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This Vital Oil And Gas Choke Point Could Be At Risk

This Vital Oil And Gas Choke Point Could Be At Risk

SCS

Beijing is taking to task a Pentagon report, ”Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2018” released last Thursday on China’s military activities.

The annual report issued by the Pentagon and presented to Congress, highlights growing Chinese naval capability, all the while underscoring the narrowing gap between China’s maritime forces and he U.S. Navy as well as China’s increased naval activity in the Western Pacific Ocean. The report states that China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has global ambitions far beyond the traditional perimeters of its land-based defense systems, a claim that Beijing has always cleverly downplayed.

“The PLAN continues to develop into a global force, gradually extending its operational reach beyond East Asia and the Indo-Pacific into a sustained ability to operate at increasingly longer ranges,” the Pentagon report said, “The PLAN’s latest naval platforms enable combat operations beyond the reach of China’s land-based defenses.”

“China’s aircraft carrier and planned follow-on carriers, once operational, will extend air defense coverage beyond the range of coastal and shipboard missile systems, and enable task group operations at increasingly longer ranges,” the report states. It adds that Chinese bombers are also likely training for “strikes” on U.S. targets. Experts agree, claiming that decades of increased investment in new technology by China’s military means it will soon have the capabilities to strike U.S. military installations in the Pacific by air.

“Furthermore, the PLAN now has a sizable force of high-capability logistical replenishment ships to support long-distance, long-duration deployments, including two new carrier operations. The expansion of naval operations beyond China’s immediate region will also facilitate non-war uses of military force.” China continues to learn lessons from operating its first aircraft carrier, Liaoning, the Pentagon said.

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