(USNewsBreak.com) – Tensions between the United States and China have been on the fence for quite some time. China isn’t happy with the US’ stance on Taiwan, and the US government faces a number of challenges in dealing with the Asian nation. One of the most contentious issues, however, is the fact that the Chinese military is continuing to build up its arsenal, which could cause problems in the future.
In 2021, it was estimated that China had a warheads stockpile of around 400. Since then, it has accelerated its buildup. According to a Pentagon report from last year, the foreign superpower is on target to have in the neighborhood of 1,500 in the next 12 years. In an exclusive report, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) revealed that US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) notified Congress in writing that “The number of land-based fixed and mobile ICBM launchers” in China is greater than that in the US. This growth was also seen in satellite images back in 2021 that depicted approximately 250 to 300 new silos under construction.
There’s some speculation that this move is to deter the US from aiding Taiwan, but the Pentagon doesn’t believe this is likely — in the near future, anyway. STRATCOM also stated that the US exceeds China in the number of land-based intercontinental-range missiles, the number of warheads on those missiles, and a number of other areas.
Resisting Nuclear Arms Talks
It’s not just a matter of China building up a stockpile that’s cause for concern. The Asian nation has staunchly refused to engage in any arms talks with the US in recent years, arguing that the US’ arsenal is much larger.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Alexandra Bell noted last November that the US has carried on these conversations with Russia for years but is “not in that space with Beijing yet,” according to Reuters.
Call to Increase US Arsenal
Conservative lawmakers are calling for the government to counter China’s efforts by increasing its own arsenal. According to the WSJ report, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) says that the Asian nation is “approaching parity” and called on the US to “adjust [its] force posture and increase capabilities” in response.
There’s only one problem: the New START Treaty, an agreement between the US and Russia expected to expire in 2026, prohibits such actions.
The Pentagon last year acknowledged that China poses a growing threat and that it will need to take action in the future. However, exactly what actions remain yet to be seen.
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