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China 'training for strikes' on United States targets

China 'training for strikes' on United States targets

A B-6K strategic bomber aircraft of the Chinese Air Force is seen before the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, October 25, 2016.

"The best-case scenario for the region would be China reconsidering the electricity supply source for its controlled islands, or at least a delay in the deployment of the fleet", given potential safety challenges and security risks from pirates or regional terror groups, Viet Phuong Nguyen, a nuclear researcher at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, wrote in The Diplomat that month.

The report says while the PLA has continued to extend operations, it is not clear what message Beijing is seeking to send by carrying out the flights "beyond a demonstration of improved capabilities".

Has China responded to the report's claims?

The Pentagon warned in a startling new report that China is likely training for bombing strikes against US targets, while developing its nuclear capabilities.

The new report said that China's space program "continues to mature rapidly" and is also developing counterspace capabilities to "degrade and deny adversary use of space-based assets during a crisis or conflict".

The P-8A Poseidon jet was flying close to disputed territory over the South China Sea when the PLA issued the series of alarming warnings.

China has increased its military spending and capabilities in recent years and is probably conducting exercises created to train the army for strikes against USA targets, according to a report from the Pentagon.

The China Securities Journal - a Chinese state-run financial newspaper - said in 2016 that China could build as many as 20 floating nuclear plants to "speed up the commercial development" of the South China Sea, the South China Morning Post reported previous year.

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-China tensions over trade, was contained in an annual report that highlighted China's efforts to increase its global influence, with defense spending that the Pentagon estimates exceeded $190 billion in 2017.

The Pentagon report said that despite a projected slowdown in economic growth, China's official defense budget would be more than $240 billion by 2028.

The Pentagon report is at pains to stress that the United States "seeks a constructive and results-oriented relationship with China".

The US also continues to maintain a substantial military presence in Japan, which has its own territorial disputes with China and the Philippines.

Key to this expanding footprint is China's "Belt and Road" initiative that seeks to bolster ties with other nations through lending and infrastructure deals.

The document also warns that China "is likely preparing for a contingency to unify Taiwan with China by force".

There is regular contact between United States and Chinese military officials.

The East China Sea and the South China Sea have been flashpoints for provocative military behaviour from China and its neighbours, to the ire of the US.