You are here

US Department of Defense, Military Power of the People’s Republic of China, 2003, July 28, 2003

This is the Department of Defense’s annual report to Congress.

July 28, 2003
Print

View reports from other years:

2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 2013 | 2012 | 2011 |
2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002

Executive Summary

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. In particular, Beijing has greatly expanded its arsenal of increasingly accurate and lethal ballistic missiles and long-range strike aircraft that are ready for immediate application should the PLA be called upon to conduct war before its modernization aspirations are fully realized.

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. In particular, Beijing has greatly expanded its arsenal of increasingly accurate and lethal ballistic missiles and long-range strike aircraft that are ready for immediate application should the PLA be called upon to conduct war before its modernization aspirations are fully realized.

China’s force modernization program is heavily reliant upon assistance from Russia and other states of the Former Soviet Union. China hopes to fill short-term gaps in capabilities by significantly expanding its procurement of Russian weapon systems and technical assistance over the next several years. The success of China’s force modernization, however, will depend upon its ability to overcome a number of technical, logistical, and training obstacles.

Click here to read the full report.

Print

Events

December 14, 2019 - 9:00am
Pasadena, California

Longtime instructor Guang-Li (David) Zhang, a graduate of the Shanghai Art Academy teaches beginner and advanced students Chinese Calligraphy in mixed lecture and workshop classes.