WeChat QR Code

Home>News Center

(Opinion) What the Pentagon Thinks of China's Military

2015-05-12 08:48:59       source:The Diplomat

By Ankit Panda

May 11, 2015

"On Friday, May 8, the United States Department of Defense released its annual report to Congress on China's military and security developments. The full report is available in PDF form here. The report offers helpful insight into the U.S. government's threat perception of China's military and the issues that are primarily shaping U.S. strategic thinking. After reading the report, the one major takeaway is that the United States is primarily concerned with China's naval modernization. In fact, such is the emphasis on China's navy, its maritime activities, and modernization, the People's Liberation Army's ground forces receive little mention, relegated to a few scattered paragraphs here and there. In this sense, the Pentagon's 2015 report appears to be heavily influenced by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence's earlier report from this year (released for the first time in six years) which outlined China's naval modernization in considerable detail.

The report is a sobering reminder that, despite China's headline-grabbing land reclamation activities in the South China Sea and its ongoing dispute with Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islets in the East China Sea, the primary driver of China's military modernization continues to be "potential conflict in the Taiwan Strait." To this end, the Pentagon's report outlines the situation in the Taiwan Strait, including the military balance across the strait (spoiler: it heavily favors China). China's defense budget is roughly ten times that of Taiwan's, and continues to grow."

Read more:

NISCSS does not necessarily share in or endorse the opinions of off-site commentators.