For seven decades, US nuclear weapons policy has largely focused on one nation whose arsenal posed an existential threat: Russia. On Thursday, the Biden administration added China to that list.

The new nuclear posture review reflects Beijing’s efforts to expand and improve its arsenal, a senior defense official said Thursday morning.

“China’s nuclear modernization and its rapid expansion present us with new risks and uncertainties,” the official said, speaking anonymously ahead of the review’s public release. “In the coming years … for the first time we will have to deter two major nuclear weapons competitors, Russia and China. This poses new dilemmas for both strategic deterrence and regional military action.

The congressionally mandated review describes the nation’s nuclear policy, strategy, capabilities, and power.

“The pool of nuclear capabilities available to the PRC leadership will expand in the coming years, allowing it to potentially adopt a wider range of strategies to achieve its goals, including nuclear coercion and limited first-use nuclear weapons,” says the new version.

Last year, at the Pentagon the most recent public assessment of China’s weapons programs noted the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles “which will greatly enhance its nuclear-capable missile forces.” Beijing is also upgrading its nuclear bombers and building “at least three solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile silos that will cumulatively contain hundreds of new intercontinental ballistic missile silos.”

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons in his eight-month invasion of Ukraine.

“The United States and its allies and partners will increasingly face the challenge of deterring two major powers with advanced and diverse nuclear capabilities—the PRC and Russia—creating new strains on strategic stability,” the Nuclear Posture Review states.

On Thursday, the Biden administration also released new versions of the National Defense Strategy and Missile Defense Review. The three are usually the most consistent military policy documents published by an administration because they guide strategy and spending priorities for years, if not decades. For example, the Obama administration called for a military rebalance to the Pacific region in 2011. Better known as the “pivot to the Pacific,” the strategy was the beginning of an increased focus by defense leaders on countering China’s regional military ambitions and technological advances in the weapons.

All three documents echo the Biden administration’s previous descriptions of China as a major concern for US policymakers.

One of them echoes previous invitations in Beijing to begin arms control talks. As a nuclear power, China “has a responsibility … to engage in negotiations that will reduce the risks of miscalculation and address destabilizing military dynamics,” the Nuclear Posture Review said.

As for US nuclear weapons, the review calls for retirement the B83-1 nuclear gravity bomb “due to the increasing limitations of its capabilities and increasing maintenance costs” and the cancellation of a ship-launched cruise missile that was added to the Trump administration’s 2018 nuclear posture review. The Biden administration will keep W76-2 low-yield submarine-launched nuclear weaponanother Trump addition.

The review supports ongoing efforts to develop a a new submarine with ballistic missiles and a new intercontinental ballistic missile and to upgrade the B-52 bomber at an estimated total cost of more than $600 billion.

Critics say existing stockpiles provide adequate deterrence.

“[T]the document says the United States has no choice but to build entirely new nuclear weapons, despite scientifically based findings that the current warheads in the arsenal will be reliable for decades to come with only modest maintenance efforts. wrote Steven Young, senior Washington representative for the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “He abandons a promise made by Biden on the campaign trail to declare that the sole purpose of US nuclear weapons is to deter nuclear attacks against the United States and its allies.”