China blasts US military report as ‘groundless speculation’

SpaceWar.com reports: “China on Tuesday criticised a US defence report estimating Beijing’s nuclear arsenal would triple by 2035 as ‘groundless speculation’ and accused Washington of ‘hyping up’ the military threat posed by the world’s most populous country.

The US Department of Defense released its annual China Military Power Report last week, which said China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would likely acquire around 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035 at its current pace of expansion.

That figure would still lag far behind the arsenals of the United States and Russia, which each include several thousand nuclear warheads.

Chinese defence ministry spokesman Tan Kefei said the report ‘distorts China’s defence policy and military strategy, is groundless speculation on China’s military development… and is (the United States’) customary trick to hype up and exaggerate China’s so-called military threat’.

‘The United States is making accusations and speculations about the modernisation of China’s nuclear forces, when in fact it is the one that should deeply review and reflect on its own nuclear policy,’ Tan added…”

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