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China now has 500+ nukes, will have 1,000+ by 2030: Pentagon

Xi Jinping speaks to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 28, 2017. (Ma Zhancheng/Xinhua/Zuma Press/TNS)
October 19, 2023

China currently has more than 500 nuclear warheads and will likely double that number to more than 1,000 nuclear warheads by 2030, according to a new Pentagon report released this week.

“DoD estimates that the PRC will probably have over 1,000 operational nuclear warheads by 2030, much of which will be deployed at higher readiness levels and will continue growing its force to 2035 in line with its goal of ensuring PLA modernization is ‘basically complete’ that year, which serves as an important milestone on the road to Xi’s goal of a ‘world class’ military by 2049,” the report states.

A top Defense Department officials warned China’s nuclear power is “on track to exceed previous projections,” according to Politico.

“What they’re doing now, if you compare it to what they were doing about a decade ago, it really far exceeds that in terms of scale and complexity,” said the official, who was granted anonymity to speak ahead of the report’s release. “They’re expanding and investing in their land, sea and air-based nuclear delivery platforms, as well as the infrastructure that’s required to support this quite major expansion of their nuclear forces.”

The White House is working on a face-to-face meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping in California in November, the Washington Post reported earlier this month.

One administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the meeting is “pretty firm.”

“We’re beginning the process” of planning the meeting, the official added.

Liu Pengyu, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said the United States and China “are in communication on bilateral engagement and exchange.”

“Both sides,” he added, “need to work in the same direction, clear obstacles and manage differences with concrete actions, and enhance dialogue and expand cooperation in good faith.”

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.