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Pentagon: Chinese Nuke Force Growing Faster Than Predicted

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FILE - Spectators wave Chinese flags as military vehicles carrying DF-41 ballistic missiles roll during a parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Communist China in Beijing, Oct. 1, 2019. China is expanding its nuclear force much faster than U.S. officials predicted just a year ago, highlighting a broad and accelerating expansion of military muscle designed to enable Beijing to match or surpass U.S. global power by mid-century, according to a Pentagon report released Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

(AP) — The Pentagon says China is expanding its nuclear force much faster than U.S. officials predicted just a year ago.

In a report to Congress, the Pentagon says this highlights a broad and accelerating expansion of military power designed to enable Beijing to match or surpass American global influence and power by mid-century.

The report says the number of Chinese nuclear warheads could increase to 700 within six years and may top 1,000 by 2030. The report did not say how many weapons China has today; a year ago the Pentagon said the figure was in the “low 200s.”

 

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