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China Sees U.S. as Long-term Challenge Report Says


China Sees U.S. as Long-term Challenge, Report Says

Defense Department's annual report on China's military power

A new Department of Defense (DoD)report to Congress on China's military strategy says that, while China interacts with the United States in order to benefit from U.S. trade and technology, "Beijing apparently believes that the United States poses a significant long-term challenge," especially with regard to Taiwan.

The primary driving force for China's military modernization, the report says, is Beijing's perceived need to prepare "credible military options" to "complicate United States intervention" in any potential conflict in the Taiwan Strait.

"Should China use force against Taiwan, its primary goal likely would be to compel a quick negotiated solution on terms favorable to Beijing," the report predicts.

The DoD report also states that "Beijing has greatly expanded its arsenal of increasingly accurate and lethal ballistic missiles and long-range strike aircraft that are ready for immediate application should the (People's Liberation Army) be called upon to conduct war before its modernization aspirations are fully realized."

The report, entitled "Annual Report on the Military Power of the People's Republic of China," was issued under the requirements of Section 1202 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000, Public Law 106- 65. The Act directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a report "on the current and future military strategy of the People's Republic of China ... address(ing) the current and probable future course of military-technological development on the People's Liberation Army and the tenets and probable development of Chinese grand strategy, security strategy, and military strategy, and of the military organizations and operational concepts, through the next 20 years."

The full text of the report can be found at: http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/20030730chinaex.pdf

Following is the text of the report's Executive Summary:

Report to Congress
Pursuant to the FY2000 National Defense Authorization Act
ANNUAL REPORT ON
THE MILITARY POWER OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Beijing is pursuing its long-term political goals of developing its comprehensive national power and ensuring a favorable "strategic configuration of power." China's efforts to accomplish its security goals involve an integrated strategy that seeks to apply diplomatic, informational, military, and economic instruments of national power. China's leaders believe that national unity and stability are critical if China is to survive and develop as a nation. Chinese leaders also believe they must maintain conditions of state sovereignty and territorial integrity. While seeing opportunity and benefit in interactions with the United States -- primarily in terms of trade and technology -- Beijing apparently believes that the United States poses a significant long-term challenge.

In support of its overall national security objectives, China has embarked upon a force modernization program intended to diversify its options for use of force against potential targets such as Taiwan, the South China Sea and border defense, and to complicate United States intervention in a Taiwan Strait conflict. Preparing for a potential conflict in the Taiwan Strait is the primary driver for China's military modernization. While it professes a preference for resolving the Taiwan issue peacefully, Beijing is also seeking credible military options. Should China use force against Taiwan, its primary goal likely would be to compel a quick negotiated solution on terms favorable to Beijing.

China is developing advanced information technology and long-range precision strike capabilities, and looking for ways to target and exploit the perceived weaknesses of technologically superior adversaries. In particular, Beijing has greatly expanded its arsenal of increasingly accurate and lethal ballistic missiles and long-range strike aircraft that are ready for immediate application should the PLA be called upon to conduct war before its modernization aspirations are fully realized.

China's force modernization program is heavily reliant upon assistance from Russia and other states of the Former Soviet Union. China hopes to fill short-term gaps in capabilities by significantly expanding its procurement of Russian weapon systems and technical assistance over the next several years. The success of China's force modernization, however, will depend upon its ability to overcome a number of technical, logistical, and training obstacles.


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