A newly released Department of Defense report warns that China is likely training for bombing strikes against U.S. targets.
The “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China” report to Congress focuses on recent advancements made by the Asian power, according to Fox News.
“Over the last three years, the (People’s Liberation Army) has rapidly expanded its overwater bomber operating areas, gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against US and allied targets,” the document states.
In addition, “China is developing a stealthy, long-range strategic bomber with a nuclear delivery capability that could be operational within the next 10 years.”
Beijing seeks to bring online a nuclear “triad” like that possessed by the United States, including delivery systems across land, sea and air.
“In May, China landed a long-range nuclear-capable bomber on an island in the disputed South China Sea, a move that raised tensions in the region due to a prior commitment by China not to militarize the area,” Fox News reported.
The report finds that China’s overall goal is to “establish regional preeminence and expand the country’s international influence.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 17, 2018
In late May, then-Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Harry Harris echoed the warning that China’s objective is regional hegemony.
“We should cooperate with Beijing where we can, but stand ready to confront them when we must,” he said.
The Chinese government has constructed its first overseas base, choosing the East African nation of Djibouti, near the mouth of the Red Sea.
The military facility is located just a few miles away from a U.S. base in the country.
The DOD report also highlights China’s space program is maturing rapidly and that the nation is also developing counterspace capabilities to “degrade and deny adversary use of space-based assets during a crisis or conflict.”
“The PLA continues to strengthen its military space capabilities despite its public stance against the militarization of space,” it said. “(China wants) to expand space surveillance capabilities that can monitor objects across the globe and in space and enable counterspace actions.”
These developments occur as relations between the U.S. and China are strained over issues such as trade, North Korea and the militarization of the South China Sea.
In May, the Pentagon rescinded an invitation for China to participate in a biennial international Rimpac naval exercises, citing the Asian nation’s aggressive moves in the South China Sea.
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