A new Pentagon estimate says China will likely have “at least” 1,000 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2030, a massive expansion in the size of Beijing’s stockpile. The U.S. estimated that the country’s atomic arsenal consisted of about 200 warheads just last year.
The new assessment of China’s nuclear threat is highlighted in the annual China Military Power report released Wednesday, and comes amid fresh warnings of Beijing’s intentions toward Taiwan and new tests of nuclear-capable hypersonic missiles.
That focus on Taiwan and the South China Sea has tempered some ambitions for the Chinese army to become a more global force that can operate outside the first island chain. “That kind of globalization of the PLA has been relatively moderated because of this focus on building a force that's tailored for a Taiwan contingency, a South China Sea contingency,” said Jacob Stokes, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security.
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