27 May 2015
The Chinese “white paper” on defense strategy—which said Beijing plans to shift its armed forces’ focus toward maritime warfare—confirmed trends the U.S. has been monitoring for some time, a senior U.S. defense official said.
“I don’t think there were any surprises for us in the latest white paper,” the official told reporters traveling to Hawaii with Defense Secretary Ash Carter. “The trends described in that paper are trends that we’ve been following for some years.”
In its first public summary of military strategy, the State Council—China’s cabinet—said the navy will expand its operations from offshore areas to the open seas, while the air force will broaden its focus to include offensive operations as well as defense of China’s territory.
Security experts said the paper reflects Beijing’s increasing comfort in projecting power in the South China Sea.
“In a sense, what they’re really doing is kind of putting language that admits to what they’ve been doing all along,” said Richard Bitzinger, senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “The idea is to go out and meet the enemy as far as you can where the action is.”
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 18/11/2015