China’s military: pressure from US can help drive PLA’s modernisation, observers say

China’s military: pressure from US can help drive PLA’s modernisation, observers say

China should use the United States’ efforts to contain its expansion in the Asia-Pacific region as the driving force for modernising the People’s Liberation Army, Chinese military observers say.

At the annual Defence Forum Washington last weekend, General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs, said the Pentagon needed to deploy forces across the region, and embrace hi-tech weapons and technologies to prevent China from taking control of the Western Pacific.

“[We] are in the middle of a fundamental change in the character of war,” he told the online symposium.

“If you’re serious about great power competition and deterring great power war, and you’re serious about having dominant capability over something like China … 500 [ships by 2045] is probably your entrance ticket,” he said.