March 24, 2023

U.S. Alarmed over Russia's Support of China Nuclear Buildup

Source: Nikkei Asia

Journalist: Ryo Nakamura

The Biden administration has found that China is dramatically expanding its nuclear capabilities. In an annual report released last November, the Pentagon estimated that China will triple its stockpile to 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035.

"One historic constraint on Beijing's arsenal has been a lack of fissile material to make new weapons," said Jacob Stokes, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for a New American Security think tank. "Russian shipments provide China with uranium that, with additional processing, could go into new nuclear warheads, thereby alleviating that constraint."

China is closing the gap with the U.S. in terms of the number of warheads, and the Chinese military is building up capabilities to attack the American mainland. It appears that China looks to field an arsenal capable of striking the U.S. in a bid to project a deterrent effect that would keep American forces from getting involved in a crisis flaring up in the South China Sea or Taiwan.

Read the full story and more from Nikkei Asia.


  • Jacob Stokes

    Senior Fellow, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Jacob Stokes is a Senior Fellow for the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS, where his work focuses on U.S.-China relations, Chinese foreign and military policy, East Asian ...