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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 15 June, 2021

  • 8 Min Read

China, India, Pak. expanding nuclear arsenal

China, India, Pak. expanding nuclear arsenal

  • China is in the middle of significant modernisation and expansion of its nuclear weapon inventory, and India and Pakistan also appear to be expanding their nuclear arsenals, according to the Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Year Book 2021.
  • The overall number of warheads in global military stockpiles now appears to be increasing, a worrisome sign that the declining trend that has characterised global nuclear arsenals since the end of the Cold War has stalled.
  • According to the yearbook, India possessed an estimated 156 nuclear warheads at the start of 2021, compared with 150 at the start of last year, while Pakistan had 165 warheads, up from 160 in 2020.
  • China’s nuclear arsenal consisted of 350 warheads, up from 320 at the start of 2020.
  • The nine nuclear-armed states — the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea — together possessed an estimated 13,080 nuclear weapons at the start of 2021.
  • Russia and the U.S. together possessed over 90% of global nuclear weapons, SIPRI said.
  • A report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London, in May titled ‘Nuclear Deterrence and Stability in South Asia: Perceptions and Realities’ said that chance played an important ameliorative role in the India-Pakistan crisis of February 2019 and the two countries “risk stumbling into using their nuclear weapons through miscalculation or misinterpretation in a future crisis.”
  • “India and Pakistan are seeking new technologies and capabilities that dangerously undermine each other’s defence under the nuclear threshold,” said the report.
  • It said China’s evolving profile as a nuclear-weapons state was compounding India’s security challenges.

Source: TH


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