A commission warned Congress that China’s military is rapidly expanding its capabilities and is poised to wage protracted foreign wars over the next 15 years.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission sent its latest annual report to Congress this week after a year of deteriorating U.S. sentiment amid the coronavirus epidemic, human rights debates, trade conflicts, and a devilish presidential campaign framing the Chinese Communist. chinese relations. Party as a serious threat to national security.
The committee said China “is in global competition for power and influence with the United States, adding that the CCP” is the liberal democratic values promoted by the United States as a fundamental barrier to its external ambitions and internal rule. “
A key element of China’s power forecast is the People’s Liberation Army, which, thanks to massive investments in recent decades, is moving from a huge but sophisticated, land-focused Cold War force to project more advanced, targeted naval and air forces. and overseas operations.
China now has the world’s second-largest military budget, at $ 178 billion. This is still dwarfing America for about $ 721.5 billion; greater than the next 10 nations combined. Nevertheless, Chinese officials are outraged by Chinese spending, fearing that Beijing will soon be able to challenge U.S. military hegemony in Asia and elsewhere.
“Recent advances in equipment, organization, and logistics have significantly improved the PLA’s ability to project power and deploy expeditionary forces off the coast of China,” the committee’s report reads.
“The parallel development of military strategy requires that forces be able to operate anywhere in the world and that the U.S. military be measured if requested to do so. Chinese leaders have strongly urged the PLA to develop its strength and expeditionary capabilities in the over the last 20 years.
“China’s energy projection capabilities are evolving at a rapid and consistent pace, reflecting the determination of the civilian leadership to transform the PLA into a global expeditionary force over decades,” the report added.
“In the short term (over the next five years), the PLA will focus on consolidating the capabilities that would allow it to conduct large-scale military operations on its maritime periphery. In the medium term (over the next 10-15 years), the PLA aims to be able to fight a limited war overseas. in order to protect the interests of [Belt and Road Initiative]. By the middle of the century, the PLA aims to be able to deploy forces quickly anywhere in the world. “
In Washington DC, there is now a bipartisan recognition that the issue of China needs to be addressed. In the last presidential election, both President Donald Trump and winner Joe Biden vowed to be tougher against Beijing.
Critics say the past decades of laissez-faire capitalism have failed and failed to encourage a more liberal Chinese state that is a responsible player in the international order dominated by the United States. Western nations have gladly reaped the economic benefits of increased relations with China, but have not – or decided – not thought that they can use Beijing’s influence and wealth to root out and export its authoritarianism.
Biden will take office next month and inherit the worst U.S.-China relationship in decades. The president-elect said Democrats do not see China’s challenge as “primarily a military challenge,” although the party is “deterring and responding to aggression.” This includes two key points in the disputed South China Sea and around Taiwan where the U.S. and Chinese military regularly intersect.
China’s challenge will lie in Bidens ’foreign policy, and will most likely be the number one strategic challenge with successive presidents for decades. According to the committee’s annual report, “China’s assessment of the United States as a dangerous and determined opponent has informed almost every aspect of China’s diplomatic strategy, economic policy and military planning in the post-Cold War era.”
This has intensified since President Xi Jinping took power in 2012, the committee said. Xi centralized power and abolished deadlines, became a virtually lifelong president and the most powerful leader since the CCP co-founder Mao Zedong.
“The continued success of the Chinese government’s economic, diplomatic, and military goals could hinder U.S. economic and technological development for decades at the cost of good jobs and common prosperity, encourage autocrats and dictators around the world, and hinder U.S. military support. States ’allies and partners in the Indian Pacific,” the report warned.