Pentagon: China Outmatches US in Missiles and Shipbuilding

China may outmatch American military in missile development and shipbuilding, says US Defence Department report.

‘China has already achieved parity with – or even exceeded – the United States in several military modernisation areas,’ says Pentagon.

Robert Delaney and Mark Magnier in the United States – 2 Sep, 2020

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China may have surpassed American military capabilities in the area of missile development and shipbuilding, and is likely to double its nuclear warhead stockpile over the next decade, the US Defence Department said in an annual report to US lawmakers.

“China has already achieved parity with – or even exceeded – the United States in several military modernisation areas,” including shipbuilding, land-based conventional ballistic and cruise missiles, and integrated air defence systems, said the report, which was made public on Tuesday.

China’s PLA has more than 1,250 ground-launched ballistic missiles (GLBMs) and ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) with ranges of up to 5,500km (3,400 miles), compared with the US military’s single type of conventional GLBM, which is limited to a range of 70km to 300km (43 to 186 miles), and no GLCMs, according to the report.

Confirmed reports claim China sells the HQ-9 to Iran (estimated several dozen vehicles), Vietnam (estimated several dozen vehicles), Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan to offset the cost of purchasing natural gas from those countries

^ Michel, Casey (17 February 2015). “Is Moscow Losing Its Security Edge in Central Asia?”. The Diplomat. Retrieved 12 May 2015.

China had developed its conventional missile forces unrestrained by any international agreements, the report said. The country also has “one of the world’s largest forces of advanced long-range surface-to-air systems – including Russian-built S-400s, S-300s, and domestically produced systems”.

“Over the next decade, China’s nuclear warhead stockpile – currently estimated to be in the low 200s – is projected to at least double in size as China expands and modernises its nuclear forces,” the report said, adding that the goal is a “nuclear triad” with the development of a nuclear capable air-launched ballistic missile, while improving ground and sea-based nuclear capabilities.

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Overall, the report, known informally as the “China Military Power Report”, portrays the rapid development of China’s armed forces as part of its government’s plan to achieve a “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” by 2049 and “revise the international order”.

The Pentagon noted the progress in China’s military had made since its first annual report to Congress in 2000, which assessed China’s “armed forces at that time to be a sizeable but mostly archaic military that was poorly suited to the [Chinese Communist Party’s] long-term ambitions”.

The latest edition “reflects the growing concern that the Trump administration has about the [Chinese Communist Party’s] ambitions for the PLA and rapidly developing PLA capabilities,” said Bonnie Glaser, a China analyst with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence Chad Sbragia delivered a presentation about the report, hosted by the Washington-based think tank American Enterprise Institute on Tuesday.

China’s missile systems “have our full attention, as you might imagine,” he said.

A major concern highlighted in the report is the increase in Chinese ground, air and naval forces available in the event of an invasion or armed conflict with Taiwan, which according to the report was 3-1 last year in favour of China but is now closer to 5-1, or even 12-1 if China’s forces in the wider region are factored in.

Sbragia said these increasingly asymmetric numbers continued to shape US strategy and moves to reform the Pentagon’s own operations. “It certainly drives us,” he said, adding that it’s a “motivating aspect of work” in Washington that is not lost on the Chinese.

“The worst case scenario is conflict and that’s not where anyone wants to go,” Sbragia said.

“The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle” Psalm 78:9

Gill: but turned back in the day of battle; fled from the enemy, could not stand their ground when the onset was made:

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The Pentagon report follows a series of pronouncements by members of President Donald Trump’s administration pledging to counter China’s military operations in the South China Sea and near the self-governing island of Taiwan, which Beijing considers to be a renegade province. On Monday, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun called for closer Indo-Pacific defence relations with India, Japan and Australia – also known as “the quad” – and an eventual formation of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation-style bloc for the Indo-Pacific, partly as a bulwark against potential threats from China. Last week, Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien called Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea “ridiculous”.

The Pentagon report also detailed the extent to which the PLA may be planning to build a network of military logistics bases overseas.

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“Beyond its current base in Djibouti, the PRC is very likely already considering and planning for additional overseas military logistics facilities to support naval, air, and ground forces,” according to the report.

China has “likely considered” building such bases in Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Seychelles, Tanzania, Angola and Tajikistan, it said.

SCMP

~ by Joel Huan on September 6, 2020.

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