The Pentagon on Tuesday released a report that lays out US concerns about China’s growing military might, underscoring worries about a possible attack on Taiwan.
The key concern is that as China upgrades its military equipment and technology, and reforms how it trains and develops troops, it becomes more confident in its ability to wage a regional conflict, a senior US defense intelligence official told reporters.
Beijing has made it clear that asserting sovereignty over Taiwan is its top priority, they said.
Although China could easily fire missiles at Taiwan, it does not yet have the military capability to successfully invade, the official added.
They spoke on condition of anonymity to provide more detail on intelligence findings in the report, which was written by the US Defense Intelligence Agency.
Its release came a week after Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) called on the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to better prepare for combat.
The report talks broadly about the steps China is taking to modernize its military and expand its operations around the globe.
The worry is that China would reach the point where leaders would decide that using military force for a regional conflict is more imminent, the official said.
China slams Pentagon’s PLA report, said it disregards facts, uses Cold War mentality
The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday slammed a report released by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) under the US Department of Defense, saying that the US is “unprofessional, hostile and biased” toward China’s military development.
“The report, in disregard of facts, made assumptions on China’s development path and strategic purposes using a Cold War mentality and zero-sum game,” Hua Chunying, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a routine press conference on Wednesday.
China’s rapid development in the military field is quickly closing the gap with the US and its allies, and the Taiwan question might test the status quo very soon, a report that comprehensively covered China’s military development in almost every aspect, released on Tuesday from the Pentagon’s intelligence directorate, concluded.
“As it (China’s military power) continues to grow in strength and confidence, our nation’s leaders will face a China insistent on having a greater voice in global interactions, which at times may be antithetical to US interests,” Lieutenant General Robert Ashley, director of the DIA, wrote in the report.
Hua said that China firmly opposes the report, which is “extremely unprofessional and contained absurd accusations.”
“China urged the US military to reasonably and objectively treat China’s military development and safeguard the military ties between the two countries,” she said at the press conference.
The DIA’s report also said that “Beijing’s long-standing interest to eventually compel Taiwan’s reunification with the mainland and deter any attempt by Taiwan to declare independence has served as the primary driver for China’s military modernization.”
Hua stressed that the Taiwan question is China’s internal matter, and China urged the US to earnestly abide by the one-China policy and maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.