According to a new Pentagon report, China is “likely” training its pilots from its fleet of long-range bombers for missions targeting the US. Referring to the China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Congress-mandated report said:
“Over the last three years, the PLA has rapidly expanded its overwater bomber operating areas, gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against US and allied targets.”
The report, which covers Chinese military developments over the last year, said that China is pursuing a nuclear capability on its long-range bombers, with the Chinese air force reportedly being “re-assigned a nuclear mission”:
“The deployment and integration of nuclear-capable bombers would, for the first time, provide China with a nuclear ‘triad’ of delivery systems dispersed across land, sea, and air.”
On top of the bombers it maintains and trains, the report claims that “China is developing a stealthy, long-range strategic bomber with a nuclear delivery capability that could be operational within the next 10 years,” and added that the nation is deploying “increasingly advance military capabilities intended to coerce Taiwan” in an attempt to stop Taiwan from declaring independence.
The report further highlighted that China has set up its first overseas base in Djibouti and said that the nation “will seek to establish additional military bases in countries with which it has a longstanding friendly relationship and similar strategic interests, such as Pakistan, and in which there is a precedent for hosting foreign militaries.”
Noting that China is continuing to build its counterspace capabilities “including kinetic-kill missiles,ground-based lasers and orbiting space robots,” the Pentagon reported that Beijing is working “to expand space surveillance capabilities that can monitor objects across the globe and in space and enable counterspace actions.”