Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China, 2010 [open pdf - 5MB]
"Earlier this decade, China began a new phase of military development by articulating roles and missions for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) that go beyond China's immediate territorial interests. Some of these missions and associated capabilities have allowed the PLA to contribute to international peacekeeping efforts, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and counterpiracy operations. The United States recognizes and welcomes these contributions. Other investments have allowed the PLA to pursue anti-access and area-denial strategies. Still others appear designed to improve the PLA's ability for extended-range power projection, although China's ability to sustain military power at a distance, today, remains limited. As the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Report notes, 'China is developing and fielding large numbers of advanced medium-range ballistic and cruise missiles, new attack submarines equipped with advanced weapons, increasingly capable long-range air defense systems, electronic warfare and computer network attack capabilities, advanced fighter aircraft, and counter-space systems.' Cross-Strait economic and cultural ties continued to make important progress in 2009. Despite these positive trends, China's military build-up opposite the island continued unabated. The PLA is developing the capability to deter Taiwan independence or influence Taiwan to settle the dispute on Beijing's terms while simultaneously attempting to deter, delay, or deny any possible U.S. support for the island in case of conflict. The balance of cross-Strait military forces continues to shift in the mainland's favor. The PLA has made modest improvements in the transparency of China's military and security affairs. However, many uncertainties remain regarding how China will use its expanding military capabilities. The limited transparency in China's military and security affairs enhances uncertainty and increases the potential for misunderstanding and miscalculation."
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