Inside Story

Can China become a military superpower?

Beijing has outlined its defence plans that include a modern and advanced army.

Global military competition is on the rise and China believes it’s lagging behind. 

Beijing says the United States has increased its defence budgets, modernised its weapons, and developed its capacity in cyberspace, as well as outer space.

And the Chinese government wants to catch up and has detailed how it intends to do that.

In a national defence paper released on Wednesday, Beijing declared it wants greater modernisation of its armed forces and weapons.

It says its ambitious plans are peaceful, but not if Taiwan tries to achieve independence from the mainland.

China’s defence ministry has warned it is ready to go to war to safeguard its national unity. And it says it will take all necessary measures to defeat those it calls “separatists”.

It has also accused the US of undermining global stability.

So how will this defence policy play out, both in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond?

Presenter: Halla Mohieddeen


Jon Grevatt – Analyst at Jane’s by IHS Markit

Lawrence Korb – Former US assistant secretary of defence and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress

Adam Ni – China researcher at Macquarie University in Sydney