China will play a leading role in Coca-Cola Co's plan to double annual sales in the next decade, the soft drinks giant has said.

Coca-Cola plans to triple its sales in China and will more than double its number of bottling plants in the country, a spokesperson for the company confirmed to just-drinks today (24 November).

China is the soft drinks firm's third largest market by volume, after growing by 18% in volume terms in 2008.

The company is preparing a bigger push in emerging markets such as China and India to drive higher sales growth.

Net sales from Coca-Cola and its affiliate bottlers around the world are expected to double to reach US$200bn by 2020, the group announced at a conference it hosted for analysts last week.

In March this year, Coca-Cola announced it would invest $2bn in China over the next three years.

Following Chinese authorities' rejection of the group's $2.4bn bid to buy Huiyuan Juice Group earlier this year, the firm reaffirmed its commitment to the country by opening two new bottling plants.