It said there were “growing tensions” with the US and “other regional powers” over Taiwan and maritime territorial issues in the East and South China Seas.
For years Taiwan provided the force-structuring and force-sizing scenario for the PLA, but recently China’s modernization effort had begun to place a greater emphasis on acquiring more ambitious power projection capabilities beyond Taiwan, the report said.
“This military modernization process has created substantial security concerns in the US, Japan and many other countries in Asia, the report said.
Washington’s concern was that the Chinese were developing forces whose primary purpose would be to deny the US military access to the region while the Chinese themselves were projecting power directly onto a “nearby objective,” according to the report.
Such an “anti-access” or “counter-intervention” operation might begin with cyber or physical operations against command-and-control centers and would almost certainly involve UAVs.
“The intent of these actions would be to interfere with American and Japanese intelligence gathering, lengthen the decisionmaking process in Washington and Tokyo and ultimately slow the US military response to events unfolding in the Western Pacific such as a crisis over Taiwan,” the report said.