Pentagon Claims China May Double Its Nuclear Arsenal by 2030

Says potential to grow arsenal proves they are a threat

There is no sign out of China that they actually intend to do so, but the Pentagon report released Tuesday claims that in the course of a modernization of Chinese nuclear weapons, they could double the number of nuclear warheads they have in the next decade.

The report notes the warheads are “capable of threatening the US,” and argues that the very ability to grow their arsenal suggests a long-term intention to do so, and that would mean China is moving away from its existing defensive posture.

All of this is purely hypothetical, with the Pentagon drawing conclusions on what China would do based on what the US would do in a similar situation. It would also fit the narrative from the administration which is aiming to get China involved in nuclear arms limitation talks.

China has rejected the talks, saying that with the US and Russia in the 3,500 warhead range, China’s less than 300 are hardly a blip, and hardly worth negotiating over. Even if China doubles to over 500, they would still be a bit player in any such talks, and that’s again based on nothing but Pentagon supposition.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.