Pentagon report detailed the growth of China’s arsenal of nuclear and standard weapons.
China’s Ministry of Defence has criticised a report from the Pentagon in america detailing China’s rising army energy and nuclear arsenal within the newest barb between the 2 superpowers.
“We categorical our robust dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to this report,” Defence Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian mentioned in an announcement, describing the report as exaggerated hype a few “non-existent ‘Chinese language army menace’.’’
Wu defended China’s rising army energy as essential for safeguarding its nationwide curiosity and as a deterrent to future struggle.
China is within the midst of two main campaigns to show its Individuals’s Liberation Military (PLA) right into a “world-class army” by 2027 and obtain “nationwide rejuvenation” by 2049.
A key factor of “nationwide rejuvenation” consists of annexing Taiwan, the democratically-ruled island Beijing claims as a part of its territory. Whereas Taiwan’s army is a fraction of the dimensions of the PLA, its longstanding safety treaty with Washington means it might have the may of the US army standing behind it in a future struggle.
In a show of its army energy, China fired missiles over Taiwan in July 2022 and carried out a number of days of naval workout routines within the Taiwan Strait to protest in opposition to a go to by then-US Home of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei. The PLA staged comparable workout routines to mark an unofficial go to by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to the US.
Whereas the PLA can already declare the world’s largest navy, its army may continues to develop in different areas, based on the Pentagon.
Its nuclear arsenal now consists of more than 500 warheads with the potential to achieve greater than 1,000 by 2023, based on the report.
The Pentagon mentioned China may be contemplating easy methods to construct conventionally armed intercontinental-range missile methods able to putting the US.
The US and its allies are additionally involved with China’s want to construct extra abroad naval bases – not in contrast to the US. Beijing at the moment has a single base within the East African nation of Djibouti.
Stress within the South China Sea, the place China is constructing islands and conducting aggressive patrols by its navy and militarised fishing fleets, has escalated this yr. This week, Manila blamed Beijing for a close to collision on Sunday round Second Thomas Shoal throughout the Philippines Unique Financial Zone (EEZ).
The Pentagon report additionally got here after the US accused the PLA air drive of extra aggressive behaviour, saying there had been “over 180 situations of PLA coercive and dangerous air intercepts in opposition to US plane within the area”.
Wu mentioned US efforts to counter China’s army growth had been hypocritical.
The US usually phases freedom of navigation workout routines in disputed locations just like the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait, whereas it has additionally exerted diplomatic stress to maintain China from opening extra bases.
“The US pretends to be confused, whereas doing issues that hurt China’s safety pursuits, however on the similar time shouting that it desires to handle the disaster and strengthen communication,” Wu mentioned.
China claims virtually your entire South China Sea underneath its controversial nine-dash line. The ocean can also be claimed partly by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
China additionally has maritime disputes with Japan over the Senkaku Islands, referred to as Diaoyu in China.