China has a weapons program which began before 1970, and is still ongoing.

Military Stocks of Fissile Material, end of 2003 (in tonnes)1,2
Plutonium4.8 (3.0-6.8)3
  Military Stock4.8
  Declared Excess0
    Under Safeguards0
Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU)20 (±5)
  Primary Military Stocks420
  Assigned to Naval Propulsion?5
  Other Stocks6none?
  Declared Excess
      Under Safeguardsn.a.


[Summary Table]


1 From Global Fissile Material Inventories, June 2004.

2 China’s military plutonium stock remains highly uncertain.  It reportedly continued to produce plutonium in at least one military reactor after Chinese officials unofficially acknowledged that plutonium production for weapons ceased in 1991.  The estimate for the amount of military plutonium produced prior to this cutoff is 2.0-3.8 tonnes.

3 The values in parentheses are the uncertainty ranges of the total estimated stock.

4 This category lists estimates of the primary military stocks that contain HEU, mostly weapon-grade, assigned to nuclear weapons, reserves, or slated for future use in naval propulsion, other military programs or civil reactors.  In the case of the United States, some of this HEU will be sold or assigned to civil research reactors.  This stock also does not include any HEU already declared excess to military requirements or already scheduled to be excess HEU, as in the case of Russia’s commitment to down blend 500 tonnes of HEU into LEU.

5 In the mid-1980s, Chinese naval propulsion reactors were reported to use LEU fuel.  The type of fuel used after this date is unknown.

6 This category includes mainly HEU used in military production reactors.