Beijing has undertaken a massive effort to grow and modernize the People’s Liberation Army—investing in a range of military programs and weapons systems, including those designed to improve power projection. It is modernizing its nuclear forces and conducting increasingly complex operations in domains such as cyberspace, space, and electronic warfare. China is also developing a wide array of anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities, which could be used to prevent countries from operating in areas near China’s periphery. And while China is a top priority for the U.S. defense enterprise, the U.S. is essentially the sole focus of China’s military force planning.
A core issue that must be addressed is how should the U.S. plan to counter China’s enhanced military capabilities across all domains and how can the U.S. strengthen the military capacities of partners and allies in the region?