NATO Official Alarmed by China’s ‘Shocking’ Rise, Predicts Beijing to Soon Be ‘Moving Troops Around’
The People’s Republic plans to spend the equivalent of about $202 billion on defence in fiscal year 2021. In recent years, the country has developed and produced off a range of advanced missile systems, aircraft and warships.
Outgoing NATO Military Coordination Committee chairman Stuart Peach, the alliance’s most senior military officer, has expressed concern over what he referred to as the “shocking” speed of China’s military modernization efforts, and its growing diplomatic heft overseas to boot.
“It is quite shocking how quickly China has built ships, how much China has modernized its air force, how much it has invested in cyber and other forms of information management, not least facial recognition,” Peach said, speaking to the Financial Times ahead of his departure from his post Friday.
The officer also pointed to Beijing’s network of “large embassy footprints” in countries around the world, saying many of them are now staffed with “very large defence sections, often populated by general officers,” and wondering “what’s it all for?”