Global nuclear weapons in early 2016 saw a slight decrease from 2015, with China ranking fourth with 260 nuclear weapons, which is about 3.7 percent of that of the U.S., an annual nuclear forces data report said.
As of January, the total number of nuclear weapons possessed by nine states – the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea – was 15,395, a slight decline from 15,850 of last year. Approximately, 4,120 of them are operationally deployed, according to the annual report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which was issued on Monday.
The SIPRI report showed that Russia and the U.S. outnumber the rest of the nuclear countries with 7,290 and 7,000 nuclear weapons respectively, while both countries also had over 1,700 deployed ones. China ranked fourth with 260 nuclear weapons, none deployed.
“The data shows that while the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world continues to decline, none of the nuclear weapon-possessing states are prepared to give up their nuclear arsenals for the foreseeable future,” the report added.
Some countries cling on to nuclear weapons to maintain their hegemony and their military advantage over others, according to nuclear strategy expert Yang Chengjun.
China has the smallest amount of nuclear weapons among the five nuclear-weapon states but is in face of great nuclear threat. China needs to “moderately” develop nuclear technology to safeguard its core interests, Yang told the Global Times.