Chinese Nuclear Weapons Profiled

The Chinese nuclear stockpile appears to be only half as big as previously thought, according to a new overview published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Up to 130 warheads may be deployed out of a total stockpile of some 200 warheads. Several new weapon systems are under development which the Pentagon says could increase the arsenal in the future, but past US intelligence projections have proven highly inflated and inaccurate. The new overview will be followed by a more detailed report published by the Federation of American Scientists and the Natural Resources Defense Council this spring.

See also: Chinese Nuclear Submarine Cave Discovered

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  1. GS May 4, 2006 at 5:25 pm #

    GS: It is no secret that China has been selling and trading their arsenal for oil. This could account for the reduction in their weapons cache.

    Reply: Actually, the nuclear “reduction” comes from a reassessment of the estimate for China’s nuclear forces, rather than because of Chinese cuts. The new assessment we now make follows new information published by U.S. intelligence community and because of statements given by the Chinese about the size of the arsenal. For more information on China’s nuclear forces, go here.

    Hans M. Kristensen.

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