Review of Chinese Nuclear Forces – June 2018

Shannon N Kile and Hans M Kristensen in SIPRI Year Book 2018 denote that the number of nuclear warheads maintained by China are about 280 and is said to be increasing gradually. This may be due to a general thrust towards modernization of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) which has now raised a new service the PLA Rocket Forces (PLARF). The PLARF is said to be holding 234 warheads assigned to China’s land- and sea-based ballistic missiles. Thus responsibility for strategic deterrence remains with the PLARF. Other sources indicate that the PLARF reorganization force may be in the final stages. Doctrinal assimilation in the PLA grand strategy however is not evident so far in the literature. Importantly PLARF also controls the conventionally armed ballistic missile systems which are held in large numbers...............

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