2011-01-27 (China Military News cited from themoderatevoice.com and written by Michael S. Chase)
Once dismissed as a “junkyard army,” the Chinese military is now impressing outside observers—and alarming China’s neighbors—with its growing air, naval, missile, space, and information warfare capabilities. In recent years, China has deployed increasingly potent capabilities, including modern surface ships, advanced submarines, fourth-generation fighter aircraft, and conventional cruise and ballistic missiles, including an anti-ship ballistic missile designed to target U.S. aircraft carriers. China is also enhancing its command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems and its space and cyber warfare capabilities.
The internet leak of photos and videos unveiling China’s new J-20 stealth fighter and the test flight of the aircraft during Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ recent visit to China seemed intended to underscore the growing capability of China’s military. China’s eagerness to showcase the faster than expected development of the J-20—and its determination to send a message to the United States—also ensured that concerns about the implications of a more powerful Chinese military would loom large when President Hu Jintao arrived in Washington for a state visit this week.
China’s growing military capabilities, along with incidents such as Beijing’s anti-satellite test in January 2007 and its harassment of a U.S. surveillance ship in March 2009, are raising questions about whether an increasingly powerful China represents a threat to the U.S. and its allies. Fueling China’s accelerating military modernization—and the concerns of analysts who see China as an emerging competitor—is the rapid growth of their defense budget. Beijing’s increases in defense spending have enabled the People’s Liberation Army to develop more credible options for using force against Taiwan and countering U.S. military intervention.
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