A new report from the Pentagon says China’s swelling nuclear stockpile makes it a growing rival to the U.S. The congressionally mandated annual report, which assesses China’s military and security strategy, predicted China would amass a stockpile of about 1,500 warheads by 2035. That is more than three times the number of known warheads they have today.
The report, published Tuesday, concluded that Beijing’s military expansion is transforming China into a global force and putting it on track to keep the U.S. from intervening in a potential crisis with Taiwan.
The Pentagon report also concluded that China’s goal of expanding its nuclear arsenal, and its military pursuit of control of Taiwan, had not been hampered over the past year.
In September, NATO held their first dedicated debate on Taiwan, which China claims sovereignty over. The U.S. had encouraged other members of the transatlantic security alliance to pay more attention to the threat of China on the island.
The Pentagon also confirmed that China conducted a new hypersonic missile test in 2021, designed to strike foreign military bases in the Western Pacific.
China has long rejected arms-control talks with the United States, and has said any talks would only take place after the U.S. reduced its own nuclear stockpiles.
According to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Russia, the U.S. and China are the nations with the largest nuclear arsenals. Russia has 5,977 warheads, followed by the U.S. with 5,428 and China with at least 350. But China is the second largest military spender behind the U.S.