WASHINGTON, Oct 20 (Reuters) – The Pentagon this week released its annual report about China’s military, which addresses wide-ranging issues related to some of the most important developments in China’s national security over the past year. Below are some key aspects:
China has more than 500 operational nuclear warheads in its arsenal and will likely have more than 1,000 warheads by 2030, according to the report.
In a previous report, the Pentagon estimated that Beijing had more than 400 operational nuclear warheads in 2021.
The report says China will likely complete construction of its three new silo fields in 2022, which have at least 300 new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) silos.
The report says China could be exploring the development of conventionally armed intercontinental-range missile systems that, if developed, could allow Beijing to threaten the United States.
China has been expanding its global military footprint, although it is still much smaller than the U.S. base network.
The report says China has also likely considered having military logistics facilities in countries such as Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia, Mozambique, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tajikistan.
China already has the world’s largest navy and is growing even more, according to the report.
China’s navy had more than 370 ships and submarines, up from 340 ships in last year’s report.
The expectation, the report adds, is that the number will increase to 395 ships by 2025 and 435 ships by 2030.
While the report said China has generally ignored or denied U.S. efforts to hold military-to-military talks, it described one occasion when Beijing needed U.S. help.
In April 2023, the Chinese military requested help from the United States to evacuate Chinese diplomats from Khartoum, Sudan.
The US military, according to the report, provided evacuation routes.
Reporting by Idrees Ali and Michael Martina; Editing by Leslie Adler
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