China will triple its nuclear arsenal by 2035, according to a US Department of Defense estimate released on Tuesday (29), highlighting the growing sophistication of Asia’s air forces. giant
The Pentagon has highlighted developments in China’s nuclear and conventional forces, identified by Washington as its main challenge. “The Department of Defense estimates that an arsenal of operational nuclear weapons [da China] already surpassing 400,” the report said. “If China continues the pace of its nuclear expansion, China is likely to have an arsenal of about 1,500 warships by 2035,” he pointed out.
This number would be far less than the warships available from the US and Russia, each carrying thousands of nuclear warheads.
China is also working on modernizing its ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. In 2021, the country conducted 135 test launches, “more than the rest of the world,” excluding those fired in conflicts, the report said.
In addition, Beijing’s air force is advancing, “quickly catching up with Western air forces,” the Pentagon warned.
The document also highlights China’s use of its military in the Indo-Pacific region: “adopting more coercive and aggressive measures”.
The case involves the self-governing island of Taiwan, which Beijing considers a rebel province and claims as part of its territory.
In August, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit angered China, which responded with its biggest and most aggressive maneuvers around the island since the 1990s.
After this, both sides tried to reduce the tension. Before issuing the statement, a senior Pentagon official said that while Chinese military activity around Taiwan has decreased since that episode, it remains higher than before.
The official said Beijing is establishing a new normal for the level of military activity around Taiwan following Pelosi’s visit.
“Although we do not see an imminent invasion, it is clear that this high level of intimidation and coercive measures around Taiwan is a cause for concern,” he added.
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