China is investing heavily in military modernization as territorial disputes between the country and its neighbors continue, the Pentagon said in its annual report on the Chinese military, Defense News reported Thursday.
Christopher Cavas writes that Pentagon’s 96-page document revealed that China’s annual military spending grew 5.7 percent to $119.5 billion as of March 2013.
The report stated that China’s efforts to maintain national stability and expand diplomatic influence “have led to friction between some of its regional neighbors, including allies and partners of the United States.”
The Pentagon also noted that China held a series of joint military exercises in September and October and performed its largest-ever naval fleet exercise in the Philippine Sea in October.
The country also participated in seven bilateral and multi-lateral drills last year, according to Defense News.
“Such exercises provide the PLA opportunities to improve capabilities and gain operational insights by observing tactics, command, and equipment used by more advanced militaries,” the Pentagon stated.
Cavas reports the nation also continues to support sea lane security, counterpiracy, humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping and disaster relief programs overseas.
The Pentagon added the Chinese military also sustained investments in medium-range ballistic weapons and guided-missile destroyers as well as fighter aircraft upgrades and cyberspace technologies, according to Cavas’ article.