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According to the Global Times (which carries the views of a more confrontational faction in Beijing), China needs to increase its nuclear arsenal by 400%, or from 260 to 1,000 missiles, to eventually achieve some parity with the US, which has been pressuring it for years to stop grabbing coral reefs, cays, shoals, sandbars and other underwater features in the Paracels and Spratly in the South China Sea.

An article at GlobalSecurity.org on May 8, 2020 cited an editorial by Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin that said such an option would reduce pressure from the US, which has been obsessed with stopping Chinese President Xi Jinping from achieving hegemony in the South China Sea, 80% of which China claims.

"China needs to expand the number of its nuclear warheads to 1,000 in a relatively short time," Hu wrote in the op-ed. "It needs to have at least 100 Dongfeng-41 strategic missiles. We are a peace-loving nation and have committed to never being the first to use nuclear weapons, but we need a larger nuclear arsenal to curb US strategic ambitions and impulses toward China."

The US is also developing hypersonic missiles and improving the capability of the US Marines in battling Chinese troops in a shooting war even as it has refused to be more aggressive in reducing Chinese presence in disputed islands in the South China Sea by confronting Beijing’s warships and its pesky fisheries militia.