Defense Department warns One Belt One Road favors military and civilian projects that are a direct challenge to U.S. strategic interests.
A pair of reports this week from the Pentagon have sounded alarm bells for Washington, D.C., over China’s use of its ever-growing military, trade, and infrastructure networks, which they assert are being used to pursue a goal of global domination and direct confrontation with American interests around the world.
Monday, the Defense Department released a report that assessed December 2018 Defense Department report “assesses China’s global expansion by military and nonmilitary means, implications of China’s activities, and the U.S. response.” It further described Beijing’s expansion through a range of means, including:
• “military access and engagement”;
• the One Belt, One Road initiative;
• the Digital Silk Road initiative, otherwise known as Made in China 2025;
• “technology acquisition”; and
• “a growing economic footprint with a focus on areas of military expertise.”
The report also noted the People’s Liberation Army’s new overseas base in Djibouti and future bases elsewhere will “increase China’s ability to deter use of conventional military force, sustain operations abroad, and hold strategic economic corridors at risk.” It also added that the PLA’s growing “global capabilities” would further provide military options to “observe and complicate” U.S. military activities in the event of a war between the two countries.
Tuesday, the Defense Intelligence Agency published its new China Military Power Report, which found Beijing is quickly approaching a moment where it will field some of the most advanced and modern weapons in the world. Regarding this second report, a senior Pentagon official told reporters:
“[Chinese] Party leaders have identified the initial decades of the 21st century as a period of strategic opportunity in the international environment that would allow China to focus on building what they call comprehensive national power. A key component of this, of course, is military power.
“The strategic objectives of the Chinese Communist Party include securing China’s status as a great power. Chinese leaders characterized their long-term military modernization program as essential to achieving this great power status. Indeed, China is rapidly building a robust lethal force with capabilities spanning the ground, air, maritime, space and information domains, designed to enable China to impose its will in the region and beyond.
“During the past decade alone, from counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, to an expanded military presence in the East and South China Seas, China has demonstrated a willingness to use the PLA as an instrument of national power in the execution of what they call their historic mission in the new century.
“In the coming years, the PLA is likely to grow even more technologically advanced and proficient with equipment comparable to that of other modern militaries. The PLA will acquire advanced fighter aircraft, modern naval vessels, missile systems, and space and cyberspace assets as it reorganizes and trains to address 21st century threats further from China’s shores.”
This is the second year in the row that the assessments from the Pentagon regarding China have reflected a new hawkish stance, which has led many to believe the New Cold War is already underway with Beijing as the new chief antagonist. It is also becoming increasingly unlikely the U.S. and China will be able to resolve their current trade impasse, which means additional tariffs are likely on their way.
Full article: Pentagon Reports: Chinese Engaged in Global Power Play (TruNews)