The Department of Defense announces the release of its annual report on "Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China." The congressionally mandated report serves as an authoritative assessment on military and security developments involving the PRC.
This year's report highlights the links between China's national strategy and developments within China's armed forces.
Under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the strategy calls for "the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation" by 2049, including the transformation of the People's Liberation Army into a "world-class” military.
The report comes at a time when the world is witnessing the aggressive assertion of that strategy in the Indo-Pacific and beyond, where China continues to undermine the international rules-based order to advance their own interests.
This report accounts for the PRC's national strategy and the drivers of China’s security behavior and military strategy, covers key developments in China's military modernization and reform, and provides new insights into China's strategic ambitions in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
The report also discusses China's views of strategic competition, the broader purposes of its Military-Civil Fusion Development Strategy, and its ambitions for the PLA as a political entity of the party.
The National Defense Strategy identifies the Indo-Pacific region as the department's priority theater. As Secretary Mark Esper noted during his recent remarks at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, the department continues to take steps to address the strategic challenges posed by the PRC as we implement the NDS, including the modernization of our forces, strengthening our alliances and partnerships, and promoting interconnected security partnerships to advance our shared interests.
The report comes as the Secretary of Defense is wrapping up his trip to Hawaii, Palau and Guam, where he has met with senior leaders from across the region to address these very issues, and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The report can be found here.
Transcript: Defense Secretary Addresses Free and Open Indo-Pacific at APCSS