India, China increase nuclear weapon stockpiles in past year
June 17, 2020 - India and China increased their nuclear weapon stockpile over the past year while all other nuclear-armed nations like the U.S., Russia and France, continued to modernise their arsenal, according to a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
India increased its number of warheads from an estimated 130-140 in 2019 to 150 in 2020, whereas China increased its nuclear stockpile from an estimated 290 warheads to 320 during the same time, the SIPRI report said.
China and Pakistan, which has an estimated stockpile of 160 nuclear warheads, individually have more nuclear warheads than India, the report added.
China is modernising its nuclear arsenal and ”developing a so-called nuclear triad for the first time, made up of new land- and sea-based missiles and nuclear capable-aircraft,” the report said. On the other hand, India and Pakistan were both increasing the size and diversity of their nuclear weapons, it noted.
The report, which was published on Monday, comes amid an ongoing standoff between India and China along their disputed border.
Worldwide, nine states together possessed an estimated 13,400 warheads at the start of 2020, a slight drop on 2019, SIPRI said. The decrease was largely due to the dismantling of retired nuclear weapons by Russia and the United States – which together still possess over 90 percent of the global stockpile.
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