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China is planning to manufacture 1000 nuclear warheads in the next nine years amid concerns that the US is gearing up for war.
The information comes from the US Defense Department's annual report on the Chinese military, which also states that the country will have made "700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027".
The findings of this year's report represent a significant and concerning development on last year's, which said that the communist nation were only looking to double their collection of 200 warheads by 2030.
An anonymous US military official told the Washington Post: "They appear to have decided to go in kind of a different direction in terms of expanding their nuclear force in terms of size.
"Whereas before I would have said that they were gradually increasing the size now they seem to be trying to take that up to a different level."
The report states that China's new plans came in response to concerns that Donald Trump would utilise the 3,750 US warheads and attack China if he won the 2020 election.
This new information comes as tensions between the two countries are heating up.
Recently, the Financial Times reported that in August China tested a missile capable of harbouring a nuclear warhead "that circled the globe before speeding towards its target".
This technology was said to have "caught US intelligence by surprise".
In response, the US tested a new hypersonic missile system capable of striking China.
The two countries are also at loggerheads over Taiwan with China vowing to reunify the island with Beijing.
Last week, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen revealed that US troops had been secretly training the Taiwanese military.
Ethan Paul, of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, told The Sun: "China has this concept of rejuvenation. A large part of the idea is redeeming the history of colonialism in China – not only by Western powers but also by Japan.
"If China cannot fulfil unification, then China is in fact not the great power that it seeks to be and is still under the thumb of the west."
He added that there is "no middle ground" in resolving the dispute.
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