China is "on the verge of fielding some of the most modern weapon systems in the world" and "leads the world" in some areas, according to a US Defense Intelligence Agency report into the country's military power.
The new report, titled 'China Military Power', says the nation is world leader in some areas of military technology and is likely to continue its advances in the future.
There are around two million personnel in the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), which is comprised of five branches: an Army, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force and Strategic Support Force.
It highlights China's "considerable" investment into nuclear weapons, which would guarantee a "damaging retaliatory strike".
The report goes on to detail Beijing's "stockpile" of nuclear warheads and continuing research into weapons, but also states these are likely to be several decades old and require routine maintenance.
"In the coming years, the PLA is likely to grow even more technologically advanced, with equipment comparable to that of other modern militaries," the report states.
"The PLA will acquire advanced fighter aircraft, naval vessels, missile systems, and space and cyberspace assets as it organizes (sic) and trains to address 21st-century threats farther from China’s shores."
The report goes on to say that "China shifted funds and efforts to acquiring technology by any means available":
"The result of this multifaceted approach to technology acquisition is a PLA on the verge of fielding some of the most modern weapon systems in the world.
"In some areas, it already leads the world."
"China is building a robust, lethal force with capabilities spanning the air, maritime, space and information domains which will enable China to impose its will in the region.
It goes on to say: "Today’s PLA is still far from being able to deploy large numbers of conventional forces globally, but China has developed nuclear, space, cyberspace, and other capabilities that can reach potential adversaries across the globe."
Click here for the full report (140 PDF pages), on the US Defense Intelligence Agency website.