Light Wave


‘False’ claims: China says of U.S. report warning of Chinese military growth

By Jake Beardslee · October 26, 2023

In brief…

  • China harshly criticized U.S. as "biggest disruptor" in Asia-Pacific in response to Pentagon report on China's military growth.
  • China accused U.S. of destabilizing actions toward Israel, Ukraine and others.
  • Report says China expanding nuclear arsenal much faster than expected.
  • China objects to growing U.S. military support for Taiwan.
  • Tensions have increased sharply between U.S. and China in recent years.
China strongly condemned the U.S. in response to a Pentagon report on China's military buildup, accusing Washington of destabilizing the Asia-Pacific region and illegally supporting Taiwan.  Alex Microbe/Wikimedia

China has harshly criticized the United States as the “biggest disruptor of regional peace and stability” in response to the Pentagon’s annual report on China’s growing military capabilities. The report, which is mandated by Congress, is one way the U.S. military measures China’s defense buildup, which Washington sees as a key long-term threat.

In a statement, China’s Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian denounced the Pentagon findings as “false” and accused the U.S. of destabilizing actions toward Israel, Ukraine and other countries. “The U.S. has sent depleted uranium munitions and cluster bombs to Ukraine, sent its carrier battle groups to the Mediterranean and weapons and munitions to Israel, is this the so-called ‘gospel’ the ‘human rights defender’ is bringing to the area?” Wu said.

The report warns that China is expanding its nuclear arsenal much faster than expected, and could have 1,500 warheads by 2035 - nearly four times more than it has currently. It also says China is intensifying military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan, which it claims as its own territory.

Tensions have grown sharply between the U.S. and China since 2018 over issues including trade, the COVID-19 pandemic, human rights and Taiwan. Top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi will visit Washington this week ahead of a potential meeting between Presidents Biden and Xi in November.

China objects strongly to growing U.S. arms sales and military cooperation with Taiwan. “We urge the U.S. to stop using any excuse, any method to strengthen U.S.-Taiwan military links and illegally arm Taiwan in any way,” Wu said. The U.S. maintains it is abiding by the Taiwan Relations Act in providing “defensive” weapons to the island.