China ready to punish tech giants who recognise Taiwan

China in recent years has poured billions of dollars into developing advanced weapons, some of which outclass US weapons, but with an inexperienced military it remains years away from challenging American security interests globally, the Pentagon's intelligence agency concluded in a report released Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the US Defense Intelligence Agency released a new report detailing Chinese military advancements and strategy, stressing that the People's Liberation Army already leads the world in certain areas of weapons development. "Domestic laws forced foreign partners of Chinese-based joint ventures to release their technology in exchange for entry into China's lucrative market, and China has used other means to secure needed technology and expertise", Ashley said.

According to the DIA report, China has been acquiring technology "by any means available" - and its military is now more advanced than ever. The U.S.is Taiwan's chief source of military hardware and is legally bound to respond to threats against its security. The growing military might of China is said to be the primary focus for acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who defense officials said has repeatedly raised China as a topic in closed-door meetings in the Pentagon since he took the Defense Department's reins January 1.

A new type of naval destroyer developed domestically by China, called the Type 055 Renhai class, "will be one of the most advanced and powerful ships in the world", the report stated.

China a year ago ramped up pressure on foreign companies including Marriott International and Qantas for referring to Taiwan and Hong Kong as separate from China in drop down menus or other material.

"These countries continue to develop, test and proliferate sophisticated anti-satellite weapons to hold U.S. and allied space assets at risk", the Air Force report says.

Soldiers from Taiwan's special forces move through colored smoke during a military exercise in Taipei, Taiwan.

"The biggest concern is that they are going to get to - they are getting to a point where the PLA leadership may actually tell Xi Jinping that they are confident in their capabilities", the official said, referring to China's leader.

China has also outpaced competitors in its ballistic missiles systems, creating more precise systems to carry conventional or nuclear weapons than others including the United States and Russian Federation, largely because those nations were bound by treaty obligations that China was not, according to the DIA assessment. Taiwan has been independent since 1949, when China's old regime took refuge in the aftermath of the Communist Party's revolution.

"These include longstanding concerns regarding Taiwan independence, Uighur and Tibetan separatism, and perceived challenges to China's control of disputed areas in the East and South China Seas".

In response to Xi's speech, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said the island will "never accept" a "one country, two systems" arrangement with China. "I think that they are fairly comfortable with the progress they've made in building out this infrastructure down there, and then working on negotiations with the other claimant states over a longer term", the senior defense official said.

  • Eleanor Harrison