The Department of Defense released its annual report titled, Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This comprehensive report, mandated by Congress, provides a deep dive into China’s military and security advancements, shedding light on the growing influence of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Generally, in 2022, the PLA took on a more prominent role as a tool of statecraft, engaging in assertive actions in the Indo-Pacific region while bolstering its nuclear, space, and cyber capabilities. The report underscores the importance of recognizing and addressing the challenge posed by China’s increasingly formidable military.
- Expanding National Power: The PRC aims to bolster its national power to fulfill its goal of achieving “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” by 2049. This vision extends to revising the international order in favor of the PRC’s system of governance and national interests.
- Increasing Military Coercion: In 2022, the PRC adopted more aggressive and provocative actions in the Indo-Pacific region. The United States documented over 180 instances of PLA coercive air intercepts against U.S. aircraft and around 100 instances of coercive air behavior against U.S. allies and partners.
- Strengthening Strategic Capabilities: The PRC is actively enhancing its nuclear, space, and counterspace capabilities, with a focus on modernizing its nuclear forces and developing cyberspace, space, and counterspace capabilities.
- Intensifying Pressure Against Taiwan: Throughout 2022, the PLA increased its provocative actions around the Taiwan Strait, including missile overflights and simulated joint blockade operations.
- Deepening PRC-Russia Ties: Overall, the PRC considers its partnership with Russia crucial to its development and emergence as a great power, although it has discreetly supported Russia in its war against Ukraine.
- Limited Military Communication: In 2022 and 2023, the PLA largely resisted military-to-military communication with the United States, a challenge for maintaining open lines of communication to prevent conflict.
You can read the full report here.
For more information, check out HSDL’s resources related to U.S.-China relations.