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China may be signalling significant increase in nuclear arsenal

China may be intending to significantly increase both the number of nuclear warheads and also the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in its arsenal.

An opinion piece advocating an increase in China’s stockpile of warheads to 1,000 and in the number of DF-41 ICBMs to 100 was written by Hu Xilin, editor-in-chief of the state-owned Global Times newspaper, and published online in the English-language version of the paper on 8 May.

In addition to Hu’s opinion piece, the paper published a longer report under the heading ‘China urged to expand nuclear arsenal to deter US-warmongers’ stating that 'military experts' were calling for both an increase in the number of nuclear warheads and the establishment of a triad of land, sea and air nuclear forces, with the introduction of the anticipated H-20 strategic bomber and the JL-3 submarine-launched ballistic missile.

        China displayed its DF-41 ICBM during a military parade held at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on 1 October 2019.  An opinion piece in the 
        Global Times
         newspaper advocated an increase in China’s stockpile of warheads to 1,000 and in the number of DF-41 ICBMs to 100.

Although neither a report nor an opinion piece in Global Times can be assumed to reflect official policy, the paper falls within the ambit of the People’s Daily newspaper – the media mouthpiece of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China – and so is unlikely to be advancing a line that is not at least under consideration by the leadership. Furthermore, the publication of two articles on the subject in the same edition appears to reflect the intent to draw attention to the issue.

The Global Times

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