A new yearbook released by SIPRI, a leading conflict and armaments think-tank, on Monday says that China and Pakistan possess more nuclear weapons than India.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Yearbook 2020 pegs the number of nuclear warheads in the Chinese arsenal at 320, while the nuclear forces of Pakistan and India are estimated to have 160 and 150 weapons, respectively.
The figures have been updated till January 2020.
The findings come at a time when India and China are caught up in a standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
Several areas along the LAC in Ladakh and North Sikkim have witnessed major military build-up by both the Indian and Chinese armies recently, in a clear signal of escalating tension and hardening of respective positions by the two sides even two weeks after they were engaged in two separate face-offs.
The nearly 3,500-km-long LAC is the de-facto border between the two countries.
Meanwhile, both the sides are having a series of talks which started with Corps Commander-level talks and is being followed up with meetings at the local level between commanders of equivalent ranks to resolve the face-off.
Last year, a SIPRI report said that India’s military spending went up by 3.1 percent to $66.5 billion while Pakistan’s grew by 11 percent to reach $11.4 billion.
It also stated that world’s military expenditure increased by 2.6 per cent, reaching $1822 billion in 2018 with India along with United States, China, Saudi Arabia and France contributing 60 per cent of the amount.
The global military spending is 2.1 percent of the world GDP. In India, the defence budget has remained less than 2 per cent of the GDP, according to independent assessments.