People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers march next to the entrance to the Forbidden City in Beijing
People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers march next to the entrance to the Forbidden City in Beijing
PIC: AFP

China is seeking to set up more robust logistics facilities in about a dozen countries, including three in India's neighbourhood, to allow the PLA to project and sustain military power at greater distances, according to a Pentagon report.

In addition to the three neighbours of India -- Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar -- the other countries where China is considering to base its military logistics and infrastructure facilities are Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Seychelles, Tanzania, Angola and Tajikistan, the report said on Tuesday.

In its annual report "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China (PRC) 2020" that was submitted to the US Congress, the Pentagon said these potential Chinese military logistics facilities are in addition to the Chinese military base in Djibouti, which is aimed at supporting naval, air and ground forces projection.

"A global PLA (People's Liberation Army) military logistics network could both interfere with US military operations and support offensive operations against the United States as the PRC's global military objectives evolve," the Pentagon said in the report.

China has probably already made overtures to Namibia, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands, it said, adding the known focus areas of PLA planning are along the Seal Lines of Communication from China to the Strait of Hormuz, Africa, and the Pacific Islands.

Similarly, the Pentagon said, Beijing uses the One Belt One Road (OBOR) intitiative to support its strategy of national rejuvenation by seeking to expand global transportation and trade linkages to support its development and deepen its economic integration with nations along its periphery and beyond.

"OBOR projects associated with pipelines and port construction in Pakistan intend to decrease China's reliance on transporting energy resources through strategic chokepoints, such as the Strait of Malacca," it said.

Meanwhile, the report also saisd that China has been using "coercive" tactics in pursuit of territorial and maritime claims in the South and East China Seas, as well as along its border with India and Bhutan.

China has been fast expanding military and economic influence in the Indo-Pacific region, triggering concern in various countries of the region and beyond.

"China's leaders use tactics short of armed conflict to pursue China's objectives. China calibrates its coercive activities to fall below the threshold of provoking armed conflict with the United States, its allies and partners, or others in the Indo-Pacific region," the Pentagon said on Tuesday in its annual report on China to the US Congress.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in