China Expansion

China will transition from a regional to a global military power within the next decade, an Asian security analyst said Wednesday. Speaking at an AFA Mitchell Institute breakfast on Capitol Hill, Rick Fisher, senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said the communist nation is expanding its military capabilities across the board, reorganizing its People’s Liberation Army to exploit that technology, and projecting force beyonds its borders and into space to build a world-class and then world-dominant military force. As part of the military shuffle, Fisher said, the PLA recently elevated its service that controls nuclear and conventional missiles—the Rocket Force—and created a new service—the Strategic Support Force—to handle a combination of electronic reconnaissance, surveillance assets, and space combat capabilities. The Chinese government, Fisher said, is also increasing its cooperation with foreign militaries. He said Russia and China already cooperate on space and just announced they will hold a joint missile defense exercise in May. And Argentina, he said, will host a Chinese space tracking and control facility. Fisher said he believes control of the earth-moon system is China’s goal. “And when they get to the moon,” he said, “it won’t be one big step for China, it will be one big step for the People’s Liberation Army.” (See also: China Releases White Paper on Military Strategy.)