Pentagon Says China Military ‘Likely Training for Strikes' on US Targets

Pentagon Says China Military ‘Likely Training for Strikes' on US Targets

China has increased its military spending and capabilities in recent years and is probably conducting exercises created to train the army for strikes against USA targets, according to a report from the Pentagon.

According to Thursday's report, China is working on a "stealthy, long-range strategic bomber with a nuclear delivery capability that could be operational within the next 10 years", in addition to the bombers it already operates.

It is also the first such report since the adoption of a new national defense strategy in January, which called "inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism", the primary concern for the US.

"Over the last three years, the [People's Liberation Army] has rapidly expanded its overwater bomber operating areas, gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against USA and allied targets".

Beijing has said it is necessary for the Asian powerhouse to keep growing its military presence in the South China Sea in order to protect its sovereignty.

China's military is "likely training for strikes" against the United States and its allies, the Pentagon has claimed.

The report also contains claims that China is developing weapons to target U.S. satellites in orbit, including "kinetic-kill missiles, ground-based lasers, and orbiting space robots".

In 2017, Beijing actually cut 300,000 personnel from its ground forces and reorganized them on a brigade structure.

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In a show of the expanding reach of Beijing's power, the Chinese military landed nuclear-capable H-6K bombers on one of their artificial islands in the South China Sea for the first time in May.

China's defence spending exceeded $190bn in 2017 as the one-party socialist republic seeks to project military power on the worldwide stage, the report said. China has reclaimed 3,200 of acres of land in the Spratly Island chain and added with ports, runways and other military infrastructure.

China, in recent years, has continued to increase military exercises with focuses on land, sea, and air.

This year's report comes at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and China, amid an escalating trade war and disagreements over Beijing's actions in Taiwan and the South China Sea.

Despite tensions, in June, James Mattis became the first U.S. defence secretary to visit China since 2014.

Similarly, despite being wary of China's assertive behaviour along the Line of Actual Control and its growing naval deployments in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), India is also set to roll out the red carpet for Chinese defence minister General Wei Fenghe's visit here from August 21 to 24. "We urge the U.S. to stick to its promises to China regarding Taiwan question, and uphold the one-China policy".

Officially, China advocates for a peaceful reunification with Taiwan, but it has never repudiated the use of military force, the document notes.

Though the U.S. and China have contact between military officials to defuse tensions, the report comes at a time of continuing friction.

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