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Department of Defense: Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China

Published May 8, 2015

Mandated by the FY2000 National Defense Authorization Act, the Department of Defense's annual report to Congress discusses China's military and security strategies, technological advancements in its capabilities, military doctrine, and security issues in the Taiwan Strait.

2015: The report discusses China's interests in the Taiwan Strait and the East China and South China seas, investment in drones, and development in space and cyber capabilities.

2014: The report ties China's military modernization efforts to regional tensions in the Taiwan Strait and the East China and South China seas and critiques China's lack of openness about its military expansion strategy.

2013: For the first time, the Pentagon officially accuses the Chinese of launching cyber attacks against the U.S. Department of Defense.

2012: The executive summary states, "China's leaders are placing a priority on fostering a positive external environment to provide the PRC with the strategic space to focus on economic growth and development. At the same time, Chinese leaders seek to maintain peace and stability along their country's periphery, expand their diplomatic imfluence to facilitate access to markets, capital, and resources, and avoid direct confrontation with the United States and other countries."

2009: The 2009 edition states that "the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is pursuing comprehensive transformation from a mass army designed for protracted wars of attrition on its territory to one capable of fighting and winning short-duration, high-intensity conflicts along its periphery against high-tech adversaries – an approach that China refers to as preparing for "local wars under conditions of informatization."

2008: The introduction states that "the United States continues to encourage China to participate as a responsible international stakeholder by taking on a greater share of responsibility for the stability, resilience and growth of the global system. However, much uncertainty surrounds China's future course, in particular in the area of its expanding military power and how that power might be used."

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