Tuesday June 2, 2020


August 29, 2011

The Pentagon’s annual report on China’s military to Congress was released on Wednesday, August 24, 2011, as required by U.S. statute, and addressed American concerns about China’s military modernization. The report examined implications of China’s ability to project power beyond its shores, as well as recent developments in Chinese cyber capabilities and advancements in space.

The report also discussed the trends in China’s military capabilities with respect to relations between the mainland and Taiwan. “Relations with Taiwan have continued to improve, but the PLA shows no sign of slowing its efforts to develop plans and capabilities for a cross-Strait contingency,” the report stated. While the report downplayed China’s first operational aircraft carrier, it pointed out the construction underway of a second aircraft carrier expected to be built by 2015 and China’s possession and acquisition of advanced defense technology.

China’s Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs objected strongly to the report, claiming that it misstates Chinese military capabilities and interferes with China’s internal politics. Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun reasserted that China adheres strictly to a defensive military policy. China also refuted notions that an expanded Chinese naval presence would have significant implications for regional rivalries and power dynamics.

In contrast with previous years, this year’s report comes at a time of improved military-to-military relations between the U.S. and China, which had culminated in reciprocal visits by Admiral Mike Mullen and his Chinese counterpart, Chen Bingde, earlier this year. In its report, the Pentagon noted that the military-to-military relationship is critical as “we seek to capitalize on opportunities for cooperation while mitigating risks.”


For further information on the Pentagon’s 2011 report on China military development, please see the following news sources and commentary:


Department of Defense – Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2011

The Guardian – China could build a modern military by 2020, says Pentagon

The DiplomatThe Pentagon on China

Washington PostChina still focused on Taiwan, Pentagon report finds

New York Times – U.S. Official Warns about China’s Military Buildup

For Chinese commentary on the Pentagon’s 2011 report on Chinese military development, please see the following news sources:


Xinhua 美国防部2011年中国军力报告都说了些什么?

Xinhua – 国防部新闻发言人就美发表2011年度《中国军事与安全态势发展报告》发表谈话

People’s Daily – 中国国防部对美发布的“中国军力报告”表强烈不满



Compiled and edited by Katie Xiao and Betsy Gass.