Report: Nuclear Weapons Stockpiles Rising Rapidly

    Report: Nuclear Weapons Stockpiles Rising Rapidly
    Last updated Jun 13, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • According to a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on Monday, the world's nine nuclear-armed states continued modernizing their existing arsenals and deploying the latest nuclear-capable weapon systems throughout 2022.
    • The bulk of the increase was reportedly in China, where the stockpile of nuclear warheads grew from 350 to 410 between January 2022 and 2023. The report predicts that the world's third-biggest nuclear power could match the US and Russia's number of intercontinental ballistic missiles by 2030.
    • However, China's 410 warheads remain a distant third in total estimated nuclear stockpiles, behind Russia's 4,489 and Washington's 3,708. The six other atomic states — France (290), the UK (225), Pakistan (170), India (164), Israel (90), and North Korea (30) — contain 969 cumulative nuclear warheads.
    • The world's nuclear powers reportedly spent $82.9B on their arsenals in 2022, with the US representing most of the expenditure. China and Russia spent the next most, at $11.7B and $9.6B respectively.
    • The report warns that China's rapidly growing nuclear arsenal is becoming "increasingly difficult to square" and contrasts the country's declared position of "having only the minimum nuclear forces needed to maintain its national security."
    • While the total number of nuclear warheads was down from 12,710 to 12,512 globally, "military stockpiles for potential use" increased by 86, and the number of deployed warheads rose to 3,844, up from 3,732 a year earlier.


    Anti-China narrative

    China's growing nuclear arsenal is a scary development and a massive threat to global security. Additionally, Russia's vast atomic stockpile and invasion of Ukraine show the fragility of the global situation. The world cannot withstand further nuclear proliferation, and the US must remain alert to deter continued weapons expansion.

    Pro-China narrative

    China must continue its nuclear arms development, as the report clearly shows the country only possesses a fraction of the US and Russia's nuclear capabilities. China has the right to develop a robust stockpile to keep its people and territory safe, and as it has strictly followed a "no first use" nuclear policy, the biggest destroyer of world peace must stop making groundless speculations.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 10% chance that any country that had nuclear weapons on July 1, 2017 will give them up before 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



    More neutral establishment stance articles

    Sign up to our newsletter!