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Pentagon: China to Quadruple the Number of Nuclear Warheads by 2035

Pentagon: China to Quadruple the Number of Nuclear Warheads by 2035

AP News: “China currently has about 400 nuclear warheads, and that number could grow to 1,500 by 2035.”

China is rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal and may quadruple the stockpile by 2035, a report released by the U.S. Defense Department on Tuesday disclosed.

The massive nuclear buildup will consolidate China’s place as the third biggest nuclear power behind Russia and the United States. With China and Russia forging a ‘de-facto military alliance‘ in November 2021, the Beijing-Moscow axis overwhelmingly surpasses the U.S.-led Western alliance in terms of a nuclear arsenal.

“As of January, the independent Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimated that China had 350 nuclear warheads; last year, DoD estimated that China would reach 1,000 nuclear warheads by 2030,” Politico reported Tuesday. The Pentagon now believes that that number is expected to rise to 1500 in the next 13 years.

The Associated Press reported the DoD’s assessment:

China is expanding its nuclear force and is on pace to nearly quadruple the number of warheads it has by 2035, rapidly closing its gap with the United States, the Pentagon said in a report released Tuesday.

The report builds on the military’s warning last year that China is expanding its nuclear force much faster than U.S. officials had predicted, highlighting a broad and accelerating buildup of military muscle designed to enable Beijing to match or surpass U.S. global power by mid-century.

Last year, the Pentagon said the number of Chinese nuclear warheads could increase to 700 within six years and may top 1,000 by 2030. The new report says China currently has about 400 nuclear warheads, and that number could grow to 1,500 by 2035.

Beijing’s growing arsenal is creating uncertainty for the U.S. as it navigates how to deter two nuclear powers, Russia and China, simultaneously, the Pentagon said in its recent nuclear posture review. And China’s buildup also creates uncertainty about its intentions, said Bonny Lin, director of the China power project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Pentagon’s warning coincides with reports that Beijing is stepping up its military buildup. While under President Joe Biden’s watch, the U.S. Navy is preoccupied with getting its pronouns right, China has surpassed the U.S. regarding ship numbers.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has even grander military ambitions. Beijing plans a sweeping modernization of its armed forces by 2027 to coincide with the People’s Liberation Army’s 100th anniversary.

Beijing isn’t merely flexing its military muscles. It is apparently preparing for war. “Xi Jinping urges China’s military to be ready for war,” The South China Morning Post newspaper reported last month. In August, the PLA conducted large-scale military drills that simulated the invasion of Taiwan, the island nation Beijing seeks to annex.

Russia to Ramp up Nuclear Forces in 2023

It’s not just China. Its strategic ally, Russia, plans to build “infrastructure for its nuclear forces” in the coming months. “Russia’s defence minister has said it will focus on nuclear arms infrastructure in 2023, including facilities to accommodate new missile systems,” The Guardian reported Wednesday.

“When preparing the list of major construction facilities for 2023, special attention will be paid to construction in the interests of the strategic nuclear forces,” Russia Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said, according to the state-run RIA news agency.

The new plans will consolidate Russia’s place as the world’s biggest nuclear power. “Russia has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world, with close to 6,000 warheads,” Reuters noted on Wednesday. According to the AP News, the “United States, by comparison, has 3,750 active nuclear warheads.”


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2smartforlibs | December 1, 2022 at 1:07 pm

I believe the dictator said, ” Come on man they are not going to eat our lunch.” Seems they are.

China is getting stronger while the US is getting weaker. That is the general consensus right now—although, on the other hand, Russia wasn’t nearly as strong as was imagined by military thinkers.

    henrybowman in reply to Paula. | December 1, 2022 at 4:21 pm

    That was my first thought. A burst of frantic activity from an organism can often mean impending death. The USSR was at its scariest (Star Wars) right before it collapsed. And we had nothing out of the USSR in those days like the signs of societal and financial implosion that we have from China today. That having been said, I wouldn’t be putting my money on this interpretation yet.

