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China Has 420+ warheads on Jan 1, 2024

Flourishing Futures Nuclear Risk Tournament Szilard Fortified Essay Contest


This is one of several questions in this tournament focused on nuclear proliferation, force sizes, or yields. See here for a list of such questions and some discussion of these topics.

As of May 2021, the Federation of American Scientists estimated China as having 350 nuclear warheads, making its stockpile the third largest in the world, though far smaller than that of Russia (6,257) and the US (5,550).

The Pentagon is reported to estimate that China will double its arsenal during the 2020s.

Will China have at least 420 nuclear warheads on December 31, 2023?

This question resolves positively if the total number of nuclear warheads (fission or thermonuclear) China is estimated to possess as of the most recent FAS estimates available on December 31, 2023 exceeds 420. This includes both strategic and nonstrategic weapons, and warheads that are deployed, in reserve/nondeployed, or retired but still intact.

Resolution criteria will come from the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).

If FAS do not publish relevant estimates anytime in 2023, they will be contacted in the final quarter of 2023 to request that they provide a judgement of whether this question should resolve positively or negatively. If they do not provide such a judgement following that request, this question will resolve ambiguously.

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