Taiwan holds live fire military exercises in response to China threat

China is rapidly building robust lethal force to impose its will in the region US official

China in recent years has poured billions of dollars into developing advanced weapons, some of which outclass USA weapons, but with an inexperienced military it remains years away from challenging American security interests globally, the Pentagon's intelligence agency concluded in a report released Tuesday.

"Domestic laws forced foreign partners of Chinese-based joint ventures to release their technology in exchange for entry into China's lucrative market, and China has used other means to secure needed technology and expertise".

According to the DIA report, China has been acquiring technology "by any means available" - and its military is now more advanced than ever.

The DIA report referenced a Chinese white paper from 2015, titled "China Military Strategy" (pdf), where the Chinese regime explained that while world war is unlikely, it intends to prepare for the possibility of local war.

The developments on Thursday came as China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province, has been pressing companies around the world to change the way they refer to the island amid renewed threats to use force to gain control over it.

"The biggest concern is that ... they are getting to a point where the PLA leadership may actually tell Xi Jinping that they are confident in their capabilities", the official said, referring to China's president. "By doing so, China has been able to focus on expediting its military modernization at a small fraction of the original cost", it said.

The People's Republic of China is "on the verge" of fielding some of the most modern weapon systems in the world and is "continuing to strengthen" its military space capabilities - despite its public stance against the militarization of space, according to a Pentagon report.

According to the report, by 2025 China will have made new medium- and long-range stealth bombers capable of striking regional and global targets.

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Earlier this month Xi called on Taiwan to reject independence and embrace "peaceful reunification" with China in a conciliatory speech that nevertheless took a hard line on the self-governing island's political sovereignty and freedoms.

The report said China's "robust, lethal force" could dominate "air, maritime, space and information domains" and undermine U.S. interest.

These include submarines, anti-ship and anti-air missiles.

And the Chinese leader added that "we make no promise to renounce the use of force".

Beijing has stepped up pressure on Taiwan since independence-leaning Tsai won presidential elections in 2016.

U.S. -China relations have become increasingly frayed on the military and economic fronts over the past year.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen refused to acknowledge a "one China" solution and said she will not back down, despite losing re-election to a more Beijing-friendly opponent. "The challenge, of course, is for measuring against a globally active USA military that has many different missions and many different tasks, so I think there's a very long way for the PLA to reach that level". "We know in the past they have considered themselves a developing, weaker power", the official said, as quoted by Defense News.

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