The Chinese military is pressing to double its nuclear arsenal within a decade with the ability to launch warheads aboard ballistic missiles by land, sea and air, the US military said in a report published Tuesday (September 1).
In its first public estimate of the Chinese regime's nuclear capacity, the annual report said that it has warheads numbering "in the low 200s" in its nuclear stockpile, far fewer than the 300 or more estimated by independent analysts.
That number is expected to double over 10 years. Beijing can already launch nuclear weapons by ballistic missile from land and sea and is developing the capacity to develop an air-launched ballistic missile as well, the report said.
Another key focus for the Chinese military is power projection. The Chinese want their military to be able to operate anywhere on the globe. One step towards that goal is the establishment of a more robust overseas logistics network.
Beijing is "very likely already considering and planning for" the establishment of military logistics facilities outside China that can support naval, air and ground forces, said the report.
Some locations that it now may be considering include Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, Kenya, the Seychelles, Tanzania, Angola and Tajikistan. China already has a military installation in Djibouti.
A report in July detailed how a number of countries have viewed the Chinese regime as a strategic threat for years. Recently, though, the implications of Beijing's actions around the world have raised significantly the level of alarm.