China's Military Can't Conquer Taiwan Just Yet: Pentagon Report

DigitalGlobe via Getty Images

DigitalGlobe via Getty Images

That has prompted concerns from Arctic states over Beijing's long-term strategic objectives, including possible military deployments.

A report titled "2019 China Military Power" released by the Pentagon on Thursday identified Pakistan as one of the countries where Beijing intends to build its military base.

The focus of Pompeo's attack on China, however, is likely to be totally distinct from the Arctic, and just a continuation of the flurry of vague allegations that the Pentagon started with in its own report, part of a broader U.S. policy to portray China as a major enemy and threat to American dominance worldwide.

The report also shows increased Chinese activities in the Arctic region.

China, despite being a non-Arctic state, is increasingly active in the polar region and became an observer member of the Arctic Council in 2013.

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Last year, China released its Arctic Policy, in which it vowed to actively participate in Arctic affairs as a "near-Arctic State" and a key stakeholder in the region. "Geographically, China is a 'Near-Arctic State, ' one of the continental states that are closest to the Arctic Circle", the paper said.

China has set up armed posts in the disputed South China Sea.

So China went to work in the Arctic, seeking to quench its insatiable thirst for resources. OBOR has been renamed as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The aircraft has stealth characteristics and many US officials have said they believe it may contain technologies stolen from USA manufacturers.

The technology may not be fully operational, and the training and doctrine are also holding China back from having an operational triad, though it is "certainly something they are heading toward", Schriver said.

The Pentagon report described some potential scenarios Beijing could follow if it decides to exercise its military power over Taiwan - including a comprehensive campaign specially created to coerce Taiwan to surrender to either a unification dialogue or unification altogether.

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The administration sees China's military buildup as a threat to the world. Talking about the People's Liberation Army's expanding military might, the ICBMs (inter-continental ballistic missiles) now being developed by China "represent a significant improvement" in its nuclear-capable rocket forces, apart from its already large arsenal of cruise and ballistic missiles, said Pentagon.

The Pentagon report said that Denmark has expressed concern about China's interest in Greenland, including proposals to establish a research station and a satellite ground station, renovate airports and expand mining.

The Pentagon sees signs of an increased Chinese presence in the Arctic region, which could include submarines meant to deter nuclear attack. "China has continued to escalate coercive tactics to enforce its claims within the South China Sea", it added.

China has been working seriously to bulk up its worldwide status for more than 20 years.

China, the report states, is expanding its capacity to contest USA military superiority in the event of a regional conflict in the Indo-Pacific.

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Rob Huebert, senior research fellow with the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary, said given "the inevitable logic" of what the Chinese are doing in the Arctic, a discussion of the eventual appearance of their submarines had to take place.

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