The US Pentagon has released its Annual Report to Congress, a 173-page paper titled “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2020.”
The report says China is ahead of the US in three specific areas: shipbuilding, land-based conventional and cruise missiles, and integrated air defenses. Air defense is the US Achilles’ heel, according to the report.
Because the Pentagon’s paper does not focus on the US military’s posture, the claims in the report – and there are many – are largely unchallenged in their portrayal of China’s military modernization and growth.
For example, China has significantly more ships and submarines than the US – 350 versus 293 – but the report does not consider the quality or capability of China’s navy, or its vulnerability to US and other forces in the area.