China is expanding its nuclear force and is on pace to nearly quadruple the number of warheads it has by 2035, rapidly closing its gap with the United States, the Pentagon said in a report released Tuesday.

The report builds on the military’s warning last year that China is expanding its nuclear force much faster than U.S. officials had predicted, highlighting a broad and accelerating buildup of military muscle designed to enable Beijing to match or surpass U.S. global power by mid-century.

Last year, the Pentagon said the number of Chinese nuclear warheads could increase to 700 within six years and may top 1,000 by 2030. The new report says China currently has about 400 nuclear warheads, and that number could grow to 1,500 by 2035.

The United States, by comparison, has 3,750 active nuclear warheads.

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