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Issues & Insights Vol. 08 – No. 10

China, long an afterthought in U.S. nuclear planning, is rising to the forefront of strategic concerns. While most of the five nuclear weapons states are modernizing their arsenals, China is the only one among them that is increasing its nuclear weapons. In its annual report on the Chinese military, the Pentagon concluded in 2008 that "China has the most active ballistic missile program in the world." Its force modernization program is giving Chinese military planners entirely new options to deal with contingencies and necessitating a response from their counterparts in the United States.