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China’s national strategy aims at ‘great rejuvenation of nation’ by 2049, finds US report

China relies excessively on the PLA to fulfil its ‘global ambitions’, the report says, adding, the growing capabilities of the PLA enhances China’s capacity to ‘fight and win wars’ against a strong enemy.

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New Delhi: China’s national strategy aims to achieve “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” by 2049, said a new report published by the United States’ Department of Defense (DoD).

The report added: “The strategy is a determined pursuit of political, social, and military modernity to expand the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China) national power, perfect its governance, and revise the international order in support of Beijing’s system of governance and national interests.”

These findings are part of the DoD’s annual report on “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’ Republic of China”, commonly referred to as the China Military Power Report.

The report is mandated by the Congress and serves as an important assessment of the threat posed by China, while measuring the progress of Beijing’s military and security strategy.

In the report, the DoD also assessed that the Chinese Communist Party relies excessively on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to fulfil its “global ambitions”.

The PRC views the US to be its most significant strategic competitor. The report underscored that the US must be prepared to meet the “pacing challenges” posed by the PRC’s growing military prowess.

Essentially, the report measured the PRC’s national, economic, and military strategy and provides Congress with an overarching assessment of China’s ambitions and intentions.

China’s strategic competition with the US

China understands its strategic competition as rivalry among powerful states, centred around a clash of two opposing ideologies, which manifests specifically in competition with the United States, the report said.

“PRC leaders believe that structural changes in the international system and an increasingly confrontational United States are the root causes of intensifying strategic competition between the PRC and the United States,” the DoD felt.

Further, the report found that Beijing views the US to be using a “whole-of-government” effort to contain the rise of China. This tectonic effort by the US is viewed as a massive obstacle to China’s national strategy.

The PRC also carried out targeted campaigns in foreign companies in order to influence media organisations, businesses, academic and cultural institutions, and policy communities.

This was specifically carried out in the US to “shape public discourse and achieve outcomes favourable to its (China’s) strategic and military objectives,” the report added.

Alluding to the US, the report assessed that the growing capabilities of the PLA also enhances China’s capacity to “fight and win wars” against a “strong enemy”. The PLA’s modernisations also enable them to “counter an intervention by a third party in a conflict along the PRC’s periphery, and project power globally”.

Modernisation in China’s defense industry

In the long run, China aims to develop a completely indigenous and self-reliant defence-industrial complex. The PRC plans to support the defence industry with an advanced civilian industrial and technological sector which can fulfil the PLA’s military demands, the report added.

The DoD also mentioned that “most of China’s missile systems, including its ballistic and cruise missile systems, are comparable in quality to systems of other international top-tier producers. China conducted a test of a new hypersonic weapon system in 2021, building on previous progress in hypersonic weapon development”.

Significantly, a result of China’s focus on domestic defence production has led to their J-10 and J-20 fighters now using domestically manufactured W-10 engines.

The first indigenously made turbofan, the WS-20, is also being tested on the Y-20 military transport aircraft. These WS-20 engines will probably replace the current Russian ones by the end of 2022, the report adds.

“DoD’s defense contacts and exchanges with the PRC in 2021 emphasized responsibly managing competition and establishing commonsense guardrails to ensure competition does not veer into conflict,” said the report.

Also read: Indian students, expats cautious amid China’s widespread protests against strict Covid policy


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