Pentagon report eyes China's cyberwarfare, antisatellite programs

Chinese authorities say assessment of Chinese military distorted facts.

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China's military expansion is continuing unabated, putting regional stability at risk as the military expands its space and cyberwarfare programs, warned the US Pentagon Monday in its annual report on China's military power. Chinese officials called into question the report's facts, saying it reflected "cold-war thinking."

According to the US Department of Defense transcripts, David Sedney, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for East Asia, said,

The report says that "a potential military confrontation with Taiwan, and the prospect of U.S. military intervention, remain the PLA's [People's Liberation Army] most immediate military concerns." The BBC says that's raised international concern about a possible regional conflict.

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The New York Times says that space defense programs were the most notable military development identified by the report:

However, the analysis comes just weeks after the US shot down one of its own spy satellites, claiming that the toxic fuel load posed a potential danger to populated areas. According to Al Jazeera, US accusations against China for its military space program have been weakened because of its own satellite maneuver:

Among other new developments, cyberwarfare was also pinpointed as a crucial new battlefield being explored by the Chinese, says The Military Family Network:

Indeed, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, which calls cyberwarfare "the new frontier," China already possesses a well-developed and offensive cyberthreat:

According to the Pentagon, this year, China has also expanded its traditional arms base, reports the Financial Times:

However, CNN says the report shows Chinese military spending still remains far below that of the US military:

But Voice of America reports that the Chinese military is calling on its government to expand their budget:

Chinese authorities responded by saying the Pentagon report distorted the facts, reports Reuters. The authorities also denied engaging in cyberwarfare.

While Chinese military expansion has long worried the US military establishment, this report comes as military relations between the two countries have warmed from a 2001 low following the collision of a Chinese fighter jet with a US spy plane. Last week, the two countries agreed to set up a military hot line for communicating in emergencies and China agreed to hand over sensitive records on American servicemen missing since the 1950-53 Korean War.

But, as the Financial Times reports, a possible crisis never appears too far away:

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