• Thu
  • Oct 30, 2014
  • Updated: 4:04am
NewsWorld
DEFENCE

US sees China's military might growing quickly, according to Pentagon report

Weaponry and training becoming more sophisticated, annual Pentagon report says

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 June, 2014, 11:45pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 June, 2014, 9:08am
 

China's military is improving its doctrine, training, weapons and surveillance to be able to conduct more sophisticated attacks against the US and other adversaries, the Pentagon said.

After jamming communications and mounting other forms of electronic and cyberwarfare, stealthy Chinese aircraft, drones and missiles could attack US warships, aircraft and supply craft, the US Defence Department said in its annual report on China.

The report, which is required by Congress, does not suggest that such attacks are likely, only that the Chinese military last year continued to demonstrate new capabilities similar to those the US began embracing at least 20 years ago, with mixed success.

"Although the Pentagon was overstating the Chinese military threat to avoid more cuts in its budget, the speed of the People's Liberation Army's modernisation has indeed exceeded Western countries' expectation," said Ni Lexiong , director of national defence policy research at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law.

"The gap is between 20 and 30 years," he said. "At the current pace, China may catch up with the US in 40 years, and may start to get ahead in 60 years."

The Pentagon report overstates the so-called Chinese military threat and that was "wrong behaviour," the Defence Ministry in Beijing said on its website.

"We resolutely oppose it. We'll further assess the report and make more reaction according to the results."

The PLA Navy last year commissioned nine new Jiangdao-class corvettes armed with anti-ship cruise missiles for operations close to shore, "especially in the South China Sea and East China Sea", the Pentagon said. Its test office and internal US Navy reviews have warned that the latter's new Littoral combat ships are vulnerable to such weapons.

The report may provide new fodder for US congressional advocates of more defence spending who argue for improving naval capabilities to blunt Chinese advances.

"China's military has come a long, long way in the last few years; it's spent a lot of money so it can very aggressively pursue advanced technology and improve its capabilities," said John Blaxland, a senior fellow at the Australian National University's Strategic and Defence Studies Centre in Canberra.

"It now has incredible economic clout and has become adept at applying pressure below the threshold that would trigger a strong military response from the US," he said. "China may well be critical of this report but they're probably secretly happy that that's the perception."

The Pentagon said China's most significant military developments last year included air-defence upgrades to destroyers and frigates, testing of its Y-20 transport to fly ground forces quickly across great distances, at least eight launches to expand its intelligence and surveillance from space and a "probable" Chinese drone conducting reconnaissance in the East China Sea. It also said China was starting to integrate anti-radar missiles into its fighter-bomber fleet.

The PLA Navy continues to develop long-range, over-the- horizon radar that, in coordination with satellites, is intended to "locate targets at great distances from China" for targeting by its DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile, according to the Pentagon.

The report said China continued to field a "limited but growing number" of the missiles.

It also continues to develop the J-20 and J-31 stealth fighter jets that are "similar in size to a US F-35 fighter", the report said, without comparing capabilities.

These developments are part of a Chinese air force modernisation that's "unprecedented in its history and rapidly closing the gap with Western air forces across a broad spectrum of capabilities", the Pentagon said.

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This article is now closed to comments

Mikado
The US and her allies especially japan doesn't like to fight an opponent fairly. The Japanese most of all like weak opponents where they can show of their "bravery" murdering defenceless peoples looting their wealth, committing genocide and rape etc. but when they faced a stronger power are quicker than anybody else to surrender without a fight and ditching their Bushido Warrior Code and Better to Die Than Surrender Macho. The US is just like Imperial Japan, the very thought that an opponent can annihilate them makes them mad as hell foaming from the mouth but at the same time barking worse than their bites. China and Russia unlike the US and her allies do not bark much but for sure they bite better. However China still have a long way to go before she can put her enemies Japan and US out of their damn misery.
kooljul1
Well said!
Mikado
The stronger China's military might is, the more likely peace in the world will prevail. China should be more like the US.
538eaa69-8078-43ce-a47c-34f30a320969
BTW I don't know about China's might but they really need a major makeover for their uniforms. What's the purpose of wealth if you don't know where to invest them in. They surely could hire some big shot fashion designers like Armani or Versace to add a little a little finesse to their taste. Even Fat Boy Leader Kim Jong-un of N Korea hides tons of American goods under his bed and there is no shame admitting acquired taste and sophistications can't be bought.
538eaa69-8078-43ce-a47c-34f30a320969
Be afraid, be very afraid. There is a new sheriff in town. *chuckle* . After decades of stealing military intelligence from the US and purchasing a pseudo aircraft carrier that was ready for decommission from some second hand dealer, they have virtually fallen head over heels and become so narcissistic that they think they could wrestle the world. No wonder China and N Korea get along so well, like father like son. I will not be surprised that China will soon adopt an icon "666 " woven on every uniform of their soldiers similar to that of a swastika.
ngsw
It is NOT China who think they can challenge or are going to challenge the world. It is America making this accusation. I think there should be some US heavy-weapon-makers lobbying this charge. US makes and possesses most weapons in the world.
M Miyagi
Having a strong defence and being armed to the teeth is what the US does. China admits that for certain things like defence, science and technology, she admires and learns from the US. So China should have a national defence which is like the US and also forward deployed into all the critical areas of the earth with a few hundred bases. Offence is better than defence.
rawlie
The CCP needs their military to primarily keep the population scared witless, so another Tiananmen doesn't happen. Internal security will always hinder military projection in a way that isn't an issue to the US.
jayb
one more reason we should REPEAL OBAMACARE so that the $$$ goes to fund guns and ammos...
I Gandhi
Because of the threat posed to China by the "US pivot to Asia" and the US military alliance with Barbaric Japan which is on the verge of changing it's "Peace Constitution" to a "War Constitution" it is imperative for China to invest enough in her security forces to guarantee peace and security for herself and her friends. China needs to do whatever is required for the maintenance of peace in the world as a responsible stakeholder. China should also increase her military and strategic cooperation within and outside the SCO.

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