Communist China is engaged in a whole-of-nation approach to expand its military, seize Taiwan, and topple the United States as leader of the international order, according to a new report released by the Pentagon.
The Department of Defense’s annual China Military Power Report (pdf), released on Nov. 29, serves as an authoritative assessment of the military power and strategy of China’s communist regime, which the department considers to be the United States’ “pacing challenge.”
“The 2022 National Security Strategy identifies the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the only competitor with the intent and, increasingly, the capacity to reshape the international order,” the document said, using the official name for communist China.
“The PRC increasingly views the United States as deploying a whole-of-government effort meant to contain the PRC’s rise, which presents obstacles to its national strategy.”
To that end, the report said that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) national strategy was dedicated to achieving the so-called “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” by 2049, in which communist China would reign as the supreme power on earth.
“The strategy is a determined pursuit of political, social, and military modernity to expand the PRC’s national power, perfect its governance, and revise the international order in support of Beijing’s system of governance and national interests,” the report said.
To support this revisionist ambition, the report said, the CCP is deploying domestic, foreign, and military policies aimed at eroding U.S. dominance worldwide and supplanting the democratic international order with a new system of authoritarian powers.
“The PRC has characterized its view of strategic competition in terms of a rivalry among powerful nation states, as well as a clash of opposing ideological systems,” the report said.
“PRC leaders believe that structural changes in the international system and an increasingly confrontational United States are the root causes of intensifying strategic competition between PRC and the United States.”
Domestically, the report said, the CCP was pursuing its strategy of Military-Civil Fusion, designed to effectively “fuse” defense and development strategies by eliminating the separation of public and private enterprise.
CCP foreign policy, meanwhile, seeks to build a “community of common destiny” that supports the regime’s pursuit of its revisionist ambitions for the international order.
Concerning the regime’s military development, the report said that the CCP’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), had achieved its goal of modernization by 2020, and now “sets its sights to 2027” to fully integrate its latest capabilities and doctrines.
“If realized, this 2027 objective could give the PLA capabilities to be a more credible military tool for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to wield as it pursues Taiwan unification,” the report said, referring to the self-ruled island the CCP views as its own.
“The PLA increasingly view warfare as a confrontation between opposing operational systems, rather than a war of annihilation between opposing mechanized military forces.”