5:42 am - Wednesday November 4, 2015

China’s military modernization is challenging US military power

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China's military modernization is challenging US military power
China's military modernization is challenging US military power

A US congressional panel, which advises lawmakers on the national security implications of the relationship between Washington and Beijing, has warned that China could possess the largest fleet of modern submarine and combatant ships in the western Pacific by 2020.

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said Wednesday in its annual report that Beijing’s military modernization is challenging decades of US pre-eminence in the region, the Associated Press reported.

The commission recommended that Congress should fund shipbuilding and increase the Navy’s operational presence in the region in support of the Defense Department’s goal to base 60 percent of its warships in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020, compared with about 50 percent currently.

The panel also recommended that the US should help allies improve their air and maritime capabilities in the region.

Observers say dealing with China’s growing military power is expected to be a priority of the Obama administration in the coming years.

The panel’s annual report also accused the Chinese government of “directing and executing a large-scale cyber espionage campaign against the US.” It said sanctions may be necessary to help deter the spying effort.

China has not yet responded to the allegations. But last year, Beijing’s foreign ministry condemned the panel’s annual report for having what it called a “Cold War” attitude.

The US accusation comes amid recent reports that Washington has widely spied on phone calls and Internet records of dozens of world leaders, including those of allied countries.

The congressional panel’s assessment of China’s naval capabilities draws on information from think tanks and US naval intelligence, according to AP.

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