"China's advancement of projects such as the "One Belt, One Road" Initiative will probably drive military overseas basing through a perceived need to provide security for OBOR projects", the document pointed out.
"China continue to pursue global access and increase its global military footprint".
Shortly after, however, Italy became the first major Western country to support the BRI, which stipulates promoting investment in projects that would link dozens of countries across Africa, Asia, and Europe through the creation of infrastructure networks similar in goal to the ancient Silk Road trading routes.
"China sometimes refers to itself as a near-Arctic state", a senior State Department official said on the call Thursday. Cai Hong series drones have been sold to "Burma, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates" because China "faces little competition for these sales", it said.
China, the report states, is expanding its capacity to contest USA military superiority in the event of a regional conflict in the Indo-Pacific.
The DoD said that although maintaining a "constructive, results-oriented relationship with China" was an important part of their strategy to successfully maintain peace in the Indo-Pacific region, it was wary of growing diplomatic tension between the two countries and said it was prepared for all forms of aggression.
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According to its estimate, China has 2,600 fighter jets, including 1,100 fighter trainers, while Taiwan has only 450 fighter jets in total.
Much of that money is being spent on beefing up the Chinese navy, with the report saying that China commands "the region's largest navy, with more than 300 surface combatants, submarines, amphibious ships, patrol craft, and specialized types". There has been progress in developing the fifth-generation FC-31 and J-20 aircraft, including a recent demonstration of both the J-20 in November. "In 2018, we saw specific efforts targeting such areas as aviation technologies and anti-submarine warfare technologies", Schriver said.
Although China is a non-Arctic state, the country has become increasingly active in the region and became an observer member of the Arctic Council in 2013.
China's first domestically built Aircraft carrier will also "likely join the fleet by the end of 2019" and its second domestically built carrier is projected to be operational by 2022. As the CBC's Murray Brewster reports in this exclusive story, a Canadian military surveillance aircraft monitoring United Nations sanctions was harassed in worldwide airspace off North Korea by the Chinese military - part of "a pattern of behaviour that's inappropriate", Canada's top military commander said Wednesday.
Beijing also seeks to erode USA military advantages and backs those ambitions with significant resourcing, Schriver said.
The meeting comes amid concerns over China's increased commercial interests in the Arctic. India, however, has no option but to keep a close watch on China's strategic moves in the IOR and along the 4,057-km long line of actual control, stretching from eastern Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, as well the ever-expanding military clinch between Beijing and Islamabad. It also noted the possibility of limited missile strikes.