[Epoch Times, December 01, 2022](Reported by Epoch Times reporter Song Tang) On November 29, the US Department of Defense released the 2022 “China (CCP) Military and Security Situation Development Report” (Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China), commonly known as the “Report on the Chinese Communist Party’s Military Strength”.
Last month, the Pentagon submitted a classified “Chinese Communist Party’s military power report” to Congress, and the report released this month is an unclassified report for the public. The “Report on the Chinese Communist Party’s Military Power” is continuous and retains some content from previous years. This year’s report continues to focus on nuclear and biological weapons, and adds new content such as the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, deterrence against Taiwan, and the 2021 dynamics of the Chinese Communist Party’s military theaters. Briefly mention the Russo-Ukrainian war, and Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August, etc. in 2022.
The report also provides an assessment of the Chinese military, listing its weapons and operational weaknesses.
1. The CCP’s so-called “strategic deterrence”
At the CCP’s 20th Congress, Xi retained the Seven-member Military Commission, with new members providing political continuity, technical expertise in military modernization and space issues, and combat experience against Taiwan, the report said.
The focus of the report of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, in addition to reaffirming the acceleration of military modernization in the next five years, also put forward the term “strategic deterrence system”.
The report warns the U.S. Congress that China is seeking to “accumulate national power” to change geopolitics to better serve Beijing’s national interests — including strengthening what it calls “strategic deterrence” by boosting its nuclear capabilities.
To strengthen its ambition of “strategic deterrence,” the CCP continues to accelerate the modernization, diversification, and expansion of its nuclear forces. At the same time, the reluctance to discuss the Chinese military’s ability to develop nuclear, space, and cyberspace capabilities negatively impacts global stability.
According to the report, Beijing will continue to accelerate the pace of nuclear expansion in 2021. The U.S. Department of Defense estimates that its stockpile of operational nuclear warheads has exceeded 400. If the expansion continues, by 2035, it may have about 1,500 warheads.
And Beijing has not declared an end goal, has not acknowledged the scale of its nuclear expansion, and has refused to engage in substantive arms control discussions.
The CCP still believes that the United States, which represents the free world, is the biggest obstacle to its goals, and regards the United States as a “strong enemy.” In 2021, the Chinese military began to discuss a new “core operational concept” – a “Multi-Domain Precision Warfare” (MDPW), which combines big data and artificial intelligence for precise strikes, targeting the US military’s combat systems.
In the past 10 years, China’s defense budget has almost doubled, and in 2021 it will continue the growth trend of more than 20 years. The military budget will increase by 6.8%, reaching 209 billion US dollars. However, the U.S. Department of Defense estimates that the budget omits several major categories of expenditures, including research and development and foreign weapons procurement, and the actual military expenditures are much higher than the officially announced defense budget.
In 2021, China will increasingly use the military as a tool of national policy, taking more coercive and aggressive actions in the Indo-Pacific region.
In 2021, the Chinese Rocket Force launched approximately 135 ballistic missiles for testing and training, which is more than the rest of the world combined (excluding ballistic missile use in conflict zones).
The Chinese military has also changed its recruitment strategy, implementing a twice-yearly conscription and placing a greater emphasis on recruiting college students majoring in science and engineering.
The CCP has stepped up diplomatic, economic, political, and military pressure on Taiwan in 2021. Throughout 2021, the Chinese military has increased its provocative and destabilizing actions in and around the Taiwan Strait, including increased flights into Taiwan’s declared air defense identification zone and conducting island-seizure exercises.
2. Biological weapons
The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus pandemic in Wuhan, China in 2019 has increased U.S. suspicions that the Chinese Communist Party may be engaged in the development of biological and chemical weapons, and this year’s report continues this topic.
The report said that the Chinese Communist Party’s chemical and biotechnology infrastructure is sufficient to research, develop and produce some chemical and biological agents or toxins on a large scale.
The United States cannot prove that Beijing has met its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), amid concerns over its research on pharmaceutical agents (PBAs) and toxins with potential dual use.
China continues to engage in dual-use biological activities that raise concerns about its compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), including research by Chinese military medical institutions on potent dual-use toxins.
3. Three Weaknesses of the Chinese Communist Army
The Pentagon’s “China Military Power Report” is largely descriptive, but there are some assessments of the strength of the Chinese military.
For example, despite China’s military ambitions to become a highly modern ground force, they still make extensive use of outdated tanks and armored fighting vehicles.
Although the Chinese military has undergone military reforms to facilitate joint operations capabilities, the ability of the Chinese military to operate beyond the first island chain in support of counterintervention or joint operations is still in its infancy. Most of the Communist Army’s overseas activities are carried out by a single branch of the military.
Although China is the fifth-largest arms exporter, quality defects and low reliability of some exported weapons persist, inhibiting Beijing’s ability to expand the market for arms exports. Many developing countries buy Chinese weapons systems simply because they are less expensive than other similar weapons. At the same time, Chinese arms dealers also use donations and flexible payment methods to attract buyers.
4. Military-civilian integration development strategy
The CCP acquires advanced military-civilian technology through the military-civilian fusion development strategy (MCF). The Biden administration’s extensive ban on the CCP’s advanced chips is to prevent the flow of military-civilian technology to the CCP.
Of particular interest to China are emerging dual-use technologies, including artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, quantum technologies, biotechnology, and advanced materials and manufacturing, the report said.
The CCP designates artificial intelligence as one of its priority areas of technological development and sees advances in artificial intelligence and autonomy as central to intelligent warfare, Beijing’s concept of future warfare.
Beijing sees the combination of military and civilian agencies as central to developing AI military capabilities and has established military-civilian R&D centers that purchase commercially developed AI and robotics technologies to develop AI technologies for the Chinese military.
The CCP has mobilized substantial resources to support its defense modernization, involving espionage in addition to its military-civil fusion development strategy.
Since 2015, the U.S. has indicted China on multiple counts of military espionage, including the procurement and export to China of controlled items including radiation hardened integrated circuits, monolithic microwave integrated circuits, accelerometers, gyroscopes, naval and marine technology, synthetic foam commerce Secret, space communication, military communication jamming equipment, dynamic random access memory, aviation technology and anti-submarine weapons, etc.
The 2021 cases include: In July 2021, a Chinese national was sentenced to 42 months in prison for conspiring to export maritime assault boats and engines to China. The ships and multi-fuel engines can operate after being launched from an underwater submarine or dropped into the ocean by an aircraft, something China does not manufacture.
In April 2021, a Chinese national living in the United States pleaded guilty to conspiring to export equipment with military use to the Chinese government and military. The Chinese national was directed by the Chinese military to acquire dual-use technology for anti-satellite weapons and other advanced military capabilities, including remote-controlled side-scan sonar systems, hydrophones, robotic ships, unmanned submersibles, and unmanned ground vehicles .
In order to obtain military technology, Chinese cyber espionage also poses a complex and persistent threat of cyber espionage and attacks on military and critical infrastructure systems. U.S. targets mainly include proprietary commercial and military technology companies and research related to defense, energy, and other sectors mechanism.
Responsible editor: Lin Yan#