Published on Tuesday, the Pentagon report estimated that China spent $180 billion last year on its military – the world’s largest – a figure well over the country’s official $140 billion defense budget. “China most likely will seek to establish additional military bases in countries with which it has a longstanding friendly relationship and similar strategic interests, such as Pakistan, and in which there is a precedent for hosting foreign militaries,” the report said.
China build a military base in Pakistan, Pentagon Says:
In a section discussing China’s Navy, the report predicted that China’s first domestically designed and produced aircraft carrier would likely reach initial operating capability in 2020.
China: The prediction came in a 97-page annual report to Congress that saw advances throughout the Chinese military in 2016, funded by robust defense spending that the Pentagon estimated exceeded $180 billion.
That is higher than China’s official defense budget figure of 954.35 billion yuan ($140.4 billion). Chinese leaders, the US report said, appeared committed to defense spending hikes for the “foreseeable future,” even as economic growth slows.
The report repeatedly cited China’s construction of its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, which is already home to a key US military base and is strategically located at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal.