WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pentagon report says China's development of a new stealth fighter, an aircraft carrier and a record number of space launches over the past year puts it on pace to achieve its goal of building a modern, regionally focused military by 2020.
The report released Tuesday says Beijing has closed critical technological gaps, and is rapidly modernizing its military equipment, all with an eye toward preventing possible U.S. intervention in a conflict with Taiwan. It also warns that the military expansion could increasingly stretch to the western Pacific in a move to deny U.S. and allied access or movement there.
The Pentagon says the new stealth fighter along with longer range missiles could give Beijing the ability to strike regional air bases and other facilities.
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