The Department of Defense released its latest annual report to Congress on Chinese military capabilities called: Military and Security Developments involving the People’s Republic of China 2012 that caught a lot of people’s attention for good reason.
China today has one of the largest and fastest growing military programs in the world.
It noted that on March 4, 2012, Beijing announced an “11.2 percent increase in its annual military budget to roughly $106 billion.”
A fact confirmed by open source intelligence sources (see article: Chinese military defends $ 106 billion defense budget http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002498634).
This increase continues more than two decades of sustained annual increases in China’s announced military budget. Analysis of 2000-2011 data indicates China’s disclosed military budget grew at an average of “11.8 percent per year in inflation-adjusted terms over the period”, according to the report.
The report notes that the Chinese Navy primarily focuses on improving anti-air and anti-surface warfare capabilities, as well as developing a credible “at-sea nuclear deterrent”, including submarine launch ballistic missiles (SLBMs) capable of hitting targets at distances upwards to 5000 miles away.
There has also been significant development of Chinese Air Force, the report notes, including advancements in of Stealth aircraft technology.
Source: report: http://www.defense.gov/pubs/pdfs/2012_CMPR_Final.pdf
In the space domain, China is expanding its “space-based surveillance, reconnaissance, navigation, meteorological, and communications satellite constellations.”
See related article: China successfully launches new spy satellite into orbit http://www.space.com/15649-china-military-reconnaissance-satellite-launc…
China also continues to build the Bei- Dou (Compass) navigation satellite constellation with the goal of establishing a regional network by the end of 2012 and a global network by 2020.
In terms of espionage – Chinese actors are considered the world’s most active and persistent perpetrators, especially in the area of economic espionage. Stealing basically everything in sight.
Chinese attempts to collect U.S. technological and economic information has continue at a high level and will represent a growing and persistent threat to U.S. economic security, the report notes. This includes sensitive U.S. economic information and technology are targeted by intelligence services, private sector companies, academic/research institutions, and citizens of dozens of countries.
See Chinese espionage video: Cyber Espionage: The Chinese Threat- Stealing the Secrets of Corporate America http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqz1QgraG_o