US Says China Has Significantly Expanded Its Nuclear Arsenal

    US Says China Has Significantly Expanded Its Nuclear Arsenal
    Photo: Xiao Lu Chu/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • A new report from the Pentagon has claimed that, as of May this year, China holds over 500 operational nuclear warheads — an increase from an estimated 400 in 2021.

    • The US Dept. of Defense's annual China Military Power Report claimed the figures to be in line with previous assessments, while also stating its concern over what it described as the quickening development of China's nuclear arsenal. A senior US defense official said Beijing is "expanding and investing in their land-, sea- and air-based nuclear delivery platforms."


    The Spin

    Anti-China narrative

    As America's fastest-growing nuclear rival, China is hypocritically calling for the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons while rapidly expanding its own arsenal. To neutralize this danger, Washington must call China's bluff and freeze nuclear redeployment into Asia in return for Beijing's pausing of its own nuclear projects. If this doesn't occur, China's nuclear military strength will only continue to strengthen in the years and decades to come — a reality that must be avoided.

    Pro-China narrative

    While China continues to be hyped within Western media as a nuclear threat, recent reports show that the modernization and growth of nuclear arsenals are expanding globally. The PRC, like any other country, requires sophisticated weaponry to ensure national security, and the legitimate growth of nuclear capabilities is necessary. While the West will continue to demonize China, Beijing will continue to act only to ensure the safety of its national sovereignty.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 17% chance of a US-China war before 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.



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