The U.S. Department of Defense released its annual report on Chinese military power on June 5, which you can read in full here. The U.S. estimates that China spent more than $180 billion on its military in 2016, although China reported only $140 billion. Media outlets highlighted three other points in the report:
- China will build more military bases following its first overseas naval base currently under construction in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa. CNBC noted that “the report repeatedly cited China’s construction of its first overseas naval base in Djibouti,” and that Pakistan is a likely location for a future Chinese military base due to “a long-standing friendly relationship and similar strategic interests.”
- China may aim to base warplanes on islands in the South China Sea, the report says. The Financial Times noted (paywall) the part of the report on how “China’s efforts are focused on building infrastructure, including aircraft hangars, on its three largest outposts in the Spratlys — the Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief Reefs — which will give it the capacity to house ‘up to three regiments of fighters’ when complete.”
- China made a high-tech military advance with the launch of the world’s “first experimental quantum communications satellite” in 2016, Reuters notes from the report. The satellite was a “notable advance in cryptography research,” the report says, with “enormous prospects” for moving China toward more secure communications.
China dismissed the prospect of a military base in Pakistan as pure “speculation,” and accused the report of representing a “Cold War mentality,” the Wall Street Journal reports (paywall). The Journal also notes the importance of information in the report on China’s so-called “maritime militia,” a “growing civilian fleet staffed by military-trained fishermen that Beijing uses for ‘low-intensity coercion’ in defending its vast maritime claims.”
They were detained while investigating brand Ivanka. Now China claims they stole commercial secrets. / Washington Post
“Reports published Wednesday morning by the Communist Party-controlled press claimed the three men, Su Heng, Li Zhao and Hua Haifeng, are being investigated for selling commercial secrets to unnamed foreign organizations.”
U.S. presses China to free activists scrutinizing Ivanka Trump shoe factory / NYT (paywall)
“Experts warned that the detentions could make it more difficult for other Western companies.”
Opinion: China’s influence in Australia is not ordinary soft power / Australian Financial Review
Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College at the Australian National University, on the recent reports of China’s covert campaign of influence in the country.
- Opinion: China is the world’s worst polluter. Don’t expect it to be a climate crusader / WSJ (paywall)
China is in the middle of diplomatic spat with one of its oldest allies in Africa / Quartz
“Zambian authorities have detained 31 Chinese citizens on suspicion of illegal copper mining, according to Chinese officials who have formally complained about the arrest.”