China’s Military Is Taking a Powerful Turn

After decades of heavy investment, China is close to possessing one of the most powerful militaries in the world— one that can “secure China’s status as a great power,” according to the latest edition of the US Defense Department’s annual report on China, released this week. In coming years China could reform the world’s largest army into a smaller, swifter and harder-hitting rival to the America’s own army, while also deploying high-tech new warplanes and warships from new air and naval bases on manmade—and potentially illegal—Pacific islands. Meanwhile, Beijing’s top scientists are putting the finishing touches on rockets and other weaponry capable of knocking America’s satellites and ballistic missiles from space. And Chinese operatives are expanding a shadowy, oceangoing militia that disguises itself as a fishing fleet—and could represent the vanguard of any future Chinese invasion. Here are some of the highlights from the Pentagon’s China report

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