China wants to achieve “its great rejuvenation” by 2049 to expand its power and change the international order, according to the annual report that the US Department of Defense prepares on the military capabilities of the Asian giant, published on Tuesday (29) .
This “great rejuvenation” strategy consists of political, social and military modernization to expand its national power, improve its government and revise the international order, the report indicates.
In this regard, Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder explained that China is trying to establish a new order in places where “international planes and ships have operated in international airspace and waterways for decades.”
“And suddenly it’s changing that by saying ‘no, this now belongs to us, and you’re violating our sovereignty,” Ryder said.
The report highlights the increasingly relevant role of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) as an instrument to achieve China’s goals and adopt more aggressive actions in the Indo-Pacific region.
Upon reaching its modernization goals in 2020, the EPL set 2027 as the deadline to accelerate “the integrated development of its intelligence, mechanization, informatization” in the armed forces, according to the document.
In this sense, the Pentagon warns that, if it achieves this goal, the PLA could become “a more credible military tool for the Chinese Communist Party” to seek the unification of Taiwan.
On the island, the US indicates that China has never renounced the use of force, although they point out that this is still an “ambiguous” matter. Among other options, Beijing could impose an air or sea blockade of Taiwan, or launch an amphibious invasion to take or occupy part of nearby islands or all of that territory, notes Washington.
In terms of numbers, the Pentagon estimates that the PLA has 975,000 troops active in combat units, while the Chinese Navy is the largest in the world, with about 340 ships and submarines, including 125 surface combat vessels.
The Air Force is the third largest in the world, according to the United States, with 2,800 aircraft.
In the nuclear field, the US Department of Defense estimates that China has more than 400 nuclear warheads, and that it hopes to “modernize, diversify and expand” its atomic forces over the next decade.