China's modernized military could threaten Taiwan, U.S. report says

China Takes Lead In Hypersonic Weapons And Missiles Technology Pentagon

China Takes Lead In Hypersonic Weapons And Missiles Technology Pentagon

In mid-2016, China allocated United States dollars 600 billion as part of a three-year plan (2016-2018) to continue improving its transportation network and passed the Defence Transportation Law (DTL) authorising the management, development and production of dual-use facilities and equipment to support national and regional PLA operations, the report said.

"The biggest concern is that they are getting to a point where the PLA leadership may actually tell [President Xi Jinping] they are confident in their capabilities". "And so the danger comes from them being present in more places at more times, and you always have to worry about potential for miscalculation, although I think we've seen, over the past several years, there have been close interactions between USA naval forces and the Chinese forces".

The drills follow intelligence from the U.S. over China's growing military might, with concern growing that Taiwan may become a target.

China has repeatedly sent military aircraft and ships to circle the island on drills in the past few years and worked to isolate the island internationally, whittling down its few remaining diplomatic allies.

Beijing regards Taiwan as a renegade province and insists reunification is inevitable.

"If anyone wants to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will safeguard the national unity at all costs so as to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity", Gen. Li Zuocheng, the PLA's chief of the Joint Staff Department, told Richardson during a meeting in Beijing, according to the newspaper.

Washington has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to help it defend itself and is the island's main source of arms.

Last year, Taiwan's ruling party suffered a massive defeat in mid-term polls, causing Tsai to resign as leader of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, while the main opposition Kuomintang, which oversaw an unprecedented thaw with Beijing before Tsai took office in 2016, made gains.

Earlier this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China and Taiwan would be reunited and warned outsiders not to interfere with the country's affairs.

Still, the USA defense intelligence official cautioned against over-reacting, noting Xi could believe he has plenty of time to achieve reunification with Taiwan.

"I think in a lot of ways, they have a lot that they need to do", the official said.

The report released Tuesday by the Defense Intelligence Agency said China saw a almost threefold increase in defense spending from 2002 to 2018.

US defense officials have become particularly alarmed about China's advances in super-fast "hypersonic" technology, which could allow it to field missiles that are far harder to detect.

The People's Republic of China is "on the verge" of fielding some of the most modern weapon systems in the world and is "continuing to strengthen" its military space capabilities - despite its public stance against the militarization of space, according to a Pentagon report. "In some areas, it already leads the world", the report said.

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