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China increasing nuclear arsenal at exponential rate, expected to double by 2030, Pentagon report says

China is rapidly increasing its nuclear arsenal and is expected to double its number of nuclear warheads from more than 500 currently to more than 1,000 by 2030, which exceeds earlier projections, the Pentagon’s annual report on China’s military growth said this week. 

The Pentagon previously estimated that Beijing had more than 400 nuclear warheads as of 2021. 

The Chinese military’s “evolving capabilities and concepts continue to strengthen the PRC’s ability to ‘fight and win wars’ against a ‘strong enemy’ (a likely euphemism for the United States), counter an intervention by a third party in a conflict along the PRC’s periphery, and project power globally,” the Thursday report said, noting the Chinese Communist Party’s goal of having a “world-class” military by 2049. 

It added, “The PRC probably will use its new fast breeder reactors and reprocessing facilities to produce plutonium for its nuclear weapons program, despite publicly maintaining these technologies are intended for peaceful purposes.”

Mao continued, “As long as any country does not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against China, it will not be threatened by China’s nuclear weapons.”

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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