(With table corrected for typos) The Pentagon has just released its long-awaited 2020 version of its annual report on China’s military developments. In this article, we review the elements concerning China’s nuclear forces.
The Size of the Warhead Stockpile
The biggest surprise in the new report is that it for the first time provides DOD’s estimate of the number of nuclear warheads in the Chinese nuclear weapons stockpile: low-200s. This is lower than the estimate we currently have: 320. But there are reasons for that.
First, the data in the report is as of late-2019. Back then, our stockpile estimate was 290.