DOD Focuses on China’s Growing Military Capacity> US Department of Defense> Department of Defense News


The Defense Department is heavily focused on China and its growing projection of power, said the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for China.

Chad Sbragia spoke today in Washington at the “Securing the Belt and Road Initiative” forum sponsored by the National Bureau of Asian Research.

“Deploying long-term strategic competition with China is truly the defining challenge of our generation,” he said, referring to economic, military and political competition.

Chinese leaders announced in October 2017 that they wanted to take on a global leadership role, based on their authoritative socialist model, Sbragia notes. And his Defense White Paper 2019, released in July, deals with the growing ability to acquire a “strategic dagger”, he said, that is, the ability to project power in sophisticated ways. worldwide.

“Our vision is a free and open order for all nations, including China – not coercion and force,” he said.

China was a mainland power years ago, he said. Then it became maritime-oriented, especially in the East and South China Seas. Today, he seeks to project sophisticated power on a global scale, especially in areas with high Belt and Road Initiative activity, he said.

The BRI is China’s global investment strategy in infrastructure development, achieving economic leverage in dozens of countries.

“We need diplomatic, economic and security efforts to respond to the activities of the Belt and Road of China, and they must be integrated in a way that has not been done in the past as well as they are. should, ”Sbragia said. A whole-of-government approach that includes interagency cooperation and working to strengthen alliances and partnerships is key to the US response, he added.

However, the United States is not seeking to contain China or disassociate itself from dialogue with the Chinese leadership, he said.

There are strong areas of cooperation between the United States and China, he noted, such as recovering the remains of soldiers lost in World War II and holding discussions on conflict resolution in space. and cyberspace.

Ultimately, Sbragia said, China and the United States are looking to stabilize their relationship and keep the channels of communication open. For his part, he said, he looks forward to more discussions and meetings with his Chinese counterparts, and other DOD leaders are also hoping to engage.

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