Wednesday, 23 November, 2022
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India and China increased their nuclear weapons stockpile over last year: Swedish think tank

According to Swedish think-tank SIPRI, China is in the middle of a significant expansion of its nuclear arsenal and is developing the ‘nuclear triad for the first time’.

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New Delhi: India and China have both increased their nuclear weapons stockpile over the last year but New Delhi’s overall numbers are less than half of Beijing’s and also slightly lower than what Pakistan possesses.

In its Yearbook 2020, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a Swedish think tank, has pegged the number of nuclear warheads in the Chinese arsenal at 320, while Pakistan and India are estimated to have 160 and 150 weapons, respectively.

In its 2019 report, SIPRI had calculated China’s nuclear arsenal at 290 and India’s at 130-140. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal was calculated at 150-160, a number which remains constant in the latest assessment too. 

Decrease in global nuclear weapons numbers

The report states that there has been a decrease in the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world in 2019. This was largely due to Russia and the US — which together still possess over 90 per cent of global nuclear weapons — dismantling retired nuclear weapons. 

The nine nuclear-armed states — the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) — together possessed an estimated 13,400 nuclear weapons at the start of 2020, the think-tank said.

This marked a decrease from the 13,865 nuclear weapons that SIPRI estimated these states possessed at the beginning of 2019. 

Also read: India ‘working faster’ on bridge in Galwan Valley after China’s objections amid stand-off

China displays nuclear weapons more frequently

On the issue of China, SIPRI said Beijing now publicly displays its nuclear forces more frequently than in the past but releases little information about force numbers or future development plans. 

It added that China is in the middle of a significant modernisation and expansion of its nuclear arsenal, and that Beijing is developing the “nuclear triad for the first time”, made up of new land and sea-based missiles and nuclear-capable aircraft. 

India and Pakistan are slowly increasing the size and diversity of their nuclear forces, SIPRI said. 

Different countries relying on different raw material

The raw material for nuclear weapons is fissile material, either highly enriched uranium (HEU) or separated plutonium. 

According to SIPRI, China, France, Russia, the UK and the US have produced both HEU and plutonium for use in their nuclear weapons while India and Israel have produced mainly plutonium.

Pakistan has produced mainly HEU but is increasing its ability to produce plutonium. North Korea has produced plutonium for use in nuclear weapons but is believed to be producing HEU for nuclear weapons as well. 

In April this year, SIPRI had identified India as the third largest military spender in the world, just behind the US and China. 

Also read: India’s escalation worked against Pakistan, time for similar response to China


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  1. Of course, collectively China and Pakistan will have more active nuclear payload than India, but SIPRI report did not mention that India has stockpiled enrich uranium and processed plutonium more than both China and Pakistan. In fact, India has a secret facility, data of which is not available to SIPRI that facility has more active nuclear payload than UK, France, China, Pakistan, and so on. So, the headline is logically incorrect.

    • Since I’ve known you Indians, you’ve never cease to brag about your nation which has nothing to offer even it citizen than poverty, Stark corruption and bounty illiterate citizens.
      You talk as if you know CHINA, it is very obvious to the world that CHINA leads your GOD forsaken India in all front😜🤪😝😋😋

  2. Unfortunately SIPRI is yet to cover India’s unsafeguarded nuclear material which has capacity to build 1000s of nuclear weapons. SIPRI and other think tanks overlook this fact. India may look behind in terms of current stockpiles but it wont last long as India has tonnes of unsafeguarded material which will contribute to its weapons stocks.

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