For the first time, US military intelligence has unveiled a report detailing China's military and intelligence capabilities and its endeavor to develop them.
The agency makes its assessment of China's capabilities highly confidential, with the content of its previous reports, which were seen only by a limited number of senior officials.
The US national security strategy at the beginning of the Donald Trump era explicitly pointed out that China seeks to challenge the power, influence and interests of the United States, in an attempt to harm the security and prosperity of the American people.
The Pentagon's National Defense Strategy in mid-2018 also explicitly referred to China as "a strategic competitor seeking to modernize its armed forces to ensure its regional control over the Pacific and South Asia, and to counter US global influence."
|Chinese nuclear submarine during military parade (Reuters)|
The 140-page report, titled "China's Military Power: Modernizing Forces to Fight and Win," speaks of China's military rise by monitoring several phenomena, including:
- The substantial increase in China's military budget and its comparison over the past years.
China's military budget exceeded $ 170 billion in 2018 from just $ 77 billion in 2007. The military increase has been linked to an increase in the number of troops to more than 2 million.
- China's escalating hostile behavior in the South China Sea and its seizure of a number of islands is in dispute with some of its neighbors, such as Vietnam and the Philippines.
- The pace and nature of joint exercises involving Beijing and Moscow are on the rise.
- China establishes its first overseas military base based in Djibouti at the southern entrance to the Red Sea.
The report included dozens of pictures and maps of the latest weapons in the Chinese arsenal, and the proliferation of military bases and command and control centers.
He presented the map of China's strategic alliances, the nature of military sales, and the most important countries on the list of customers. Russia, Iran, Egypt, Venezuela and Pakistan have been major buyers of Chinese weapons in recent years.
In an important precedent, the report detailed the structure of China's intelligence services, and mentioned branches of its armed forces and maps of the deployment of its military bases inside the country.
Chinese intelligence consists of civil intelligence, political action intelligence, military intelligence, internal security, rumor and misinformation, and finally electronic intelligence.
The nature and composition of Chinese military academies, the structure of major military arms and paramilitary forces also received a large part of the report.
|REVIEW of Guangdong Province|
The report spoke of China's military doctrine, saying it had not yet been translated into an attempt to spread the world similarly to the United States.
China is currently targeting three targets for the protection of its long land and sea borders, and the protection of commercial shipping routes is one of its most important goals, especially as it continues to rely heavily on cross-ocean trade to provide energy resources without which the Chinese economy does not grow.
In the long term, China aims to modernize its military capabilities in line with its ambition as a major country.
"China is trying to develop some of its weapons to become the best in the world, while it already has some of the best weapons in the world," General Robert Ashley, director of US military intelligence, told US National Radio.
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New Cold War
Although US officials do not use the term "Cold War" to describe Washington's relationship with Beijing, books, studies and commentaries are full of debates about the Cold War between the two countries.
Washington's Cold War with China is different from the one it fought with the Soviet Union. The US-Soviet confrontation was primarily political, ideological and military, seeking to gain influence around the world in a zero-sum battle.
The US-China competition is more complex, with more than $ 700 billion a year in business.
China views US military capabilities differently, especially as it is deployed in all regions of the world through hundreds of military bases.
The United States has not stopped military intervention in hotspots since the September 11, 2001 attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, while China has not known any involvement in military conflicts since the end of a border dispute with Vietnam in 1979.
Washington and Beijing have no military tensions, but the US decision to deploy medium-range missiles launched from land in South Asia weeks ago was a crisis in the two countries' military relations.
China's response was strong, with the State Department saying it would "not remain idle and would have to take retaliatory measures if the United States deployed medium-range missiles in this region."