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Pentagon Intel Warns China's Military Rapidly Modernizing

the flag of china waves at full staff before the backdrop of a cloud-peppered sky
(Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 17 January 2019 04:57 PM

The Pentagon's intelligence agency is warning China's rapidly "developing and modernizing military" in coming years could rival "other modern militaries" around the globe, Defense One reported.

The new unclassified assessment by the Defense Intelligence Agency of China's People's Liberation Army's arsenal and strategy comes after Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan reportedly instructed senior leaders to stay focused on one thing: "China, China, China."

"In the coming years, the PLA is likely to grow even more technologically advanced and proficient with equipment comparable to that of other modern militaries," DIA analyst Dan Taylor told reporters Tuesday, Defense One reported. "The PLA will require advanced fighter aircraft, modern naval vessels, missile systems, and space and cyberspace assets as it reorganizes and trains to address 21st-century threats farther from China's shores."

And, according to an unnamed senior defense intelligence official, the Pentagon is closely watching as Chinese leaders extend and gain confidence in their abilities — for example, to strike Taiwan or beyond, Defense One reported. DIA believes China will ultimately expand from its new South China Sea islands and base in Djibouti in East Africa.

"We now have to be able to look for a Chinese military that is active everywhere," the official said, Defense One reported. "We will have to interact with them, engage with them, deal with them, monitor them broadly more than we ever had to before, when they were very regionally focused near their own shores."

One thing may stand in their way – experience.

"I think the greatest vulnerability right now [is] . . . that this is a military that hasn't fought a war in 40 years," the unnamed intel official said, Defense One reported.

But, the official warned: "We have to remember that the Chinese leadership is very focused on domestic stability concerns, but also that we are seeing a developing and a modernizing military that is able to do things much further from internal security that they had focused on in the past."

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China's rapidly "developing and modernizing military" in coming years could rival "other modern militaries" around the globe, according to the Pentagon's intelligence agency warning, Defense One reported.
military, pentagon, modernization, trade war
Thursday, 17 January 2019 04:57 PM
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