New Report Calls China’s Military Capabilities ‘Formidable’

While the sequester is forcing the US to drastically reduce its military footprint, China continues to grow its own military capabilities, US-China Economic Security and Review Commission member Larry Wortzel told members of the House Armed Services Committee Nov. 20. “The extensive modernization of the People’s Liberation Army enables the PLA to conduct operations farther from China’s coast and makes the PLA more formidable in all the dimensions of war: air, space, land, sea, and the electromagnetic spectrum, which includes cyber,” said Wortzel, who was testifying on the findings of the commission’s annual report to Congress released the same day. Wortzel said many of China’s modernization initiatives are designed to restrict US activity in the Pacific. For example, he noted China is getting new bombers that are capable of carrying long-range, land-attack cruise missiles and continues to make progress on new stealth fighters. The launch of a rocket into Earth’s geosynchronous orbit earlier this year “probably tested the vehicle component of a new high altitude anti-satellite capability, and that would threaten our [Global Positioning System] satellites and our [Space Based Infrared System satellites, as well as] infrared missile launch detection satellites,” said Wortzel.