As Pentagon Report Warns of Chinese Military Might, Gates Emphasizes Cooperation

As Pentagon Report Warns of Chinese Military Might, Gates Emphasizes Cooperation

In his presentation at the June 1-3 annual Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore, Defense Secretary Robert Gates appeared much more sanguine about the possibilities of establishing a constructive Sino-American military relationship than his own Defense Department. A few days earlier, DOD had released the latest version of its annual publication, "Military Power of the People's Republic of China 2007" (pdf file). The report's content is replete with warnings about China's growing military capabilities, something Gates downplayed at Singapore.

As directed by Congress, the report focused on the potential threat posed by China to Taiwan. Its authors warn that China continues to enhance its military capabilities in the region of the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese military has annually deployed 100 additional short-range ballistic missiles in the region for the past few years and now has almost 1,000 missile launchers within range of Taiwan. In addition, China keeps approximately 400,000 regular troops in Taiwan's vicinity. The report warns that the Taiwanese government has created a serious danger by allowing its defense spending to decline (on an inflation-adjusted basis) during the past decade.

The Pentagon study also describes the increasing range of sophisticated "disruptive" military technologies that Beijing could use to attempt to deny the U.S. military access to regions near China, such as Taiwan. These anti-access weapons include China's improving anti-satellite and cyberwar ("information blockade") capabilities. These "Assassin's Mace" programs aim to exploit possible adversary vulnerabilities, such as American dependence on information technologies, through asymmetric strategies.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review