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Stocks of nuclear warheads. SIPRI report: significant expansion of China’s arsenal

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The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in its annual report that China increased its nuclear arsenal by 60 warheads last year. The number of warheads in military stockpiles for potential use by nuclear powers increased by 86 last year to 9,576.

China Moscow increased its nuclear arsenal by 60 warheads last year and now has 410, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) think tank said in its annual report on Monday.

According to the think tank, the number of warheads in military stockpiles for potential use by nuclear powers: United StatesRussia, China, FranceGreat Britain and IndiaPakistan, North Korea and Israel increased last year by 86, to 9576.

Together – according to SIPRI’s estimates – with warheads withdrawn pending disassembly, the nine countries’ total stockpiles of nuclear weapons fell to 12,512 from 12,710.

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China is increasing its nuclear arsenal

Hans Kristensen, a think tank representative, wrote in a report that the significant expansion of China’s nuclear arsenal is “increasingly difficult to reconcile with the country’s stated goal of having only the minimum nuclear force needed to maintain national security.”

The number of warheads in military stockpiles for potential use by nuclear powers increased by 86 last year to 9,576.mil.ru

The report stressed that it is likely that China’s arsenal will continue to grow and that Beijing “could potentially have at least as many ICBMs as the US or Russia at the turn of the decade.”

Thank tank stresses that China maintains a “non-first use” policy, meaning that it would theoretically only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack. But defense experts have warned that Beijing may drop the policy as soon as it modernizes its army.

USA and Russia with the most nuclear warheads

The report details that the US currently has 3,708 nuclear warheads, unchanged from the previous year. By contrast, Russia has increased its arsenal to 4,489 from 4,477. The stockpiles of these two world’s largest nuclear powers account for about 86 percent of the total.

According to estimates, North Korea’s arsenal has grown from 25 to 30 warheads, but the country may have enough fissile material to produce 50 to 70 warheads.

Main photo source: mil.ru



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