Washington: China is on the cusp of fielding some of the world’s most advanced weapons systems — and in some cases already has surpassed its rivals, a Pentagon assessment released Tuesday found. An unclassified report by the Defense Intelligence Agency says Beijing has made enormous military strides in recent years, thanks partly to domestic laws forcing foreign partners to divulge technical secrets in exchange for access to China’s vast market. As a result of “acquiring technology by any means available,” China now is at the leading edge on a range of technologies, including with its naval designs, with medium- and intermediate-range missiles, and with hypersonic weapons — where missiles can fly at many times the speed of sound and dodge missile-defense systems. “The result of this multifaceted approach to technology acquisition is a PLA (People’s Liberation Army) on the verge of fielding some of the most modern weapon systems in the world,” states the report, entitled “China Military Power.”
Meanwhile, resh doubts surfaced Tuesday over President Donald Trump’s commitment to NATO, after he was reported to have discussed a desire to pull out of the trans-Atlantic military alliance. Last year, Trump repeatedly told senior officials that he did not see the point of NATO — the historic alliance that forms the backbone of the West’s post-World War II security order — and that he wanted to withdraw, The New York Times reported.