Nuclear arms race

China says US Pentagon report on nuclear warheads distorts facts

China says US Pentagon report on nuclear warheads distorts facts
Military vehicles carrying the DF- 5B missiles drive past Tiananmen Square during a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, in Beijing, China, 01 October 2019. EPA-EFE/WU HONG

BEIJING, Oct 20 (Reuters) - A U.S. Pentagon report saying China will probably have more than 1,000 nuclear warheads by 2030 was filled with prejudice and distorts facts, and China had no intention of engaging in a nuclear arms race, its foreign ministry said on Friday.

“First of all, the United States report, like similar reports before it, ignores the facts, is full of prejudice and spreads the theory of the threat posed by China,” ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a press briefing in response to a question about the U.S. report.

Mao did not elaborate.

The Pentagon said in an annual report released on Thursday that China had more than 500 operational nuclear warheads in its arsenal, as of May.

“China firmly adheres to a nuclear strategy of self-defence and defence, we have always maintained our nuclear forces at the lowest level required for national security, and we have no intention of engaging in a nuclear arms race with any country,” Mao said.

The report added that China’s Navy had more than 370 ships and submarines, up from the 340 ships last year.

“As long as any country does not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against China, it will not be threatened by China’s nuclear weapons,” Mao said.

The Pentagon had previously raised alarms about China’s possible growing arsenal, underscoring its intentions to expand its warhead development. In a report last November, it said China would likely have a stockpile of 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035.

(Reporting by Joe Cash; Writing by Bernard Orr; Editing by Kim Coghill)


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options