The People's Republic of China has developed and possesses weapons of mass destruction , including chemical and nuclear weapons. The first of China's nuclear weapons tests took place in , and its first hydrogen bomb test occurred in The number of nuclear warheads in China's arsenal is a state secret. There are varying estimates of the size of China's arsenal. China is estimated by the Federation of American Scientists to have an arsenal of about total warheads as of , which would make it the second smallest nuclear arsenal amongst the five nuclear weapon states acknowledged by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. According to some estimates, the country could "more than double" the "number of warheads on missiles that could threaten the United States by the mid's".
That moment seems to have come sooner, rather than later, thanks to the ingenuity of North Korean bomb builders. In other words, North Korea appears well on the way to becoming a legitimate nuclear weapons power, one with the ability to churn out nuclear warheads in bulk and possessing the delivery systems to get them to where they can do the most damage. North Korea is a major problem for US nonproliferation strategy. First, George W. In response, the North Koreans hastened to demonstrate their nuclear program to outside observers.
Asian diplomats press North Korea to deliver on anti-nuke vows
North Korea is speeding toward a goal it has sought for decades: the ability to hit a major American city with a nuclear weapon. Actually striking the United States would be suicide. But the capability could help the North deter an invasion and wield increased global influence. American intelligence agencies estimate that the North could reach the milestone by next year, and some experts think it already has.
China and Southeast Asian nations also faced calls in an annual meeting in Singapore to rapidly conclude an effective nonaggression pact that can help fend off possible clashes in the disputed South China Sea. Alarm over rising trade protectionism, which Asian governments warn could stymie economic growth, dominated the meetings too, with Japan calling for the swift conclusion of a nation Asian free trade agreement that does not include the United States. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the rapprochement between North Korea and the United States, along with completion of a negotiating draft of the code of conduct for the South China Sea, are breakthroughs. A summary of a new report by experts monitoring U.