China is building a new nuclear testing site as the country ramps up its efforts to strengthen its military power, worrying new satellite images have revealed.
The site, located in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), appears to be under construction, sparking fresh WW3 fears.
The evidence was picked up by a satellite 450km above dried-up salt lake Lop Nur, with experts seemingly confirming China's aim to boost its testing capability.
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It comes as part of the country's nuclear arms race in a bid to reach the same level of military power with the US – while Biden advocates for a "nuclear-free world".
Analysts suspect that the hidden testing area is secured by the People's Liberation Army, reports Nikkei Asia.
So far, China has carried out five underground nuclear tests at Lop Nur, with the last test reported to have taken place in 1996.
An expert at AllSource Analysis said: "China could conduct nuclear-related tests anytime, especially since the electricity line and road system now connects Lop Nur's western military nuclear test facilities to new possible test areas in the east."
It has been reported that the country has 2.04 million military personnel which is 1.5 times bigger than that of the US.
According to local media, the Xi administration could be considering the unification of China, which would involve taking Taiwan by force.
However, the bloodshed between Russia and Ukraine has demonstrated the risks of an invasion.
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The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) confirmed that it will "make 2022 the starting year for strengthening the capacity to monitor radioactivity."
It has been reported that satellite identified new activity at the site in October 2020, with reports of a sixth tunnel being built in the first half of 2022.
An increase in radiation was detected nearby the developments, while a new underground site was discovered nearby.
Nobumasa Akiyama, a professor at Hitotsubashi University, commented: "Possibly ( Xi ) wants to discourage US intervention in the Taiwan Strait by threatening to use small nuclear weapons."
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