United States report says rapidly modernizing Chinese military has set sights on Taiwan

China is rapidly building robust lethal force to impose its will in the region US official

"As a lot of these technologies mature, as their reorganization of their military comes into effect, as they become more proficient with these capabilities, the concern is we'll reach a point where internally in their decision-making they will decide that using military force for regional conflict is something that is more imminent", the official added.

"Beijing's longstanding interest to eventually compel Taiwan's reunification with the mainland and deter any attempt by Taiwan to declare independence has served as the primary driver for China's military modernization", said the agency's report, titled "China's Military Power".

"Beijing's anticipation that foreign forces would intervene in a Taiwan scenario led the PLA to develop a range of systems to deter and deny foreign regional force projection", the report stated.

The Chinese rail network has about 100,000 kilometers of track, 10,000 kilometers of which is high-speed track supporting trains running at up to 250 kilometers per hour, the Pentagon said in its 2019 "China Military Power" report.

"As it (China's military power) continues to grow in strength and confidence, our nation's leaders will face a China insistent on having a greater voice in global interactions, which at times may be antithetical to USA interests", Lieutenant General Robert Ashley, director of the DIA, wrote in the report. "Finally, as new threats emerge and as other militaries adjust their acquisition, strategies, and structure, China knows the PLA must be prepared to fight in new realms and adapt to the modern, high-tech battlefield".

"China shifted funds and efforts to acquiring technology by any means available". It has used domestic laws that force foreign partners to share key secrets in exchange as they look to have access to the vast Chinese market.

And previous year the Pentagon disinvited China to a major, multinational Pacific exercise, citing Beijing's militarisation of man-made islands in the South China Sea.

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The official also cautioned that China's military still faced gaps in its capabilities.

"These countries continue to develop, test and proliferate sophisticated anti-satellite weapons to hold United States and allied space assets at risk", the Air Force report says.

China's most terrifying weapons are the most advanced in their field in the world.

"China also has developed the world's first roadmobile, anti-ship ballistic missile, a system specifically created to attack enemy aircraft carriers", it says.

Speaking to reporters in Washington on Tuesday, a senior defense official admitted that he was anxious about China now having the confidence to pull off major military moves - such as invading Taiwan.

China has stepped up its pressure on Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, took office in 2016. "I think that they are fairly comfortable with the progress they've made in building out this infrastructure down there, and then working on negotiations with the other claimant states over a longer term", the senior defense official said.

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