08 June, 2017
The annual Pentagon report on Chinese military developments says China already is expanding its presence in foreign ports as a way to "pre-position the necessary logistics support" to sustain far away from the Chinese homeland.
Beijing on Wednesday dismissed as "irresponsible" an annual U.S. Defense Department report that predicted China would expand its global military presence, building overseas bases in countries like Pakistan. It has also engaged in a series of dialogues and exchanges with the USA military, although the two continue to view each other warily.
According to the Pentagon, Pakistan is also China's largest buyer of arms.
The development is of concern to India given our long-standing hostility with Pakistan and the ever-fragile peace along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
Last year China began building its first overseas base in the African nation of Djibouti, already home to Camp Lemonnier, a large U.S. instillation responsible for counter terrorism operations in the Persian Gulf and east and north Africa.
"We hope the USA side will put aside the Cold War mentality, view China's military development in an objective and rational manner, and take concrete actions to maintain steady growth of the military relationship between the two countries", she said. From 2011 to 2015, China was the world's fourth largest arms supplier with more than Dollars 20 billion in sales. Of this, $9 billion was to Asia-Pacific countries, primarily Pakistan.
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Sub-Saharan Africa was China's second largest regional arms market.
The Pentagon also said that it estimated China's defense spending to be around $180 billion, significantly higher than its officially stated budget of $140 billion.
On the issue of self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own, the Pentagon said Chinese reforms to improve joint operations by different parts of its military would help in the event of any operation against the island. "To support this modernization, China uses a variety of methods to acquire foreign military and dual-use technologies, including cyber theft, targeted foreign direct investment and exploitation of the access of private Chinese nationals to such technologies. It is a legitimate right of a sovereign state", Hua said.
The United States has refused to recognize China's claims that is has historical ownership of the region - and has been sending military ships and aircraft near them, Defense One reported.
It is expected that China's defense budget is likely to increase by an annual average of 7 percent, growing to Dollars 260 billion by 2020 for a force that, although expanding, is expected over the near-term to remain primarily regional.
The report confirmed that China's Jin-class submarines are now equipped with JL-2 submarine launched ballistic missiles, boosting its sea-based nuclear deterrence.