US Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lieutenant General Robert Ashley has expressed concern over the Chinese military’s growing capabilities, especially those extending further into the Pacific Ocean.
“Chinese military forces continue to develop capabilities to dissuade, deter, or defeat potential third-party intervention during a large-scale theatre campaign, such as a Taiwan contingency. China’s military modernisation plan includes the development of capabilities to conduct long-range attacks against adversary forces that might deploy or operate in the western Pacific Ocean,” said Lt Gen Ashley in a 6 March statement for the US Senate Armed Services Committee.
While these capabilities, which span the air, maritime, space, electromagnetic, and information domains, are most robust within the First Island Chain, China is “rapidly extending capabilities further into the Pacific Ocean”, he added.
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