Published: Sun, August 19, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Pentagon says China military 'likely training for strikes' on US targets

Pentagon says China military 'likely training for strikes' on US targets

A new report from the Pentagon says China's military has aggressively expanded its bomber operations in recent years and is "likely training for strikes" against the U.S.

That's according to a military report released Thursday (August 16) coming less than a day after the two sides said they would hold talks over a rising trade war.

China's military budget is expected to expand to $240bn over the next 10 years, according to the assessment.

China also continues to develop counterspace capabilities, "including kinetic-kill missiles, ground-based lasers and orbiting space robots", the report said.

But it was unclear, the report added, what message Beijing was trying to send, "beyond a demonstration of improved capabilities".

The document is passed warning that China is preparing for the contingency to unify Taiwan with China by force.

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The Pentagon report said China is undergoing its "most comprehensive restructure in its history to become a force capable of fighting joint operations".

"China indicated development plans may be underway to power islands and reefs in the typhoon-prone South China Sea with floating nuclear power stations; development reportedly is to begin prior to 2020". Most specifically, the agency is concerned about China's growing influence in the South China Sea.

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 global influence".

China seems to be ignoring the public stance against the militarization of the space.

"China's objectives for the Korean Peninsula include stability, denuclearization, and no USA forces near China's border", it said.

China has been escalating its military and air force presence in the region which has been raising a lot of eyebrows.

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In the South China Sea, no substantial Chinese land reclamation occurred in 2017, but Beijing continued building infrastructure at three large Spratly Islands outposts in an attempt to assert its claims in disputed waters.

Another flashpoint is Taiwan, which is seen by China as a breakaway province.

This year's report reiterates that China will seek to establish new bases in such countries.

Media captionHow US defence spending plan compares to allies and rivals. Starting with the USA, which objects to its growing trade deficit with China, both sides have announced tariffs on a range of each others' goods.

The US flag flutters on a diplomatic auto after a meeting of US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis (R) with China's Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xu Qiliang at the Bayi Building in Beijing on June 28, 2018.

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