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China, Pakistan leading race for nuclear weapons: Swedish think-tank

New Delhi: China, Pakistan and India have 350, 165 and 156 nuclear warheads respectively as of January this year and the three countries appear to be expanding their nuclear arsenals, a study by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has said.

It also said as per its assessment, Russia and the US together possess over 90 percent of the estimated 13,080 global nuclear weapons.

China, Pakistan and India had 320, 160 and 150 nuclear warheads respectively as of January last year, the SIPRI’s study said.

There are nine countries in the world that have nuclear weapons: the US, Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea.

“China is in the middle of a significant modernization and expansion of its nuclear weapon inventory, and India and Pakistan also appear to be expanding their nuclear arsenals,” the study said.

It has been more than a year since the military standoff between the armies of India and China erupted in eastern Ladakh on May 5, 2020, during which there were fatalities on both sides for the first time in 45 years.

India and Pakistan had on February 25 this year released a joint statement announcing a ceasefire along the Line of Control, following talks between their Directors General of Military Operations.

“The governments of India and Pakistan make statements about some of their missile tests but provide no information about the status or size of their (nuclear) arsenals,” it noted.

Approximately 2,000 of the total 13,080 global nuclear warheads in the world are “kept in a state of high operational alert”, said the study mentioned in the SIPRI Yearbook 2021.

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