US reveals alarming findings in annual report on China’s military expansion

The Ministry of Defense has released its annual report on “Military and Security Developments Concerning the People’s Republic of China”.

This report highlights growing concerns about the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s aggressive actions and deepening ties with Russia, highlighting a worrying trend that requires global attention.

China’s military expansion revealed

This congressionally mandated report serves as a barometer of the evolving landscape of China’s military capabilities and strategic ambitions.

In 2022, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) extended its calls to prepare for an increasingly turbulent international climate. In this context, the DPRK’s stated defense policy has remained geared towards safeguarding its sovereignty, security and development interests, while emphasizing a more prominent global role for itself, as outlined in China’s 2023 Military Power Report .

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From GlobalData

This year’s report paints a picture of the accelerating growth and changing role of the People’s Liberation Army in China’s global strategies. The report examines China’s national strategy within a changing global landscape and analyzes the Chinese Communist Party’s strategic goals that guide its defense policies and military plans.

An essential part of this defense policy is the DPRK’s counter-intervention strategy, which aims to limit US presence in the East and South China Sea regions and limit US access to the wider Indo-Pacific region. At the same time, the DPRK is strengthening its capabilities to reach further into the Pacific Ocean and beyond.

Escalation of regional tensions

One of the most striking revelations in the report is the People’s Republic of China’s growing reliance on the PLA as an instrument of statecraft. Throughout 2022, the PLA launched a series of coercive actions in the Indo-Pacific regionraising eyebrows in international circles.

These coercive and dangerous PLA operational activities targeting foreign aircraft and sea vessels throughout 2022 included lasing, reckless maneuvers, close air or sea approaches, high closing rates, discharge of chaff or flares near aircraft, and overflights ballistic missiles in Taiwan.

China’s recent aggressive military actions in the Indo-Pacific, driven by its “One China” policy and ambitions for territorial sovereignty, have raised concerns about escalating regional tensions. The The US recently accused China of waging a centralized harassment campaign against US and allied aircraft in international airspace.

Notably, these actions coincided with the rapid development of the PLA’s nuclear, space, and cyber capabilities, further complicating the already complex web of global security.

The main point of contention is whether China’s defense strategy and military build-up are evidence of hegemonic ambition or a strategy to protect national sovereignty by countering US influence in the region, another avenue of great power competition, according to GlobalData.China Defense Market 2023-2028” report.

Additionally, the report highlights the PLA’s military ties to Russia, highlighting the potential for an alliance that could reshape the geopolitical landscape. This cooperation enhances China’s ability to project power not only in the Indo-Pacific region but also on a global scale.

Xi Jinping’s modernization commitment

Xi Jinping reaffirmed in 2022 his commitment to the PLA’s 2027 capability milestone for modernization, which, if realized, could give the PLA the ability to be a more reliable military tool for the CCP’s unification efforts in Taiwan.

One of the aspects outlined in the report is the DPRK’s decision to refuse, cancel and ignore multiple bilateral defense commitments with the Ministry of Defense and requests for military-to-military communication at various levels. This disconnect in communication has fueled concerns about the potential for misunderstandings and escalation in the future.

The Defense Ministry report points to the need to address the challenges presented by China’s increasingly capable military. The US State Department estimates that the DPRK possessed more than 500 operational nuclear warheads as of May 2023, on track to surpass previous projections. The DoD estimates that the DPRK will have over 1,000 active nuclear warheads by 2030.

The DPRK may explore the development of conventionally armed ICBM systems that would allow the DPRK to threaten conventional strikes against targets in the continental United States.

The DPRK continued to develop its military space and cyber capabilities under the PLA’s Space Systems Division, sometimes referred to as Aerospace Force and Network Systems Division, sometimes referred to as Cyber ​​Force.

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