November 4th, 2011
China continues to deploy four new nuclear capable ballistic missiles, including one that can be launched from submarines (SLBM), causing fear among its neighbours and the US, says a latest report by Federation of American Scientists. This, coupled with Beijing’s reluctance to define its minimum deterrence posture, says the report, has raised doubts about its intentions in upgrading its nuclear and missile arsenal.
The report authored by scientists Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris estimates that China has 240 nuclear warheads. While the report focuses mainly on China’s attempts to target the US by assigning an increasing number of warheads to its long-range missiles, it says Beijing is now using the 7,200 km-range DF-31 missiles to target India and Russia instead of the earlier DF-4.
Panic over China’s four new nuclear ballistic missiles – The Times of India
Estimated China nuclear warheads range from about 100 to 3000. Liberal analysts put the number toward the lower end and conservative analysts put the number toward the upper end. No one really knows, and China aims to keep it that way.