On January 16, 1964, China’s first atomic bomb was successfully detonated with an equivalent of 20,000 tons of TNT, making it the fifth country with nuclear weapons after the United States, Russia, Britain, and France.
On June 17, 1967, China’s first hydrogen bomb exploded successfully, with an equivalent of 3.3 million tons of TNT, making it the fourth country to possess a hydrogen bomb after the United States, Russia, and Britain.
From 1964 to 1996, China conducted a total of 45 nuclear tests, including various methods on the ground, underground, and in the air, with equivalents ranging from 1,000 tons to 5 million tons of TNT. The types include atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs, and neutron bombs. After 1996, China followed the international trend and stopped nuclear tests.
The number of nuclear weapons has always been a state secret in China, but the outside world estimates based on various data that China has about 300 nuclear warheads. Among them, China’s hydrogen bomb is more stable, easier to weaponize, and easy to maintain due to its unique Yumin architecture. It has become China’s unique national weapon.
China’s nuclear weapons projection system includes three parts: land, sea and air:
On land, China has established a rocket army to be responsible for strategic weapon projection. The Dongfeng series of missiles cover medium-range, long-range, and intercontinental missiles. The Dongfeng 41 has a maximum range of 12,000 kilometers. It can carry out nuclear strikes on any target in the world from China . China’s land-based nuclear weapons include ground and underground, which can be launched from silos or mobile launch vehicles.
China’s sea-based nuclear power is mainly realized by ballistic missile nuclear submarines. China’s current nuclear submarines are mainly Type 093 attack nuclear submarines and Type 094 ballistic missile nuclear submarines, 094 is equipped with the Julang series of submarine-launched missiles. The Julang 2 has a range of more than 8,000 kilometers and is a huge deterrent. The latest 095 attack nuclear submarine, the 096 ballistic missile nuclear submarine, and the Julang 3 submarine-launched missile will gradually join the navy and cooperate with the new aircraft carrier to build a solid marine deterrent system.
China’s Air Force bombers are relatively weak and currently rely mainly on H6 air-dropped nuclear weapons. H6 has been in service for many years and has rich experience in nuclear weapons testing. In the future, H20 will succeed H6 and become China’s main delivery method for space-based nuclear weapons.
China is one of the few countries in the world that is seriously preparing for a nuclear war. From the late 1960s to the 1980s, China built a large number of underground projects in response to the Soviet nuclear threat. Some of these facilities have been abandoned and become tourist attractions. Some are still in service, becoming a prerequisite for a second nuclear strike.
China used a missile to shoot down a abandoned satellite in 2007. Since then, China has conducted a series of experiments. In early 2021, China successfully conducted a land-based mid-range anti-missile test, marking that China has become the world’s leading country in the field of anti-ballistic missiles.
Compared with the two nuclear powers, the United States and Russia, China’s nuclear power is still far behind, and it can only maintain self-defense. It is this ability that enables China to concentrate on economic development and gradually develop economic and technological aspects. Catching up with Western countries headed by the United States. China promises not to be the first to use nuclear weapons and not to use modern weapons against non-nuclear countries.