While this is certainly plausible, how much of this can we actually believe? Anything coming from our government now, including the DoD, is suspect. And it certainly helps them justify bigger budgets, which is the ultimate goal of any government organization.

    Amen to that. Those who do not learn the lessons of history pay dearly, and they’re paying with our tax dollars. From the Bomber Gap to the ICBM Gap to WMDs in Iraq, the military and CIA are always ready to declare the long-term forecasts as “Cloudy with incoming rainstorms that can only be fixed with massive military contracts.”

      TTheDDoctor in reply to georgfelis. | December 2, 2022 at 12:34 pm

      Turns out the WMDs are actually in Iran. I award half a point to the feds for at least predicting a rising nuclear power in the right geographic area.

These stories are scary but also insane and irrelevant. So the US has over 3700 nuclear warheads. China is aiming for 1500. How many can anyone use? Once we drop 150 are they going to drop 175? Who is still alive to at that point to be launching nuclear missiles? Who thinks this way? Step back. Forget it.

Given the current trajectory of this country, it won’t matter by then if they have warheads or not. They won’t need them.

They wouldn’t dare nuke DC after all the money they invested in people and property. That would be crazy. Maybe they will nuke their protesters. /S.

So add some iodine to the pantry is the take away?

I am way more optimistic. Sure, our military has its issues. And numbers matter, but you know what else matters?

We have the F22, F35 and the B2 and we are rapidly developing the B21. Russia and China barely have any stealth aircraft and what they have sucks,

We had the AGM-129A in the Cold War and it was retired as it was no longer even needed. Alas, an even better replacement is in the works.

We have the Ford class carrier and more on the way. Does China or Russia even have anything close to the Nimitz class?

Russia’s infantry is demoralized and ineffective. Russia can’t even hold their own against a small, NATO-semi-backed non-NATO member state. Most of China’s soldiers are not that well equipped.

Our military space assets continue to evolve and expand

Our nuclear weapons and delivery systems are better designed and maintained – and they will actually work. Both China and Russia know that any hot war with the US guarantees their demise and they are not religious fanatics that would love to die in foolish glory.

Yes, we have frustrating woke nonsense, wasteful spending, a dope for a President, but the fact remains that no matter how many ships China builds and whatever dabbling Russia and China do in their own new technology, they cannot come close to beating us in any war.

    DSHornet in reply to broomhandle. | December 2, 2022 at 7:42 am

    Are you saying quality vs. quantity? The way things are going in our military, starting with the service academies, we may not have even that advantage in another ten years.

it isn’t the sheer number of warheads that’s disturbing–it’s the ability to strike multiple targets simultaneously, before any reaction is possible, that’s dangerous

there has never been a nuclear “exchange” between combatants in human history so any assesment of such an event must be speculative as to the damage / consequences of such an event–we simply don’t know

cannot think of any city on this planet that could survive multiple hits from modern thermo-nuclear weapons–would seem to indicate the potential for either a multiple-warhead attack with the intent to simply overwhelm/destroy the defenses or a simultaneous attack on multiple/multi-national targets or perhaps both at once

in either scenario, would be virtually impossible to interdict/prevent such an attack once in progress regardless of the tech/abilities of the “defense”

BierceAmbrose | December 3, 2022 at 3:39 pm

What’s the big surprise? If yr gonna nuke *internal* as well as *external* enemies, you need more warheads. Any idiot saw this coming. (Besides, ’tis the season: better to get on about it and reduce the surplus population.)

If related news, Nuke-em Swalwell has accepted the position as Chinese head of Homeland Security. While it is uncommon for The CCP to recruit Westerners, spokes-things reached for comment said: “Nuke your own people. Maniac. Even we didn’t go there.”

Also reached for comment, the banged-Fang said: “I hope his failure to ignite has improved.”