Pentagon warns of risk of Chinese submarines in the Arctic

May 06, 2019, 01:14
Pentagon warns of risk of Chinese submarines in the Arctic

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, recently warned Congress that United States companies that did business in China were often indirectly benefiting the Chinese military, citing Google as an example. The capabilities that China acquires by these means include "dynamic random access memory, aviation technologies, and antisubmarine warfare technologies", all of which have "the potential to degrade core U.S. operational and technological advantages".

"China will seek to establish additional military bases in countries with which it has a long-standing friendly relationship and similar strategic interests, such as Pakistan, and in which there is a precedent for hosting foreign militaries", the report said.

The report, mandated by Congress, highlights Chinese military advancements in power projection, stating that "ground, naval, air, and missile forces are increasingly able to project power through peacetime operations".

China maintains research stations in Iceland and Norway and operates one Ukrainian-built icebreaking research vessel, the Xuelong (Snow Dragon), which in 2017 completed its eighth Arctic expedition and became the first Chinese official vessel to traverse Canada's Northwest Passage, the report notes.

The US Defence Department expects China to add military bases around the world to protect its investments in it ambitious Belt and Road global infrastructure programme, according to an official report.

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The report also shows increased Chinese activities in the Arctic region.

Last August, China successfully tested its hypersonic glide vehicle, the XINGKONG-2, that it publicly said is a hypersonic waverider vehicle.

China aims to replace the United States as the leading military power in the Indo-Pacific region, US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver said during a press briefing on Friday. Beijing continues to use "persuasion and coercion" to limit the growth of pro-independence sentiment on self-rule island of Taiwan, the report said.

The Pentagon report also discussed Taiwan, a country China dubs as a renegade province. Talking about the People's Liberation Army's expanding military might, the ICBMs (inter-continental ballistic missiles) now being developed by China "represent a significant improvement" in its nuclear-capable rocket forces, apart from its already large arsenal of cruise and ballistic missiles, said Pentagon.

"My sense of the way the Chinese operate is somewhat incremental", Brown said in an interview this week at Bloomberg's headquarters in NY.

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The Pentagon said in a document released on Thursday that Chinese activities could include the deployment of submarines to act as deterrents against nuclear attack.

"We're tracking what they're doing", Schriver said. There has been progress in developing the fifth-generation FC-31 and J-20 aircraft, including a recent demonstration of both the J-20 in November.

China is also building a new icebreaker capable of operating in the Arctic, which is expected to enter service in 2019.

It said that while China speaks of peaceful unification with Taiwan, the Chinese government has never given up the use of force as an option, and continues to develop and deploy advanced military capabilities, paving the way for a potential military campaign to increase the pressure on Taipei.

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