The US Defense Department expressed concern over China’s rapidly growing military spending, saying the increased expenditure is paving way for Beijing to expand its sphere of influence and challenge the US across the globe.
“China’s military investments provide it with a growing ability to project power at increasingly longer range,” the Pentagon said in an annual report to the US Congress, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Laying out the challenges facing America, the report noted that while US military spending is in decline, China is spending billions of dollars to develop stealth fighters, cyber weaponry, armed drones and a growing naval fleet that has repeatedly faced off with those of its Asian neighbors.
China spent more than US$145 billion on military programs in 2013, the Pentagon estimated.
The Chinese air force is aggressively modernizing “on a scale unprecedented in its history and is rapidly closing the gap with Western air forces across a broad spectrum of capabilities,” the report said.
It also warned that China continues to use cyberwarfare to target the US.
In other remarks, the Pentagon said China is “capable of increasingly sophisticated military action against Taiwan,” which remains a main driver of the country’s military spending.
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