HAMID January 26, 2022 2 min read
While the United States and Russia have slightly reduced their stockpiles of nuclear weapons, China continues to expand its atomic arsenal. One description published on June 14 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), indicates that the People’s Republic produced an additional 30 warheads during the year 2021. The institute estimates that the Xi Jinping government now has 350 weapons of mass destruction, an increase of 10% compared to the year 2020. There were 320 atomic bombs in Beijing.
And China does not intend to stop there. Report from the Pentagon published in February 2020 even predicted that the People’s Republic will double its nuclear arsenal within a decade. “The Xi Jinping government not only wants to further modernize the country but to assert itself as a world power and finally compete militarily with the United States”, could we read in this document. Even doubled, the Chinese arsenal would only reach 700 bombs. This is not enough to worry the Pentagon, which believes, however, that Xi Jinping’s government is also trying to modernize its ballistic weapons to make them faster and less easily detectable. The security of the United States would then be seriously threatened.
In addition to new ballistic missiles, China is developing fighter jets that can fire nuclear weapons. The Army of the People’s Republic could also fill their arsenal with numerical weakness by deploying them in various parts of the globe to make them harder to destroy. So American officials believe that Beijing could launch its missiles into Pakistan, Seychelles, Angola, Indonesia or even Sri Lanka. “This enhancement of China’s nuclear capabilities will pose a serious threat to U.S. national interests and threaten the security of international order,” the Pentagon further warned in its report.
This is even more important as the risk of conflict between Beijing and Washington increases every day because of the Taiwan issue. Security expert Caitlin Talmadge told the South China Morning Post, that a normal war between the People’s Republic and the United States could escalate into a nuclear war. For the analyst, if the United States were to defend Taiwan from Chinese invasion, one of the two countries could use atomic weapons instead of risking too bitter a military defeat. Today, this scenario remains unbelievable. However, Chinese and American think tanks warn it could one day come true and urge leaders on both sides of the Pacific to prioritize dialogue on military force.