It's no secret that China is making good on its promise to become the dominate world power, warns a national security analyst.
The warning from Bob Maginnis, a retired U.S. Army colonel now at the Family Research Council, echoes years of warnings that China views itself as a rival superpower to the United States.
In line with that view, citing a report from the China Academy of Engineering Physics, the South China Morning Post reported this week that China is stepping up its pace in a new nuclear arms race with both the United States and China's ally Russia.
Chinese scientists are running simulated tests of nuclear weapons at a faster rate than the United States, carrying out approximately 200 laboratory tests simulating a nuclear blast. The U.S., meanwhile, carried out 50 similar tests during the same period.
Maginnis says the major Chinese investment in sophisticated weapons and technologies is a strong indicator of an emerging new China with global and hegemonic ambitions.
"And I believe President Xi," says Maginnis, "made it very clear that by 2035 China will be the leading world economy, will be in a much more powerful position militarily."
As recently as 2015, U.S. military planners were learning of an aggressive plan by the Chinese military to overtake the U.S. as a world superpower, an incremental plan known as "Assassin's Mace."
Michael Pillsbury, a longtime China expert who has advised presidents going back to Richard Nixon, told The New York Post that he himself was fooled by China's diplomatic overtures that resulted in the U.S. sharing technology, sensitive information, and expert advice to a country that, in reality, views us as the enemy and has war plans - "Assassin's Mace" - to defeat us.
President Xi has moved to make his presidency permanent in the Communist country while Maginnis points out that President Trump, who appears to understand China's ambition, has only seven years left in office if he wins a second term.
"This is not the old Cold War," he warns. "And the future is truly at stake because we squandered opportunities over the last 30 to 40 years to prepare for the rise of Beijing. And they've done this over the millennia a number of times."