(NSI News Source Info) March 25, 2009: The Chinese military is continuing to develop “disruptive” capabilities, including cyber and space warfare technologies, that are changing military balances in Asia, the Pentagon reported. “China’s ability to sustain military power at a distance remains limited, but its armed forces continue to develop and field disruptive military technologies” such as missiles that would hinder adversaries from entering a battle zone, the Defense Department said in a summary of an annual report to Congress obtained by Bloomberg News before its release today. The term disruptive technology describes products or processes that marginalize older technologies. In the military, cyber warfare can disable computer-based weapons systems. In 2007, China destroyed one of its weather satellites in space with a kinetic weapon, leading lawmakers to question the safety of U.S. surveillance and communications satellites. The Pentagon said China’s lack of transparency in detailing its military spending and capabilities “poses risks to stability by creating uncertainty and increasing the potential for misunderstanding and miscalculation.” Rise in Spending China’s defense spending has increased by more than 16 percent a year for the past decade, according to Chinese government figures. This year three Chinese navy ships participated in anti-piracy patrols off Somalia, and earlier this month five Chinese vessels confronted a U.S. surveillance ship in the South China Sea. The report said China is continuing to pursue military capabilities aimed at deterring Taiwan from declaring formal independence from the mainland. China considers Taiwan to be a renegade province. The U.S. is required by law to sell the island weapons to help defend itself. In the past year, China and Taiwan ended a six-decade ban on direct shipping, air and postal links following the election of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, who abandoned his predecessor’s pro-independence stance. “This modernization and the threat to Taiwan continue despite significant reduction in cross-Strait tension over the last year since Taiwan elected a new president,” the Pentagon report said. “Tensions are reduced but they have not vanished,” Admiral Timothy Keating, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, told the House Armed Services Committee yesterday. Talks between the countries are “richer today and more productive” than before the election of Ma, he said.
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