China has eclipsed the United States as the country with the world’s largest navy, according to the Pentagon’s annual report on the Chinese military that it submits to Congress. The new report warns that China is progressing steadily towards its ambition to have a “world-class” military by 2049, a benchmark American officials see as the moment when China will be sufficiently equipped and capable to challenge or even surpass the U.S. military.
This year’s report took particular notice of China’s enhanced military-to-military ties with African and Middle Eastern governments. Additionally, the Pentagon recognized how China is leveraging international organizations including the United Nations and its organizations it helped to create, like the BRICS, AIIB and the New Development Bank to “limit outside interference in and criticism of its initiatives” (page 132).
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