Myths, Realities, and Implications of China’s Nuclear Buildup
About this program: The Pentagon’s annual report on Chinese military power, released on Nov. 29, 2022, claims that China’s nuclear stockpile will jump from some 400 warheads today to an estimated 1,500 warheads in 2035. This claim has been seized upon by military hawks in Congress to fuel their clamor for increased military spending, approving a record $858 fiscal year 2023 Pentagon budget – $45 billion more than President Biden requested. Most of the increased spending was earmarked for weaponry to counter China.
While most observers agree that Beijing is expanding and modernizing its very small (as compared to those of the U.S. and Russia) nuclear force, there is widespread debate as to the scale and rapidity of those endeavors. With many in Washington now citing the Pentagon’s claims of a Chinese nuclear buildup to justify the further expansion of America’s already vast nuclear arsenal, it is essential to interrogate the claims of the Pentagon’s China military power report lest we all be drawn into a new, profoundly dangerous arms race.
The Committee for a Sane U.S.-China Policy invites you to join three outstanding experts to learn more about China’s nuclear buildup, the debate over its scale and intent, and how all this might inform U.S. foreign and military policy.
Michael Klare is co-chair of the Committee for a Sane U.S.-China Policy and a senior visiting fellow at the Arms Control Association in Washington, D.C.
Hans Kristensen is director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists and co-author of the Nuclear Notebook, a column in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that includes an annual review of Chinese nuclear forces.
Zhao Tong is a senior fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a visiting research scholar at Princeton University’s Science and Global Security Program.
Initiated by the Committee for a Sane U.S.-China Policy. Co-sponsored by the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security