An unclassified report released by the US Defense Intelligence Agency says that China has made advancement in weapon technologies in recent years, worrying Pentagon as it has already surpassed its rivals from the defense industry.
A Pentagon assessment released Tuesday has pointed out that as a result of Beijing’s domestic laws forcing foreign partners to divulge technical secrets in exchange for access to China's vast market, it is now at the leading edge on a range of technologies, AFP reports.
"The result of this multifaceted approach to technology acquisition is a PLA (People's Liberation Army) on the verge of fielding some of the most modern weapon systems in the world," states the report, entitled "China Military Power". "In some areas, it already leads the world."
China's increasing military might means it has advanced capabilities in the air, at sea, in space and in cyberspace that will "enable China to impose its will in the region," the report notes.
A senior defense intelligence official was quoted as saying in the report that he was worried China's military is now advanced enough that PLA generals could feel confident they could invade Taiwan.
"The biggest concern is that as a lot of these technologies mature... (China) will reach a point where internally within their decision-making they will decide that using military force for a regional conflict is something that is more imminent," the official said on condition of anonymity.
The intelligence report said China is developing new medium- and long-range stealth bombers capable of striking regional and global targets.
Such planes will likely reach initial operational capability by about 2025, the report notes.
The official added that China keeps a lot of its military development secret by conducting research in underground complexes, away from the prying eyes of satellites.
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