Zhou Enlai announces the success of China's atomic bomb test in A celebration of Chinese nuclear missile tests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in While he did not expect to be able to match the large American nuclear arsenal, Mao believed that even a few bombs would increase China's diplomatic credibility.
The Soviet Union provided assistance in the early Chinese program by sending advisers to help in the facilities devoted to fissile material production weapns and, in Octoberagreed to provide a prototype bomb, missiles, and related technology. The Chinese, who preferred to import technology and components to developing them within China, exported uranium to the Soviet Union, and the Soviets sent two R-2 missiles in China was already opposed to Khrushchev's post- Stalin policy of " peaceful coexistence ".
Although Soviet officials assured China that it was under the Soviet nuclear umbrellathe disagreements widened the emerging Ancient nuclear weapons split.
In Junethe two nations formally ended their agreement on military and technology cooperation,  and in Julyall Soviet assistance with the Chinese nuclear program was abruptly terminated and all Soviet technicians were withdrawn from the program. The Chinese conducted their first nuclear test, code-namedon 16 October  China's last nuclear test was on July 29, This was China's 22nd underground test and 45th test overall. There have been accusations, notably by the Cox Commissionthat this was done primarily by covertly acquiring the U.
The international community has debated the size of the Chinese nuclear force since the nation first acquired such technology. Because of strict secrecy it is very difficult to determine the exact size and composition of China's ancient nuclear weapons forces.
Estimates vary over time. Several ancient nuclear weapons U. The Defense Intelligence Agency 's Defense Estimative Brief estimates the Chinese nuclear stockpile as consisting of between and warheads. Department of Defense assessed that China had about 20 intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of targeting the United States. Defense Intelligence Agency estimate presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee was that "China currently has more than nuclear warheads. A variety of estimates abound regarding China's current stockpile. Although the total number of nuclear weapons in the Chinese arsenal is unknown, as of [update] estimates vary from as low as 80 anncient as high as 2, The 2,warhead estimate has largely been rejected by diplomats in the field.
It appears to have been derived from a s-era Usenet post, in which ancient nuclear weapons Singaporean college student made unsubstantiated statements concerning a supposed 2,warhead stockpile.
However, U. One three-year study by Georgetown University raised the possibility that China had 3, nuclear weapons, hidden in a sophisticated tunnel network.]