China Continues Military Modernization
China Continues Military
Modernization, Report Says
By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service.
Washington D.C. – (AFPS)
– June 5, 2014 – China continues to modernize and improve its military
capabilities, according to an annual DOD report to Congress, and is also
preparing for contingencies in the South and East China Seas where Beijing has
been involved in increasingly tense territorial disputes with its neighbors.
The just-released “Military and Security Developments
Involving the People’s Republic of China for 2014” report said China’s military
expenditures continue to grow in keeping with its goal of being a regional and
The main mission for the People’s Liberation Army, the report
said, is to improve the capacity of its armed forces to fight and win
short-duration, high-intensity regional contingencies.
China continues to prepare for potential conflict in the
Taiwan Strait -- which includes deterring or defeating the United States,
according to the report. “The People’s Liberation Army also is placing emphasis
on preparing for contingencies other than Taiwan, including potential
contingencies in the South and East China Seas,” the report says.
The PLA Navy, the report said, conducted its largest-ever
fleet exercise in the Philippine Sea.
China also conducted a series of joint military exercises in
September and October, according to the report. “These exercises combined PLA
ground, navy and air forces in large-scale maneuvers along China’s southern and
southeastern coasts,” the report said.
“As China’s interests, capabilities, and international
influence have grown, its military modernization program has also become
increasingly focused on military investments for a range of missions beyond
China’s coast, including sea lane security, counterpiracy, peacekeeping and
humanitarian assistance/disaster relief,” the report says. The United States has
worked with China on some of these missions.
Chinese leaders, the report said, see this era as a “period
of strategic opportunity” to advance national development.
China is using the strategic space to prioritize economic
growth and development and to achieve “national rejuvenation” by 2049, according
to the report. “At the same time, Chinese leaders express a desire to maintain
peace and stability along their country’s periphery; expand their diplomatic
influence to facilitate access to markets, capital, and resources; and avoid
direct confrontation with the United States and other countries,” the report
Following this strategy, China’s presence is growing in all
regions of the world, the report said. This has led to friction between some of
its regional neighbors, including allies and partners of the United States.
The U.S.-China relationship is expanding and improving, the
report said. In the military area there are questions about the rate of growth.
The Chinese have not been transparent about their spending, with U.S. experts
believing the country spends roughly $145 billion on defense, far beyond the
$119 billion that China has officially announced.
China has sustained its investments in strategic forces
modernization, as well as key anti-access/area-denial capabilities such as
advanced intermediate- and medium-range conventional ballistic missiles,
long-range land-attack and anti-ship cruise missiles, counter-space weapons, and
offensive cyber capabilities, according to the report.
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter:
Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China for