China is one of only nine countries that possess nuclear weapons. Although its nuclear arsenal is small relative to those of the United States and Russia, China is currently expanding and modernizing its nuclear forces. As China faces evolving security challenges, Beijing may also revise its primarily defensive nuclear strategy.
China has been steadily developing ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) to complement its nuclear deterrence strategy and safeguard its national security. Despite considerable progress, China still faces a number of hurdles in fielding a credible SSBN force.