A Pentagon report released Thursday details China’s aggressive plans for expansion in regard to its global presence and military capabilities.
It notes China has significantly bolstered its bombing capabilities and is “likely training for strikes against U.S. and allied targets.”
The report notes the training is part of an attempt to leverage “China’s growing economic, diplomatic, and military clout to establish regional preeminence and expand the country’s international influence.”
It is estimated that China spent upward of $190 billion in 2017 on its military. The report states the People’s Liberation Army is undergoing a massive transformation to make it capable of executing increasingly larger and more complex operations and expand China’s global footprint.
The report points to China’s expansion in the South China Sea as an example of its efforts to “further its goal of effectively controlling disputed areas.”
Yet, the report says China’s goals are not only sought through military means.
It is currently focused on the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, a massive infrastructure plan to connect China with other countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. Developing trade ties that would benefit the Chinese economy and possibly deter new trading partners from criticizing China.
The report comes at a precarious time in U.S.-China relations. The two countries are in the middle of a trade war, with each side applying tit-for-tat sanctions on things like soy bean and oil imports.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comments from The Hill.
BY TAL AXELROD – 08/17/18