China could “rapidly expand” its warhead stockpile, British peers say

Nuclear weapons are “becoming more important” than they were since the height of the Cold War, the House of Peers’ International Defense Commission reports.

Andrew Futter, a professor of international politics at the University of Leicester, told his peers on May 17: However, there are concerns that it may expand very rapidly and approach US and Russian stockpiles. The US and Russia have about 5,000 stockpiles, but much less are deployed. “

He said there was news last year China He said he was building a nuclear missile site in Gansu and had a “belief” to build warheads accordingly.

Mr Fatter said there was also a fear of “spreading” around India and North Korea.

“I feel that nuclear weapons are in an increasingly important global environment, not only in terms of numbers, but also in terms of the role they play for these countries. We can see that in Russia as well. During the year, many different exotic nuclear weapons hauling systems were announced, whether underwater torpedoes or nuclear-powered cruise missiles, “he added.

Last year, Britain overturned its long-term policy of reducing its stockpile of nuclear weapons and said it would increase the number of warheads from 180 in the previous review to 260.

Fatter said: “If we want to maintain submarine-based nuclear deterrence with four submarines, we are wondering how many more warheads we can reduce, especially to create safe and sustainable warheads during the transition.”

Epoch Times Photo
Peace activists wearing Russian President Vladimirputin (L) and newly elected US President Joe Biden pose on January 29, 2021 in front of the US Embassy in Berlin with a simulated nuclear missile. Take. (John McDougall / AFP / Getty Images)

In August, the 10th Review Conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty will be held, postponed after 2020 due to a pandemic, and senior lecturers in the Faculty of War at Kings College in London, Futter and Dr. .Susan Martin has agreed. Britain could be criticized at the event for its decision to increase its warheads.

But Mr. Fatter suspected that criticisms of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who threatened to use nuclear weapons against countries trying to intervene in the Ukrainian conflict, would cast a shadow over Britain’s denial. Stated.

“Destruction certainty”

Martin said there are no weapons compared to nuclear weapons when it comes to “certainty of destruction,” but he said there is no doubt that the threat of cyberwarfare is increasing.

The pair was asked by Sir Wood, a Labor Party peer who was a former adviser to Gordon Brown.

Policy of deliberate is a military term associated with the enemy’s continued guessing about a country’s nuclear capabilities.

Fatter said: “Nothing is lost by strategic ambiguity, perhaps long-standing characteristic of British policy, and there is nothing special that can be gained about being much more open, transparent and concrete.”

Martin was then asked by Wood if Britain should switch from a “no first use” stance to a no first use stance.

Martin said: “I don’t think it will necessarily be unstable, but it can be unstable because it may say that we will not consider using nuclear weapons in situations where we can fully consider the use of nuclear weapons. Non-nuclear attacks If it was serious enough, Britain could decide that its only option was a nuclear retaliation attack, which should be obvious to the adversary. “

Martin and Fatter provide evidence of national and non-state threats to national security. Defense concepts and abilities: from desire to reality..

Chris Summers


Chris Summers is a UK-based journalist with a particular interest in crime, police and law, covering stories from a wide range of countries.