China 'likely' training pilots to target US, Pentagon report says

China's new multi-role fighter jet J-10C

In its annual report on military and security developments involving China submitted to the US Congress, the Department of Defense said Beijing is likely training for strikes against the United States and allied targets.

The report claimed that training runs by H-6K bombers, which can carry nuclear payloads, are meant to demonstrate the Far-Eastern country's ability to strike United States territories and allied forces in the Pacific, as well as to develop their ability to target locations as far away from China as possible.

The Pentagon report warns Beijing has boosted its ability to send bombers further afield and highlights the country's beefed up military capability and its £150bn defence budget.

The increased military spending and focus on specialized airstrikes come as China and the USA struggle to resolve diplomatic tensions over trade, reports CNBC.

Overall, the report found that China wants to leverage its economic, diplomatic and strategic strength to "establish regional preeminence and expand the country's worldwide influence".

The report also said that China's space program is progressing rapidly.

Hundreds of military vehicles carrying advanced weaponry including drones, early warning radar, howitzers and air defence missiles participated in the PLA manoeuvre, state-run China Central Television (CCTV) reported on August 11.

China has yet to comment on the report.

Under the newly emboldened rule of President Xi Jinping, China is seeking to project military power across the globe by showing off his modernised air force and navy.

The report comes on the heel of China and U.S. planning to hold trade talks to resolve a tariff conflict which might escalate into a full-blown trade war.

More news: Turkey raises tariffs on some United States imports in response to economic 'attacks'

The US also continues to maintain a substantial military presence in Japan, which has its own territorial disputes with China and the Philippines.

The Pentagon has called this move "the most comprehensive restructure in its history to become a force capable of fighting joint operations".

Tensions also continue in the non-military sphere.

More: What is a trade war?

The US regularly seeks to demonstrate freedom of navigation with flights over the South China Sea, much of which is claimed by China, and a number of other nations.

In the meantime, President Donald Trump has ended joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea, a move that both China and Russian Federation have been demanding for years.

There is regular contact between U.S. and Chinese military officials.

The US flag flutters on a diplomatic vehicle after a meeting of US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis (R) with China's Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xu Qiliang at the Bayi Building in Beijing on June 28, 2018.

About it it is spoken in published on the website of the Pentagon report on China's military.

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