China’s nuclear arsenal has been growing while we’ve been dealing issues of our own. Peter Pry, an expert in China, says the US has “taken a holiday” for decades, leaving our enemies the capability to increase their nuclear forces. The US may be too slow in adapting to the Chinese Communist plans because of the ties American businesses have with China. And since most of our nuclear capability was created under Reagan, or before, so it’s old.
“We’re living off the legacy of 30, 40, 50 years ago in terms of both our nuclear delivery systems and of the weapons themselves.”
Peter Pry, Director of the U.S. nuclear strategy forum at the Center for Security Policy
The warning is real. Although China’s nuclear arsenal is smaller than that of the United States, they are actively increasing it at an alarming rate. Whether or not the country really adheres to the “No First Strike”policy is a question as well, given their apparent stockpiling of warheads. It may be building up its nuclear forces with the idea of global domination in mind.
However, 2021 satellite imagery and missile tests revealed that Beijing is undertaking a massive quantitative expansion of the PLA nuclear forces, following longer-running efforts to improve and diversify said forces.
Sebastien Roblin, National Interest
We reported back in October about the Chinese launch of a hypersonic missile that blind-sided US officials. The United States successfully tested our own version of a hypersonic missile recently. But the difference in cultures is a warning: China’s nuclear arsenal could be used for offense because they don’t seem to have the same aversion to using nuclear weapons first, according to Mr. Pry.
Russia currently has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, with around 1,500 deployed nuclear weapons and 6,257 warheads in total. The United States is next, with about 1400 deployed systems and 5,550 warheads in total. Between 1,500-2,000 warheads in both nations’ arsenals are retired and awaiting disarmament.
China, meanwhile, is currently reported to have around 350 warheads, but a recent Pentagon report warned that the CCP was drastically increasing production and modernization of its nuclear arsenal, and that it would have 1,000 nuclear weapons by 2030.
Pry believes that estimate to be far too low, and said he expected the real number of Chinese warheads to reach around 4,000 by 2030, based on the speed with which the CCP is constructing new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and silos, and producing uranium.
The world has changed. Aversion to the carnage of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has faded into the collective memories of generations.
“We are in a situation where nuclear war is not just a theoretical thing anymore. We desperately need to get back from the edge of that.” Peter Pry
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