15 May 2016

Pentagon Report Aims to Lay Out Chinese Military Goals

Andrew S. Erickson, “Pentagon Report Aims to Lay Out Chinese Military Goals,” China Real Time Report (中国实时报), Wall Street Journal, 15 May 2016.

With things heating up in the South China Sea and across the Taiwan Strait, Washington just attempted to shine some badly needed light on Beijing’s military efforts.

On Friday, the Pentagon released its 15th annual report to Congress on Chinese military and security development, its last under the Obama administration. “Despite China’s opacity…this report documents the kind of military that China is building,” Abraham Denmark, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, explained at the media rollout event. “We hope it contributes to the public’s understanding of the PLA.”

Indeed it does. China characteristically dismissed the report, without seeking to disprove any of its assertions. As Mr. Denmark stressed, the Pentagon publication “lets the facts speak for themselves.” He highlighted three key areas of emphasis: military maritime activities, power projection and reforms. …