Defense Report Details China Military Trends

NGAUS Washington Report

(May 7, 2013) A Defense Department report titled “2013 Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China” went to Congress Monday.

As the country pivots toward the Pacific region in its foreign policy, the report’s importance increases. The entire report can be read here.

It covers China’s security and military strategies; developments in China’s military doctrine, force structure and advanced technologies; the security situation in the Taiwan Strait; U.S.–China military-to-military contacts and the U.S. strategy for such engagement; and the nature of China’s cyber activities directed against the DoD.

David F. Helvey, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, noted that the report, which DoD coordinated with other agencies, “reflects broadly the views held across the United States government.” The report is factual and not speculative, he noted.

Helvey said the trends in this year’s report show the rising power increasing its rapid military modernization program.

“We see a good deal of continuity in terms of the modernization priorities,” Helvey noted, despite the 2012 and 2013 turnover to new leadership, which happens roughly every decade in China.

The report notes China launched its first aircraft carrier in 2012 and is sustaining investments in advanced short- and medium-range conventional ballistic missiles, land-attack and anti-ship cruise missiles, counter-space weapons and military cyberspace systems.