China’s rise as a military power threat to Taiwan: Pentagon

China’s rise as a military power threat to Taiwan: Pentagon

Agency News

Washington, Jan 16: The Pentagon on Tuesday released a latest defence intelligence assessment report cautioning rise in China's military power a potential threat to Taiwan and the US in the long run.

The new DIA 2019 'China Military Power' report states that China has invested hugely in high-end technologies like hypersonics and focused on indigenously developed stealth fighters and aircraft carriers.

According to a Senior defence intelligence official “The biggest concern is that they are going to get to a point where the [Chinese military] leadership may actually tell [Chinese President] Xi Jinping that they are confident in their capabilities,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “We know in the past that they have … considered themselves a developing, weaker power. … As these technologies mature, as their reorganization of their military comes into effect, as they become more proficient with these capabilities, our concern is we’ll reach a point where internally, within their decision-making, they will decide that using military force for a regional conflict is something that is more imminent, an American military newspaper, Stars and Stripes reported.

China has spent increasingly more money each year for more than a decade – including some $200 billion in 2018 – to modernize its weaponry and professionalize its People’s Liberation Army, which has roughly 2 million troops, Defense Intelligence Agency officials determined in the report, “China Military Power.” US defence officials wrote China is building its force to ensure its regional prowess and work toward its No.

1 goal – the reunification of mainland China and Taiwan. The report is DIA’s first-ever unclassified, comprehensive assessment of the Chinese military.

The DIA report states "Though China’s primary focus remains on defending its homeland and increasing its regional power, it has worked to establish military relationships with countries across the world, including building its first base outside of China in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa in 2017. It might seek such relationships elsewhere in the coming years.

"As it continues to grow in strength and confidence, [US] leaders will face a China insistent on having a greater voice in global interactions, which at times may be antithetical to US interests.

While DIA is most concerned about an eventual military action against Taiwan, in the near future its primary concerns rest in the South and East China Seas, where the Chinese military has built up and militarized artificial islands in areas claimed by China and other nations.

On the technology front, DIA is concerned about advances the Chinese have made in modern weaponary including the unmatched anti-satellite capabilities that it has demonstrated recently and the development of directed-energy weapons and hypersonic weapons, which can travel at least five times the speed of sound.

They are “on the leading edge of technology in that area,” the official said.

China has also outpaced competitors in its ballistic missiles systems, creating more precise systems to carry conventional or nuclear weapons than others including the United States and Russia, largely because those nations were bound by treaty obligations that China was not, according to the DIA assessment.

The official called such advancements “concerning,” but concluded the Chinese military as a whole remained “a long way” from being in a position to truly challenge the US military. (UNI)