The first white paper since 2012 gives rare insight into the world's largest army and Beijing's military ambitions. File photo/ AFP
China outlined plans to build a modern, high-tech army in a national defence plan published on Wednesday, while accusing Washington of undermining global strategic stability and warning against Taiwanese independence.
The first white paper since 2012 gives rare insight into the world’s largest army and Beijing’s military ambitions.
“International strategic competition is on the rise,” the document says, adding that the United States has adjusted its national security and defence strategies and adopted “unilateral policies.”
The US “has provoked and intensified competition among major countries, significantly increased its defence expenditure, pushed for additional capacity in nuclear, outer space, cyber and missile defence, and undermined global strategic stability.”
The plan calls for more cutting-edge technology in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) arsenal, admitting it “still lags far behind the world’s leading militaries.”
War is evolving towards “intelligent warfare,” the national security plan says, citing a growing use of AI, big data, cloud computing and “new and high-tech military technologies based on IT.”
China’s defence spending is second only to the United States, and it said earlier this year it planned to increase it by 7.5 per cent in 2019.
Despite the ambitious plans, it insists the Chinese army is a “staunch force for world peace.”
But within its own borders it is less sanguine, promising to “crack down” on separatists in Xinjiang and Tibet.
Beijing is firmer still on the self-ruled island of Taiwan — which China views as its own territory — and makes “no promise to renounce the use of force” in bringing it back into the fold.
“China must be and will be reunited,” the paper reads. “China has the firm resolve and the ability to safeguard national sovereignty... and will never allow the secession of any part of its territory by anyone.”
It says Taiwan “separatists” are the biggest threat to the peaceful reunification of the country.
“The PLA will resolutely defeat anyone attempting to separate Taiwan from China,” is says.
The PLA has been focused on catching up with technology used by armed forces in the US and western Europe, and is reportedly building a third aircraft carrier as well as developing new generation destroyer vessels, fighter jets and ballistic missiles.
The United States and China said they made progress in trade talks that concluded on Friday in Beijing that Washington called “candid and constructive” as the world’s two largest economies try to resolve a bitter, nearly nine-month trade war.
US FedEx Corp on Friday again apologised and blamed Washington’s ban on Huawei for being “unclear” as Beijing deepened an investigation into why the delivery firm was holding up packages meant for the telecoms equipment maker.
Chinese firms, willing to buy American agricultural products, have asked for prices from US firms and will sign commercial contracts, ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a news conference.
Steps of economic integration among the states of the council, including the customs union, the Gulf common market and financial and monetary integration to achieve the full Gulf citizenship and economic unity by 2025.
The European Union is pushing for wide deployment of artificial intelligence across the bloc, so European companies can catch up with rivals in Asia and the United States.
Rain was witnessed over Sieh Shuaib in Abu Dhabi, Jebel Ali in Dubai. Light to moderate rain was witnessed over Al Dhaid in Sharjah and Dibba in Fujairah.