Chinese nuclear forces, 2010

By Hans M. Kristensen, Robert S. Norris | November 1, 2010

Nuclear Notebook: How many nuclear weapons does China have?

Considerable uncertainty surrounds the composition and future development of China’s nuclear forces; however, we estimate that China has approximately 175 active nuclear warheads, plus about 65 warheads in reserve or awaiting dismantlement, for a total stockpile of approximately 240 warheads.

The US intelligence community predicts that by the mid-2020s, China could “more than double” the number of warheads on missiles capable of threatening the United States to “well over 100”…

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The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by Hans M. Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project with the Federation of American Scientists and Robert S. Norris, a senior fellow with the FAS. The Nuclear Notebook column has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook column has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987.


As the Russian invasion of Ukraine shows, nuclear threats are real, present, and dangerous

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