China’s military

China’s military

Latest news, features and opinion on the military in China, including the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the development of warships, aircraft carriers and fighter jets, spending on the armed forces

Show more
China’s military is asking for an even bigger budget. Here’s why
China’s military leaders are fighting for a substantial increase in their budget to be announced at an upcoming parliamentary session, arguing that the world’s largest standing army needs more resources to cope with volatile challenges at home and overseas.  At the top of the list is the growing confrontation with the United States. China-US relations have hit a low point amid a trade war, spats over civil liberties and Taiwan, and conflicts over Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. Disputes between Washington and Beijing over the origins of the coronavirus have added to the toxic brew. From Beijing’s viewpoint, the military threats are on its doorstep with US bombers runnin
China unsure if it should unveil its new stealth bomber this year
China’s new generation strategic bomber is likely to be ready for delivery this year, but Beijing is said to be undecided about unveiling it at a complex time in regional relations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Military sources said the Xian H-20 subsonic stealth bomber – expected to double the country’s strike range – could make its first public appearance at China’s largest air show, in the southern city of Zhuhai in November, if the pandemic is sufficiently under control. “The Zhuhai Airshow is expected to become a platform to promote China’s image and its success in pandemic control – telling the outside world that the contagion did not have any big impacts on Chinese defense enterpri
Could the pandemic trigger conflict in the South China Sea?
As the USS Barry, one of the US’ most advanced destroyers, sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday last week, an officer on board posted a message on Facebook: “They don’t call us the Finest Forward Deployed Destroyer for nothing! Your Bulldogs always have the watch – together, we ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific!” Based in Yokosuka, Japan, the guided-missile destroyer was no stranger to the sensitive channel separating Taiwan and mainland China. In fact, this was its second passage this month through the 112-mile-wide waterway – defined as part of the South China Sea under international protocol. As the Covid-19 global health crisis continues to rage, infecting more than 3 million p
US military requests $20 billion to counter China
American military officials have requested an additional $20 billion in funding from legislators to fortify the country’s naval, airborne and ground-based operations in the Indo-Pacific region. The new funding request is a sign of Washington’s intensifying efforts to counter China’s military presence in the Pacific.  “Without a valid and convincing conventional deterrent, China and Russia will be emboldened to take action in the region to supplant US interests,” read an executive summary of the request obtained by Breaking Defence, a military news outlet that first reported the move. The request by the Pentagon’s Indo-Pacific Command for funding, which would last through financial year 2026,
US Navy launches live-fire missiles in ‘warning to China’
The US Navy was targeting China with live-fire missile tests in the Philippine Sea last week, sending a message that it was up to the challenge of the Chinese military’s new advanced systems, military analysts said. In the drill in waters east of the Philippines on Thursday, the guided-missile destroyer USS Barry launched a medium-range Standard Missile-2, the US Seventh Fleet said on its Facebook page. It was accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh, which also launched an SM-2 during the drill. The Philippines Sea is separated from the disputed South China Sea, a major flashpoint in the US-China rivalry, by the Philippines.  Beijing claims almost all of the energy-rich South Ch
How China’s military took a frontline role in the coronavirus crisis
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has taken on some of the country’s heaviest responsibilities in helping fight the novel coronavirus outbreak, military experts said. Since Beijing declared the highest level of medical emergency in Hubei province, where the coronavirus outbreak originated, on January 25, more than 10,000 personnel have been sent into the area. The PLA was also armed with more power than local governments to control medical supplies, a sign of the central government’s determination to contain the spread of the virus. “The military has been well trained to give a quick response to any critical events,” Beijing-based military observer Zhou Chenming said. “All the officers
The US is patrolling the South China Sea more than ever
US Navy patrols near disputed features claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea hit a record high last year, newly released figures show, as the Trump administration ramped up its efforts to challenge China’s territorial claims in the contested waterway. US Navy vessels sailed within 12 nautical miles of features claimed or occupied by China seven times in 2019, according to data released by the US Pacific Fleet – the highest number of so-called freedom of navigation patrols (FONOPs) since Beijing controversially began constructing artificial islands around disputed reefs in the waterway in 2014. Washington carried out five such operations in 2018, six in 2017 – President Donald Trump’s fir
Has China outsmarted the US in the South China Sea?
Before assuming his post as commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral Philip S Davidson issued a stark warning about Washington’s loosening grip in the fiercely contested South China Sea. “In short, China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios, short of war with the United States,” Davidson said during a Senate confirmation hearing ahead of his appointment as the top US military official in the region in May 2018. For many analysts, the dire assessment was a long-overdue acknowledgment of their concerns. Today, there is a growing sense it did not go far enough. Washington’s strategic advantage in the waterway, which holds massive untapped oil an
The US-China rivalry will lead to an epic arms race
The defining character of the relationship between China and the United States has, for decades, been based on a gradual transition of power. Beijing recognized this early on, but a lot of powerful people in Washington did not realize what was happening until relatively recently. They had believed that the bilateral relationship was primarily about commerce. Now that it is apparent what the relationship really is about – the slow devolution of power from Washington towards Beijing – it is having a profound impact on how the two nations interact and compete. As China continues to grow stronger, it will become increasingly less inclined to compromise on issues it views as important to Chinese