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'Assume the Worst': Experts Warn China's Arsenal is Much Larger Than Predicted


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The annual Pentagon report on China Military Power makes some disturbing predictions. Nuclear advancements are getting the most attention, with China predicted to have at least a thousand nuclear warheads by 2030 - a much more aggressive pace than suggested by last year's report.

Even so, some experts believe China's true arsenal is actually much bigger.

"Beijing has not been willing to talk to the U.S., as we talked, for instance, to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. China has just refused to have any discussions about arsenal size, arms control, all the rest of it. So we have to assume the worst, and I think we should assume that China has far more than 1,000 now," said author, columnist, and China expert, Gordon Chang.

According to the 2021 report, estimates about the number of ballistic missiles are also up. 

Beijing was believed to have started testing a hypersonic weapon in August, something Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley called, "very close" to being a "Sputnik moment." Milley was referring to the 1957 Soviet satellite launch which beat the U.S. to outer space.

"We have a case here of a country that is becoming extraordinarily powerful, that wants to revise the international order to their advantage. That's going to be a real challenge over the coming years ... in the next 10, 20 years. That's going to be really significant for the United States," Milley said at the recent Aspen Security Forum.

While many of these military advancements have already been developed by the U.S., it's the speed at which China is accomplishing them that's most concerning. 

"We're witnessing one of the largest shifts in global geostrategic power the world has witnessed," Milley said. 

"Beijing is using its arsenal to intimidate others. In July, they threatened to incinerate Japanese cities. Soon after that, they threatened to go after Australia with nukes. They have periodically, and in an unprovoked fashion, threatened the United States," Chang told CBN News
China state media recently warned that a "military showdown" with the U.S. will come if it attempts to block China's "reunification" with Taiwan. 

Satellite images showing a mock-up of a U.S. warship in the Chinese desert are believed to have been built as a training target.

Chang believes not only is a takeover of Taiwan imminent, the Communist power won't stop there.  

"China's preparing to take over Taiwan, but it's also preparing to take over India, to take over Japan, to take over the world. Xi Jinping has been using themes from in China's imperial past, where Chinese emperors believed they had not only the mandate of heaven to rule Tianxia, or all under heaven, but that heaven compelled them to do so."

Despite China's rapid military build-up, Chang says it's not too late for the U.S. to intervene. He's concerned, however, that while the military strength exists, America's leaders have not had the political will. 

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About The Author

Caitlin Burke Headshot

Caitlin Burke serves as National Security Correspondent and a general assignment reporter for CBN News. She has also hosted the CBN News original podcast, The Daily Rundown. Some of Caitlin’s recent stories have focused on the national security threat posed by China, America’s military strength, and vulnerabilities in the U.S. power grid. She joined CBN News in July 2010, and over the course of her career, she has had the opportunity to cover stories both domestically and abroad. Caitlin began her news career working as a production assistant in Richmond, Virginia, for the NBC affiliate WWBT