US Remains the Top Military Threat to China
The United States remains the No.1 military threat to China followed by North Korea, according to a report released by China's armed forces, the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
The report echoes the view of Chinese people in a poll conducted late last year that the US is the "top threat" facing Beijing.
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Most of the 3,154 respondents in the survey conducted by the Washington-based Pew Research Center believe that the US has been trying to prevent China from becoming an equal power.
The PLA report, written by PLA military strategists, said that despite the current friendly ties between Beijing and Pyongyang, the Asian superpower still considers the North in a military point of view as the No.2 threat to China with its nuclear development program.
Kyodo News, which had access to the report, said on Monday that the PLA document would form the guidelines of its annual military wartime exercises which include simulation of combat against hypothetical enemies.
The strategists said that of the "five potential threats" that the Chinese military is facing, the US threat tops the list followed by North Korea and Japan.
North Korea was placed second on China's list of threats due to Pyongyang's series of missile and nuclear tests in the Korean Peninsula.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently warned the US that the next missile it would launch would be targeted at the US mainland.
The PLA report warned that if a war breaks out again in the Korean Peninsula, China would be facing a "huge threat" to large parts of its territories.
The report cited Japan as the third threat, noting the longtime spat between the two countries over ownership of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
The report warned that a military confrontation could occur between China and Japan with their respective military assets like ships and aircraft continuing to patrol the East China Sea.
The report pointed to the disputed South China Sea as the fourth on the list of threats China is currently facing.
Aside from Beijing, five more Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan, and Malaysia have competing claims in the region.