Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2011

The long-awaited Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2011 was finally delivered to Congress.

A classified and unclassified version of the DoD report was authorized by Section 1246, “Annual Report on Military and Security Developments Involving the People‟s Republic of China,” of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, Public Law 111-84.

I’ve made the unclassified report available embedded as part of this post.

I’ve read the report and was surprised at how gingerly the DoD broached China’s developments. I suppose there’s a need to be very diplomatic so as not to foment discord; however, there are reasons for concern whether supported by fact or simply gut feel.

The DoD’s report identifies modernization efforts, expansions and additions to the Peoples Liberation Army, PLA, that can only be classified as enhancing the Peoples Republic of China, PRC, first strike capabilities.

The DoD discusses an aggressive expansion in Naval assets giving China much more than regional capabilities. Land based ballistic missiles, anti-ship cruise missiles, over the horizon radars, communications/surveillance/navigation satellites, modernization of its 1.2 million man force and an aggressive cyber and information warfare strategy are areas identified as high priorities within the PLA. The PRC, using industrial partnerships or dual use research programs have been acquiring technologies that are covered by ITAR regulations.

The People’s Republic of China asserts its plans are not expansionist, and I for one believe this to be a credible statement for the time being. In order for China to continue its economic development, it has to be perceived as a responsible and credible member of the international community; yet rhetoric from within the Chinese Communist Party, CCP and the PLA would indicate otherwise. Is it cheerleading and flag-waving, or is it real?

This is the risk that has to be managed by the DoD and Congress…

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