- China conducts trade to strengthen its military.
Americans assume the domains of economy and military are separate; the Chinese government does not. The American Constitution describes the role of the military to protect the people, property, and interests of the United States of America. In contrast to China, strengthening the military is not the goal of US commerce. As such, the US cannot assume that China honors international laws about dual-use technologies. In transacting with China, America may unwittingly be strengthening the Chinese military.
“While MCF has broader purposes than acquiring foreign technology, in practice, MCF means there is not a clear line between the PRC’s civilian and military economies, raising due diligence costs for U.S. and global entities that do not desire to contribute to the PRC’s military modernization.”
- China’s leaders believe that its influence and information warfare is effective in open democracies like the US.
“The PRC conducts influence operations to achieve outcomes favorable to its strategic objectives by targeting cultural institutions, media organizations, business, academic, and policy communities in the United States, other countries, and international institutions. The CCP seeks to condition domestic, foreign, and multilateral political establishments and public opinion to accept Beijing’s narratives.”
- Some may think that because the report is prepared by the Secretary of Defense that it exaggerates the threat. This is the 20th year in which the report is prepared. In no area do we see China de-escalating its militarization. The greater danger is not taking the report seriously enough. Consider the progress China has made from 2019 to 2020
- China’s Navy went from largest in region to largest in world with 350 ships (US has 293)
- China increased launchers for intermediate range ballistic missiles from 80 to 200 and is expect to double its nuke capability in the next decade.
- China has achieved parity, if not exceeded, the US in shipbuilding, land-based conventional ballistic and cruise missiles, and integrated air defense.
- China’s defense spending increased by 6.2 percent, when adjust for inflation
- China increased the ratio of ground forces which could challenge Taiwan’s defense from 3:1 to 5:1
- The People’s Liberation Army is considering logistics locations in “Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Seychelles, Tanzania, Angola, and Tajikistan.” (It’s a first that the Pentagon notes the locations.)