China's military modernisation effort, including the enhancement of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), has become the top focus of US defence planning and budgeting, according to a 24 September report by the US Congressional Research Service about the implications of Chinese naval modernisation for US naval capabilities.
Ronald O'Rourke, a specialist in naval affairs and the author of the report, states that the US Navy has been taking a number of actions in recent years to counter the PLAN's growing capabilities.
Among other things, the service has shifted a greater percentage of its fleet to the Pacific; assigned its most-capable new ships and aircraft and its best personnel to the region; and maintained or increased general presence operations and training and developmental exercises, as well as engagement and co-operation with allied and other navies in the Asia-Pacific region, said O'Rourke.
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