The Pentagon report warns Beijing has boosted its ability to send bombers further afield and highlights the country's beefed up military capability and its £150bn defence budget. And there also fears the Asian superpower's rocket programme could be a ...
The Pentagon report warns Beijing has boosted its ability to send bombers further afield and highlights the country’s beefed up military capability and its £150bn defence budget.
And there also fears the Asian superpower’s rocket programme could be a cover for some kind of futuristic "star wars" military project in space.
The US report says: "Over the last three years, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has rapidly expanded its overwater bomber operating areas, gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against US and allied targets.”
US officials behind the document - the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress - say it is not clear what China is trying to prove by such flights but suggest the PLA is keen to demonstrate the "capability to strike US and allied forces and military bases in the western Pacific Ocean, including Guam,”.
China is transforming its ground forces to "fight and win”, it is warned.
Pentagon’s report says: “The purpose of these reforms is to create a more mobile, modular, lethal ground force capable of being the core of joint operations.”
The document also warns that China "is likely preparing for a contingency to unify Taiwan with China by force".
It says: “Should the United States intervene, China would try to delay effective intervention and seek victory in a high-intensity, limited war of short duration.”
The report comes at a time of continuing friction between Beijing and Washington despite contact between military officials to defuse the rising tensions.
Beijing has said it is necessary for the Asian powerhouse to keep growing its military presence in the South China Sea in order to protect its sovereignty.
China and several neighbouring countries have been locked in a bitter and long-running dispute over who controls territories in the South China Sea, a region rich in natural resources.
Beijing has claims over most of the territories, but the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also claim they have a stake in the region.
The US regularly seeks to demonstrate freedom of navigation with flights over the South China Sea, much of which is claimed by China, and a number of other nations.
And China has been expanding what appear to be military facilities on islands in the South China Sea and has landed bombers on the outposts during training exercises.
The US also continues to maintain a substantial military presence in Japan.
The Pentagon report says it expects China's military budget to expand to £200bn over the next 10 years and also raises concerns about the country’s growing space programme "despite its public stance against the militarisation of space".
Tensions are also running high in the non-military sphere with the US railing against its growing trade deficit with China and both sides slapping trade tariffs on each others' goods.
Donal Trump’s top economic advisor has warned China not to underestimate the US leader’s resolve to win the ever-escalating trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
Mr Trump has long complained of the US trade deficit with China and has championed tariffs as a way to strike “great new trade deals”.
In a tweet this week, he said: “Our Country was built on Tariffs, and Tariffs are now leading us to great new Trade Deals - as opposed to the horrible and unfair Trade Deals that I inherited as your President.
“Other Countries should not be allowed to come in and steal the wealth of our great USA. No longer!”
world cup 2018 world of tanks world of warcraft world cup world of warships world world map world trade center world of warplanes world of trucks