by WorldTribune Staff, August 17, 2018
China is rapidly pursuing supreme leader Xi Jinping’s plan of having a modernized military that can “fight and win” wars, the Pentagon said.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which has the largest ground force in the world, is also training its pilots for strikes against U.S. and allied targets in the Pacific, the Pentagon said on Aug. 16 in its annual report to Congress.
“The PLA also is likely preparing for a contingency to unify Taiwan with China by force, while simultaneously deterring, delaying, or denying any third-party intervention on Taiwan’s behalf,” the report said. “Should the United States intervene, China would try to delay effective intervention and seek victory in a high-intensity, limited war of short duration.”
In the past three years, the Pentagon report said the PLA “has rapidly expanded its overwater bomber operating areas, gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against U.S. and allied targets.”
In August 2017, six Chinese H-6K bombers flew through the Miyako Strait in the southwest of the Japanese islands, and then for the first time turned north to fly east of Okinawa, where 47,000 U.S. troops are based.
The PLA may demonstrate the “capability to strike U.S. and allied forces and military bases in the western Pacific Ocean, including Guam,” the report says.
According to the Pentagon, the PLA in April 2017 undertook a massive transformation of operational and tactical units as part of its structural reforms.
“The purpose of these reforms is to create a more mobile, modular, lethal ground force capable of being the core of joint operations and able to meet Xi Jinping’s directive to ‘fight and win wars,’ ” the Pentagon report said.
Meanwhile, Beijing has stopped substantial land reclamation in the South China Sea, but continues “to build infrastructure at three outposts,” the report said.