Caixin
Sep 02, 2020 11:48 AM
WORLD

Pentagon Is Hyping ‘China Military Threat Theory,’ Beijing Says

What’s new: China’s national defense ministry accused the Pentagon of hyping “China military threat theory” with a “zero-sum game and cold war mentality” in its latest report on China’s military power, according to a statement (link in Chinese) released on Wednesday.

“China has already achieved parity with — or even exceeded — the U.S. in several military modernization areas,” including shipbuilding, land-based conventional ballistic and cruise missiles and integrated air defense systems, the U.S. Defense Department said in its annual China military power report released on Tuesday.

The report said the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) “has the largest navy in the world,” with an overall battle force of approximately 350 ships and submarines, including over 130 major surface combatants. By comparison, the U.S. Navy’s battle force included approximately 293 ships as of early 2020, the report said.

What’s more: China also has more than 1,250 land-based conventional ballistic missiles (GLBM) and land-based cruise missiles (GLCM) with ranges between 500 km and 5,500 km, while the U.S. is currently fielding one type of conventional GLBM with a range of 70 km to 300 km and no GLCMs, the report said.

The PLA also has one of the world’s largest forces of advanced long-range surface-to-air defense systems, including Russian-built S-400s, S-300s, and domestically produced systems, it added.

The Pentagon said in the report that China’s strategy includes advancing a comprehensive military modernization program that aims to “basically” complete military modernization by 2035 and transform the PLA into a “world-class” military by the end of 2049.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read a full copy of the report, click here.

Contact reporter Lu Zhenhua (zhenhualu@caixin.com) and editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

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