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Thursday, December 21, 2023

Statement on China’s Increasing Nuclear Arsenals

In the Yearbook for 2023 released by Sweden based think tank, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), it is estimated that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) led China is increasing its stockpile of nuclear warheads at an alarming rate of 17%, by possessing 350 in January 2022 to 410 in January 2023. This pace of China’s increasing nuclear arsenals is “expected to keep growing” and China could potentially have at least as many as Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) as either the United States (US) or Russia by 2030.

The nuclear arms control and disarmament diplomacy had a major setback following the Russia-Ukraine war, with the US and Russia using petty tit-for-tat tactics to further this stance – US suspended its “bilateral strategic stability dialogue” with Russia and the latter suspended its participation in the 2010 Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START).

At such times, China hides under the garb of ‘modernising its military equipment and weaponry’ to invest heavily in all parts of its military and is actively engaging in what may be called the ‘Thucydides Trap’ – leading towards a war-like situation in order to displace an existing great power, just to fulfil its hegemonic desires.

China, by proactively increasing its number of nuclear warheads, is trying to unleash ‘MADness’ – what nuclear strategists call as “Mutual Assured Destruction”. While the CCP is hell bent on developing its own robust nuclear ecosystem, it must not forget the ‘Nuclear Paradox’, i.e., neither nation engaging in a nuclear war can win it. So, from confrontations in the South China Sea, to intimidating military threats in the Taiwan Strait, to the gathering storm over the Korean Peninsula, CCP led China must recognise that outcomes of such authoritative actions would be suicidal.

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