NATO official predicts that China will have 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035

 April 19, 2023

Tensions with China increased recently after the communist giant conducted a series of aggressive military exercises around Taiwan.

That comes as defense officials announced this week that China is on track to triple its nuclear arsenal.

NATO secretary-general: "China poses some challenges to our interests"

According to the Washington Examiner, the claim was made during a virtual event on Tuesday attended by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

"We are now entering a time when transformative technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing may add uncertainty to the balance of power and make the question of when to use WMD more complicated, not less," Sherman was quoted as saying.

Stoltenberg agreed, declaring, "We stand at the crossroads — in one direction lies the collapse of the international arms control order and the unrestricted proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, with profoundly dangerous consequences."

"We don't regard or assess China as an adversary. But China poses some challenges to our interests, to our NATO values, and to our security," Stoltenberg stressed.

Chinese nuclear arsenal expected to triple

However, he pointed out that China is "investing heavily in new modern capabilities, long-range missiles, more than tripling the number of nuclear warheads within a few years," adding that the Asian power is expected to have 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035.

Those comments from Sherman and Stoltenberg came following a joint statement issued by foreign ministers of the Group of 7 (G-7), an organization made up of the world's seven biggest democratic economies.

"The G-7 urges China to engage promptly in strategic risk reduction discussions with the U.S. and to promote stability through greater transparency of China’s nuclear weapon policies, plans, and capabilities," the statement read.

"Our security policies are based on the understanding that nuclear weapons, for as long as they exist, should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression, and prevent war and coercion," it added.

Chinese foreign minister lashes out at G-7

The statement brought an angry response from Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Wenbin, who said it was an example of "arrogance, prejudice and deliberate desire to block and contain China."

"Japan has long characterized itself as a victim of nuclear explosions and an advocate of a nuclear-weapons-free world," Wang was quoted as saying at a press briefing on Monday.

"But in fact, Japan sits comfortably under the U.S.’s nuclear umbrella, and it is against and hindering the U.S.'s renouncing of the first use of nuclear weapons," he complained.

Wang went on to allege that "some Japanese politicians even suggest the possibility of nuclear sharing with the U.S."

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