China is focusing on developing more submarine-launched and ground-based nuclear missiles amid increasing pressure from the United States , Chinese defence analysts have said. A report released by the Pentagon on Wednesday said China had expanded its nuclear capacity on land, sea and air, estimating the country could have up to 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027 and at least 1,000 by 2030. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the report had “disregarded facts and was full of prejudice and bias” that aimed at “stirring up the China nuclear threat theory”. He told a scheduled press briefing that Beijing had a “no first use” policy, adding “no country will be threatened by China’s nuclear weapons”. Wang said: “China always firmly pursues a self-defence strategy … and consistently keeps the scale of its nuclear arsenals at the lowest level that is enough to protect national security.” China is the world’s second largest producer of nuclear power and able to develop advanced fast reactors and reprocessing facilities that would allow it to produce a large number of warheads within weeks should a war appear likely, according to a military insider. Aircraft designer and nuclear pioneer win China’s top science prize “China is able to produce 1,000 nuclear warheads, but so far it has not been necessary because of the exorbitant maintenance costs,” the insider, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the topic. Zhao Tong, a senior fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Centre for Global Policy in Beijing, said the number of nuclear warheads China has is still far lower than the US, and Beijing is building up its submarine fleet to counter Washington. “Based on the report, we can see a new trend in China’s nuclear strategy, which focuses on developing more submarine-launched and ground-based ICBMs” Zhao said. The Pentagon report said the People’s Liberation Army will have at least eight ballistic missile submarines in operation by 2030, including the six Type 094 subs that are currently active and two next-generation Type 096s. Type 094 subs can carry at least 12 JL-2, or Big Wave, submarine-launched ballistic missiles that can strike the western part of the US mainland. Construction work on the Type 096 began last year and once they enter service they will be equipped with the more advanced JL-3, which can strike anywhere in the United States. “We can see the nuclear capacity of the PLA Navy is catching up with their American and Russian counterparts,” Zhao said. The US navy has 14 Ohio-class nuclear subs, while Russia has 11 comparable vessels. US sends ‘nuke sniffer’ plane over South China Sea weeks after sub accident The report also said satellite images suggested Beijing was building three solid-fuel Intercontinental Ballistic Missile silo fields, which will cumulatively contain hundreds of new ICBM silos. “China found that maintaining only a small number of nuclear warheads was not enough to counter the increasing pressure from the US, so it started to expand its nuclear arsenal as one of the countermeasures,” Zhao said. Song Zhongping, a former instructor with the PLA’s rocket force, also said that the country needs to increase its arsenal to complete the nuclear triad of missiles that can be launched from submarines, from bombers or from the ground. “China is also making an effort to develop all kinds of strategic weapons. Besides nuclear, there are also hypersonic glide vehicles, high-energy weapons such as rail guns and others,” Song said. The PLA’s strategic support force is the key pillar of China’s strategic weapons operator, which oversees space, cyber, electronic, information, communications, and psychological warfare missions and capabilities, as Beijing has ambitions to grab advantage in more domains on the pace with the US, the Pentagon report said.