BEIJING: China’s defence ministry on Tuesday (Dec 6) dismissed a Pentagon report about the pace of its nuclear weapons programme as unfair “gesticulation” and speculation.
The Pentagon said in a report last month that China would likely have a stockpile of 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035 if it continues with its current pace of nuclear buildup.
The figure underscores mounting US concerns about China’s intentions for its expanding nuclear arsenal, even though the projections do not suggest China is accelerating the pace of its already-brisk warhead development.
Responding to the report, China’s defence ministry said the United States was “gesticulating and absurdly guessing about the modernisation of China’s nuclear forces”.
The United States should reflect on its own nuclear policy, especially as it has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, the ministry added.
The United States was “vigorously” developing and seeking to deploy front-line tactical nuclear weapons, had reduced the threshold for deploying nuclear weapons and was conducting nuclear proliferation through its security partnership with Britain and Australia, it said.