A shock annual Pentagon report, published Thursday, also said China's bombers are "likely training for strikes" against the USA and its allies, prompting a stern reply from Beijing. The report is released amid heightened US-China tensions over trade with both sides introducing a new set of protectionist measures every now and then.
The report also added that "Armed forces under the ruling Chinese Communist Party "continued to develop and deploy increasingly advanced military capabilities meant to coerce Taiwan, signal Chinese resolve, and gradually improve capabilities for an invasion". The expansion of naval operations beyond China's immediate region will also facilitate non-war uses of military force".
According to spokesman Lu Kang, the report published last Thursday by the U.S. Department of Defense exaggerates the so-called "Chinese threat" and the 'lack of military transparency'. It estimates that Beijing spent a whopping $190 billion on the military in 2017 alone, an increase from last year's estimation of $180 billion occurring despite the fact that China's GDP growth has stalled.
"We demand the USA side abandons Cold War thinking, objectively and rationally views China's defense and military construction, stops issuing the relevant reports, and takes actual steps to promote and protect the stable development of military-to-military relations", it said.
The statement asks Washington to abandon its "Cold War mentality" and defends the "Chinese military's reform, weapons development and defensive capabilities in the internet space" as "just and reasonable".
China is 'likely training for strikes' against the US, new Pentagon report says
Brad Glosserman, a visiting professor at Tokyo's Tama University, said Monday that it's clear that the Chinese military is planning for contingencies that assume the US would be an adversary.
The Department of Defense also has reason to believe that the bombers are being used to intimidate and coerce it's neighbors in line with it's One-China Policy.
In particular, the Pentagon said, "China's aircraft carrier and planned follow-on carriers, once operational, will extend air defence coverage beyond the range of coastal and shipboard missile systems, and enable task group operations at increasingly longer ranges".
It said the report by the United States harms mutual trust between the two countries, the ministry said.
China's efforts to advance its national defense are aimed at safeguarding independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said.More news: Leadership challenge: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declares spill, Peter Dutton nominates
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