Divers from the National Energy Safety Administration have discovered explosive materials at two sites in China’s industrial capital of Cnhihan that have the potential to be used in weapons.
The discovery of the materials comes after a US official said on Friday that the Chinese government was aware of an upcoming chemical weapons attack.
“There’s no doubt that they are planning a major attack,” said US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf.
“We’re talking about a very high-risk, highly dangerous and potentially catastrophic attack.”
Harf said there was no evidence that the materials were being produced or sold in China, but they did not rule out the possibility.
A second US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Fox News the materials could have been made in the Middle East or Southeast Asia, though it did not specify what they might be.
The material discovered in Cnihan comes as China has stepped up efforts to curb its nuclear and chemical weapons programs, and the country’s security apparatus is increasingly focused on finding and destroying nuclear weapons and materials.
In August, a US military aircraft landed in the northern Chinese province of Jilin, located some 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Cnigong.
A US Air Force F-16 fighter jet landed at the same site two weeks later, and an F-22 Raptor was also dispatched there in October.
Earlier this month, the Chinese Ministry of National Defense confirmed that it had conducted tests on nuclear materials, including explosives, at a site on a remote island.
Cnigou, located in the north-western part of China, is known for its explosive material and explosive production, according to the US Geological Survey.
Reuters reported that the US and China were working to determine whether the materials found in Ccihan were actually produced in China.