China has emerged as the world's second biggest arms spender for the second consecutive year after the US, splurging a whopping USD 100 billion despite the global financial crisis, according to a Swedish think-tank.
Latest figures released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), also estimated that some 8,100 nuclear warheads were in operation worldwide in the US, Russia, China, Britain, France, India, Pakistan and Israel.
SIPRI said that around 2,000 nuclear warheads were still on "high alert" or ready to be launched within minutes.
Of the total stockpile, US had 2,702 warheads, 2,202 strategic and 500 non-strategic, while China had 186 strategic warheads and Israel had 80.
SIPRI said that warhead stockpiles of Pakistan, India and Israel was partly deployed.
The international think-tank said that the world's military spending reached a colossal USD 1.53 trillion in 2009.
The US remained the biggest defence spender allocating a massive USD 661 billion, accounting for almost 54 per cent of the increase in the global arms sale.
Data revealed that Asia and Ocenia region countries were also increasing their military expenditures by leaps. India with a defence spending of USD 36 billion was at the ninth spot.
Perlo Freeman, a SIPRI spokesman, said though military spending did not form part of the economic stimulus packages, defence spending was not cut by nations.
"Major and intermediate powers such as the US, Russia, China, India, Brazil - military spending continue to represent a long term strategic goal which they were unwilling to compromise even in hard economic times," he said.