Pentagon says China military ‘likely training for strikes’ on US targets

Cheryl Sanders
August 18, 2018

The report said China could increase its spending to $240 billion by 2028, The Guardian reported.

The development of People's Liberation Army (PLA) bombing capabilities was highlighted in the Pentagon's annual analysis of China's growing military, economic and diplomatic influence across the globe.

"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 U.S. and allied targets".

ReutersA Chinese military plane H-6 bomber flies through airspace between Okinawa prefecture's main island and the smaller Miyako island in southern Japan, out over the Pacific, in this handout photo taken on October 27, 2013 by Japan Air Self-Defence Force and released by the Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan.

China also continues to develop counterspace capabilities, "including kinetic-kill missiles, ground-based lasers and orbiting space robots", the report said, a time when US President Donald Trump plans to establish a Space Force by 2020 to protect US assets in space.

In the case of China's air power, the report states that Chinese bombers are developing capabilities to hit targets as far from China as possible.

Overall, the report found that China wants to leverage its economic, diplomatic and strategic strength to "establish regional preeminence and expand the country's global influence".

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.

The increased military spending and focus on specialized airstrikes come as China and the USA struggle to resolve diplomatic tensions over trade, reports CNBC.

In addition, to the ire of regional neighbours, China has built a series of islets and ocean features into military facilities in the South China Sea.

China sees Taiwan as a renegade province, while the United States backs its independence.

It is estimated that China spent upwards of $190 billion in 2017 on its military.

There is regular contact between U.S. and Chinese military officials.

"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 warns.

The US has sounded yet another warning about China's expansionist designs and coercive tactics to smother opposition from rival claimants on territorial issues, pointedly referring to the Doklam troop face-off among other such incidents, even as the Chinese defence minister is set to visit India next week.

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