This is stated in the Pentagon's annual report, which also notes that Beijing plans to double this number by 2030. At the same time, the US military acknowledges that China still adheres to a policy that does not involve preemptive nuclear strikes.
While the Pentagon report expressed concern that China's nuclear capabilities have grown beyond expectations, its nuclear arsenal is still disproportionately small compared with those of Russia and the United States. According to the Stockholm Peace Research Institute, Russia has approximately 5,889 warheads, and the United States has 5,244. The US Department of Defense for 2021 determined the number of Chinese warheads at 400.
As Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a press conference on Friday, the Pentagon report is “full of prejudices and spreads theories about the threat from China.” “China has always maintained its nuclear forces at the minimum level necessary to ensure national security, and we do not intend to engage in a nuclear arms race with any country,” she said. “China will not threaten any country with nuclear weapons unless they themselves threaten to use such weapons against China,” the Chinese diplomat assured, and she herself criticized the United States for its decision “to make significant investments in the modernization of its nuclear forces "
“Such a policy increases the risk of a nuclear arms race and nuclear conflict and will only worsen the global strategic security situation,” Mao warned. Beijing officially maintains a no-first-use policy, saying it only uses nuclear weapons in retaliation.