[Ed. – Bigger brother]
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s pledge to build a “world-class army” by 2050 is making his neighbours nervous, but analysts say Beijing’s military ambitions do not constitute a strategic threat — for now.
With purchases and construction of fighter jets, ships and hi-tech weaponry, China’s military budget has grown steadily for 30 years, but remains three times smaller than that of the United States.
Now, Beijing wants to catch up.
“We should strive to fully transform the people’s armed forces into a world-class military by the mid-21st century,” Xi told 2,300 delegates of the Chinese Communist Party, which he heads and which controls the army.
The comments, made during the party’s twice-a-decade congress, were aimed in part at domestic nationalists, but also intended to show other countries “China’s desire to be strong economically as well as militarily,” said James Char, a military analyst at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.