China adopted ‘more dangerous’ tactics in 2022 as ‘only competitor’ to US, Pentagon warns in new report

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The Pentagon said China adopted ‘more dangerous, coercive and provocative’ actions in the Indo-Pacific this year — as well as ‘risky’ intercepts against U.S. aircraft in the region.

The Department of Defense released its annual report on China’s military power this week, warning that the People’s Republic of China views its ‘no limits’ partnership with Russia as ‘integral’ to advancing its development and emergence as a ‘great power.’

China aims to become a ‘national power’ and achieve ‘the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation’ by 2049, the Pentagon said.

Officials said the People’s Republic of China is ‘the only competitor to the United States with the intent and, increasingly, the capacity to reshape the international order.’

In order to achieve the ‘great rejuvenation,’ the report states China’s strategy is a ‘determined pursuit of political, social, and military modernity to expand the PRC’s national power, perfect its governance, and revise the international order in support of the PRC’s system of governance and national interests.’

‘The PRC views the United States as deploying a whole-of-government effort meant to contain the PRC’s rise, which presents obstacles to its national strategy,’ the report states.

The report also warns that the PRC has adopted ‘more dangerous, coercive and provocative actions in the Indo-Pacific region.’

‘For example, between the fall of 2021 and fall of 2023, the United States documented over 180 instances of PLA coercive and risky air intercepts against U.S. aircraft in the region,’ the report states. ‘Over the same period, the PLA also conducted around 100 instances of coercive and risky operational behavior in the air domain against U.S. allies and partners.’

China is also strengthening its ‘strategic deterrent,’ and is working to modernize, diversify and expand its nuclear forces, the report states. It is also working to develop its cyberspace, space and counter space capabilities.

As for China’s ambitions in Taiwan, the Pentagon said the PLA last year increased ‘provocative and destabilizing actions in and around the Taiwan Strait, including ballistic missile overflights of Taiwan, increased flights into Taiwan’s self-declared air defense identification zone, and large-scale simulated joint blockade and simulated joint firepower strike operations.’

The Pentagon also warned of China’s ‘no limits’ partnership with Russia, saying Beijing views that relationship as ‘integral to advancing the PRC’s development and emergence as a great power.’

‘Nevertheless, Beijing has attempted a discreet approach to providing material support to Russia for its war against Ukraine,’ the report states.

Meanwhile, the report states that China’s PLA has ‘largely denied, cancelled and ignored recurring bilateral U.S.-PRC military-to-military engagements and DOD requests for communication at multiple levels.’

‘DOD is committed to maintaining open lines of communication with the PRC to ensure competition does not veer into conflict,’ the report states.

The Pentagon said that while it continues to monitor China’s evolving military strategy, the United States, along with allies and partners, ‘will continue to urge the PRC to be more transparent about its military modernization program.’

‘The Department remains focused on the operational concepts, capabilities and resources necessary for meeting this pacing challenge,’ the report states.

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