NEW DELHI: Is China moving to beef up its nuclear arsenal? References in the media would suggest otherwise but China’s media is state-owned and has been used in the past to trial balloon various ideas. Which is why when Global Times urged that China vastly increase the size of its nuclear arsenal, eyebrows went up. Scholar and researcher Manpreet Sethi who tracks nuclear issues, suspects Beijing could be signalling that it has the muscle for any armed confrontation with the US. Or it could be readying to enter nuclear arms control negotiations, which the US has been demanding.
What can India draw from this? Sethi believes India should not get lured into any race to increase its own nuclear arsenal. Rather India needs to stay focused and it has a credible deterrent. China does not recognise India as a nuclear weapons power, but the fact is India has nuclear weapons some of which can reach China. So China is deterred.