China has been hell bent on creating the world’s best and largest military, and thanks to Democrats in office, they are well on their way of achieving that.
According to a new report from the Pentagon, and their latest annual assessment of the Chinese military, China now has the world’s largest navy passing the United States.
A “permanent condition of military inferiority is anathema” to China’s leadership and nowhere is that more obvious in its naval build-up, Chad Sbragia, deputy assistant secretary of defense for China, said during a Tuesday American Enterprise Institute forum.
The Chinese Communist Party “has become increasingly confident [of] achieving its goal” of having “a world-class military by 2049.” A key component has been China’s continuing maritime build-up from its surface forces to ballistic missile submarines. He said its fleet numbers 350 warships compared to the United States’ 293.
“I would also draw your attention to weapons systems and it’s important to highlight the Chinese shipbuilding advantages in terms of its size of the fleet, is both in context of the broader modernization ambitions, virtual class military. This is a long-term challenge and it’s not only demarcated by a single variable, which would be total number of vessels, tonnage capacity, capabilities, location, posture, activities, and then other aspects,” he told a small group of reporters in a Pentagon briefing.
Sbragia said the Pentagon expects the Chinese fleet will number 360 warships by the end of this decade.
He added in the AEI forum that Beijing with its new confidence has become “more assertive” in its territorial disputes with its neighbors — from India to Taiwan to the South China Sea.
While “numbers are only one element” in measuring military power, China is also testing its far seas reach in exploring potential bases from Myanmar to Africa and South America.
“The global PLA military logistics network could interfere with U.S. military operations and those of our allies and provide flexibility to support offensive operations against the United States,” he told the reporters.
At the AEI event, he added Beijing is also continuing to raise its defense spending across the board — from missiles to nuclear forces to space. He said the report expects that Beijing will double its nuclear stockpile of 200 weapons over the next 10 years. “The number of warheads is not the whole picture,” he said. The investments are also being put into submarines, air-launched cruise missiles, modified bombers, “the full suite and capacity” of its nuclear program.
The report “points out that China’s near-complete lack of transparency over its nuclear forces raised legitimate questions over China’s intent as it fields larger and more capable nuclear forces. And this includes the near completion of what we consider to be a triad capacity, which would include those land-based kinds of capabilities,” Sbragia said at the Pentagon. He mentioned more road-based missile-launchers and building ground-based silos.
You can read more on China’s expanding nuclear and military presence at USNI.org