China's arms buildup

A senior Chinese arms control official denied Tuesday that his government is rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal, though he said it is taking steps to modernize its nuclear forces.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday that China’s pursuit of hypersonic weapons “increases tensions in the region” and vowed the U.S. will maintain its capability to deter potential threats posed by China.

The United States and China are engaged in an arms race to develop the most lethal hypersonic weapons, the U.S. Air Force secretary said on Tuesday, as Beijing and Washington build and test more and more of the high-speed next-generation arms.

The Pentagon on Wednesday sharply increased its estimate of China's projected nuclear weapons arsenal over the coming years, saying Beijing could have 700 warheads by 2027 and possibly 1,000 by 2030.

Beijing dismisses the report in the Financial Times as inaccurate, saying it tested a space vehicle instead.

China tested a space vehicle in July, not a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile as reported by the Financial Times, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday.

China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August, showing a capability that caught U.S. intelligence by surprise, the Financial Times reported, citing five unnamed sources.

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