Annual Report on the Military Power of the People's Republic of China 2003   [open pdf - 700KB]

"Beijing is pursuing its long-term political goals of developing its comprehensive national power and ensuring a favorable 'strategic configuration of power.' China's efforts to accomplish its security goals involve an integrated strategy that seeks to apply diplomatic, informational, military, and economic instruments of national power. China's leaders believe that national unity and stability are critical if China is to survive and develop as a nation. Chinese leaders also believe they must maintain conditions of state sovereignty and territorial integrity. While seeing opportunity and benefit in interactions with the United States-primarily in terms of trade and technology-Beijing apparently believes that the United States poses a significant long-term challenge. In support of its overall national security objectives, China has embarked upon a force modernization program intended to diversify its options for use of force against potential targets such as Taiwan, the South China Sea and border defense, and to complicate United States intervention in a Taiwan Strait conflict. Preparing for a potential conflict in the Taiwan Strait is the primary driver for China's military modernization. While it professes a preference for resolving the Taiwan issue peacefully, Beijing is also seeking credible military options. Should China use force against Taiwan, its primary goal likely would be to compel a quick negotiated solution on terms favorable to Beijing. China is developing advanced information technology and long-range precision strike capabilities, and looking for ways to target and exploit the perceived weaknesses of technologically superior adversaries."

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