US concerned about secretive Chinese military build-up

March 4th, 2008 - 11:25 am ICT by admin  

Washington, March 4 (DPA) China’s secretive military build-up could fuel instability in Asia and create confusion about Beijing’s intentions, the Pentagon has said in a report. “The lack of transparency in China’s military and security affairs poses risks to stability by increasing the potential for misunderstanding and miscalculation,” the report published Monday said.

China has been modernizing its nuclear force by fielding new DF-31 and DF-31A intercontinental ballistic missiles and upgrading its capability to wage war in the Taiwan Strait, it said.

The US has been expressing concerns about potential challenges to US military superiority from China’s build-up as Beijing continues to accelerate improvements to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

The Pentagon said in the report that China does not provide complete figures for its military budget and that some aspects of the build-up are inconsistent with Beijing’s stated goals.

“China’s leaders have yet to explain in detail the purposes and objectives of the PLA’s modernizing military capabilities,” said the report, titled Military Power of the People’s Republic of China.

China has sought to expand its capabilities beyond conventional forces to include the ability to strike in space and through the Internet to disrupt longstanding US advantages, it said.

China sparked international criticism including from the US in January 2007 when it successfully hit its own ageing weather satellite in orbit with a ballistic missile. Washington harshly criticized Beijing for the test.

This February, the US military shot down an unresponsive satellite carrying toxic fuel.

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