top US nuclear research base now work for the CCP.)
The Pentagon’s document, called “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China,” noted that the communist nation is already in possession of over 400 nuclear warheads – a rapid expansion given how China only had around 200 warheads two years ago.
The Pentagon predicts the tally of nuclear warheads in China’s possession to reach 700 by 2027, 1,000 warheads by 2030 and 1,500 by 2035.
“They’ve got a rapid buildup that is kind of too substantial to keep under wraps,” said one senior U.S. defense official during a news briefing on the Pentagon’s annual report regarding the state of China’s military. “It does raise questions about whether they’re kind of shifting away from a strategy that was premised on what they referred to as a ‘lean and effective’ deterrent.”
The administration of President Joe Biden has urged Beijing to engage in talks regarding nuclear disarmament. China has so far refused, pointing out how its nuclear arsenal is dwarfed by Russia’s and America’s in terms of nuclear capability.
The U.S. currently has a stockpile of around 3,750 nuclear warheads as of 2020, of which roughly 1,740 are currently deployed.
Beijing added that it is ready for dialogue – but only if Washington agrees to reduce its own nuclear stockpile to China’s level. A senior U.S. defense official noted that this position “raises some questions about their intent.”
In terms of American national security, Beijing’s growing arsenal creates uncertainty for the U.S. as it navigates how to deter two major nuclear powers – Russia and China – simultaneously. Bonny Lin, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, echoed the Pentagon’s concern regarding Chinese intentions.
“Will the actual increase in capability start impacting how Chinese experts think about the use of nuclear weapons, including whether it would change Beijing’s policy to not use nuclear weapons first?” Lin asked. “That’s the uncertainty. We can’t assume that if they have more capabilities their policy is going to remain the same.”
Increased Chinese nuclear capabilities could lead to more aggression against Taiwan
The Pentagon’s report warned that a narrowing gap between American and Chinese nuclear capabilities could mean a higher risk of retaliation should Washington defend its allies in the Asia-Pacific region, especially Taiwan.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to bring Taiwan under its control, by force if necessary. Xi has given his military until 2027 to develop the military capability to retake the democratic island nation that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) claims as its own territory under communist control.
“If realized, this 2027 objective could give the [People’s Liberation Army] capabilities to be a more credible military tool for the [CCP] to wield as it pursues Taiwan unification,” wrote the Pentagon in its report.
While the Pentagon did not see an invasion of Taiwan imminent, the department does believe China will ramp up its intimidation tactics, which will likely come to a head by Taiwan’s next presidential election in 2024, when President Tsai Ing-wen, a very vocal opponent of unification, is set to vacate power due to term limits.
The Pentagon’s report noted that China regularly engages in “intimidating behavior, whether the sort of rhetorically or in terms of military displays” leading up to such votes.
The Pentagon concluded its report by pointing out that China remains the greatest national security challenge for the United States. The department added that the threat from Beijing should determine how to equip, train and shape the U.S. Armed Forces for the future.
Watch this news clip discussing Navy Adm. Charles Richard, commander of America’s nuclear weapons program, sounding the alarm about the pace of China’s expansion of its own nuclear program.
More related stories: