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BY: Bill Gertz
The U.S. military is adding forces and bases in Asia to counter a "massive" buildup of Chinese military forces and aggressive efforts by Beijing to expand Chinese communism, the commander of the Indo-Pacific Command told Congress on Tuesday.
Adm - Philip - Davidson - Pacom - Commander
Adm. Philip Davidson, the new Pacom commander, testified that China's military buildup includes significant numbers of advanced missiles, aircraft, ships, submarines and nuclear forces and he called China "the greatest long-term threat to a free and open Indo-Pacific region."
"Through fear and economic pressure, Beijing is working to expand its form of communist-socialist ideology in order to bend, break, and replace the existing rules-based international order," Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Place - Beijing - Order - China - Characteristics
"In its place, Beijing seeks to create a new international order led by China and with Chinese characteristics," he added, an outcome that will replace the over 70 years of U.S.-backed peace and stability.
Davidson testified that new U.S. weapons and forces will be added to respond to the Chinese buildup of its conventional, nuclear, and "gray zone" warfare capabilities—information and influence operations below the level of traditional armed conflict.
Command - Personnel - Ships - Aircraft - Carrier
The command currently is staffed with around 375,000 military and civilian personnel, about 200 ships, including five aircraft carrier strike groups, and around 1,100 aircraft.
"Over the last 20 years, Beijing has undertaken a massive effort to grow and modernize the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)," Davidson testified. "The PLA is the principal threat to U.S. interests, U.S. citizens, and our allies inside the first island chain—a term that refers to the islands that run from northern Japan through Taiwan, the Philippines, and Indonesia—and the PLA is quickly increasing its ability to project power and influence beyond the first island chain."
Buildup - Efforts - Forces - Numbers - Lethality
The Chinese military buildup includes both qualitative and quantitative efforts to modernize forces and boost both numbers and lethality of its weapons.
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