The UK will raise the ceiling on its stockpile of nuclear warheads from 180 to 260, an increase of about 45 percent, according to the document, which will be presented in Parliament by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

The decision ends a policy of gradual nuclear disarmament that has been ongoing for about 30 years, although it is unusual to publicly reveal the exact number of warheads or missiles.

"Given the evolving security environment, including the increasing range of technological and ideological threats, such [gradual nuclear disarmament] is no longer possible and the UK will now have a general nuclear weapons stockpile of no more than 260 warheads," he reasons.

The integrated security, defence, development and foreign policy review aims to set out the UK's post-'Brexit' vision for international partnerships, while reassessing the threats to the country.

In the 100-page document, the UK government, a country particularly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, admits the risk of a new pandemic in the next decade, claiming that "infectious disease outbreaks are likely to be more frequent by 2030".

China is identified as "the biggest threat in state terms to the UK's economic security", describing the country as a "systemic competitor".

"China's growing international power and assertiveness is likely to be the most significant geopolitical factor of the 2020s. The size and scope of China's economy, population size, technological advancement and growing ambition to project its influence on the international stage, for example through the New Silk Road, has profound international implications," the document reads.

However, London promises to maintain a dialogue and openness to trade and investment from the Asian giant, and stresses that "cooperation with China can be vital to address transactional challenges, in particular climate change and biodiversity loss".

The new diplomatic and military strategy has few references to the European Union, from which the country has left in conflict in some areas, proposing to refocus the UK on the Indo-Pacific region, which it qualifies as the world's "geopolitical centre of gravity", promoting a rapprochement with countries such as Australia, India, Japan and South Korea.