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China goes beyond forecasts, worries the US. Report: Beijing could have 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035

China goes beyond forecasts, worries the US. Report: Beijing could have 1,500

China's stockpile of nuclear warheads has exceeded 400, the Pentagon report says. Meanwhile, Beijing is focusing on accelerating the expansion of nuclear weapons, seeking to challenge the US as the world's greatest superpower.

In 2020, the US estimated that China had 200 nuclear warheads, and the stockpile was expected to double within a decade. But China doubled them in just two years, and by 2035 it is expected that Beijing will have around 1,500 nuclear warheads if they continue to expand their stockpile at the current rate.

The world's most populous country is using its growing military as one of its tools to create an international system that favors its worldview, posing "the most significant and systemic challenge to US national security," according to the report. , and greater nuclear capability.

Beijing's investment in its nuclear triad — sea-based, land-based and air-based nuclear launch options — is a cause for concern in Washington.

China also conducted 135 ballistic missile tests in 2021, the report said, more than the rest of the world combined.

China has a standing army of nearly 1 million soldiers, the world's largest navy by number of ships and the world's third-largest air force, according to the report.

The 2022 National Defense Strategy, released last month, identifies China as the immediate challenge to the United States, a point repeated frequently by top Pentagon officials.

"China is the only country out there that geopolitically has the power potential to be a significant challenge to the United States," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley said at a news conference earlier this month.

In the latest report, the US does not foresee an imminent invasion of Taiwan. Instead, the report says, the US has seen Beijing increase diplomatic, economic, political and military pressure on Taiwan.

Source: CNN



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