In 2020, through the plenary session of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Xi Jinping announced his goal to make the Chinese military a modern world military power by 2027. Reporting fromTNI). CNBC Indonesia, Xi’s call was manifested to welcome the centenary moment of the People’s Liberation Army (People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 2027.
Currently, China is one of the countries that has the largest military power in the world. PLA known ssa one of the fastest modern military in the world with a potential military power and has a defence budget in the world’s second largest after the United States. The annual increase in China’s official military spending has outpaced its annual GDP growth. This reflects Beijing’s inherent priority to strengthen its armed forces.
By 2021, China had increased its military budget, reaching $209 billion, nearly 7% from the previous year. Although it is still far below the United States’ defence budget, it does not rule out the possibility that in the long term, China could replace the US position as the world’s military.
Phigh perwira Washington’s military in the Asia Pacific, Admiral Philip Davidson, said:”I am afraid they [China] accelerate their ambition to replace the United States and our leadership role in the rule-based international order in 2050. Taiwan was definitely one of their ambitions before that. And I think the threat is real over this decade, in fact, in the next six years.”
Today China’s economic strength is so amazing and directly proportional to its military strength. The increase in China’s military budget is seen by other countries as a threat to world security. And even said to threaten US interests in East Asia. China strongly condemns US relations with Taiwan, an autonomous island it considers to belong to China, and rebukes Washington’s efforts to deepen alliances with its neighbours, including recent efforts to form a new alliance called AUKUS, which is a defence pact on cooperation. The United States, United Kingdom, and Australia in the field of security especially assisted Australia in developing a nuclear submarine in Adelaide, Australia.
Quoted from The Guardian, the step to form AUKUS is one of the initiatives to corner China in the South China Sea conflict. This was emphasized by the Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, “This will include an intense examination of what we need to do to exercise our nuclear stewardship responsibilities here in Australia”.
This attitude certainly became a big spotlight regarding the response to raising power as China was heavily involved in the confrontation. The Chinese government does not recognize that The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is the main basis but through nine dash lines. Beijing called the formation of AUKUS an irresponsible act that could threaten regional stability. Beijing’s stance on AUSKUS was conveyed through a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian, “has seriously undermined regional peace and stability, intensified the arms race and undermined international nonproliferation efforts.”
Can China’s Military Replace America’s Military Position?
For now, the Chinese military has not been able to compete with the US military, both in terms of budget, strength, and even from its own intentions, China does not want to focus on the military. So far China has capitalised on its economic power and socio-political power rather than on its military might. China considers power it’s not in the military. Until now, China still relies on the US for military needs, in addition to the project, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)which is one of China’s largest sources of economic income, the allocation of funds has not been much for the military.
So this is a sign that China has no intention of focusing on the military. But it is undeniable that China is one of the countries that has the largest military power in the world. And it is possible that in the future China may intend to become the largest military country in the world. But for now, China is still focusing on its domestic problems.
Xi Jinping’s ambition today is inseparable from China’s domestic problems, according to Xi Jinping, China’s position in the world, namely sovereignty and power, is an important thing to maintain, so China must modernise its military to counter sovereignty issues such as US intervention in Taiwan and the South China Sea.
In addition, Focus is China’s Military now also aimed at solidifying its position as the dominant regional power in the Indo-Pacific. Enhancing the PLA’s capabilities, from a navy that is already the world’s largest in terms of ship numbers to a major maritime and land power that dominates Indo-Pacific waters and the Asian landscape is aimed at building on Xi’s efforts to make China a “great power”.
Xi stressed the need to modernise the country’s defence and armed forces to create a world-class military. “Let the world know that ‘the Chinese people are now organised and should not be taken lightly”, “Xi said, citing the words of Mao Zedong, the founder of the People’s Republic of China,”
A military analyst Hong Kong, Song Zhongping said of the space modernization of the PLA can be seen as something that aims to turn China’s military into the world’s leading modern power. Thus, China can align its military strength and capabilities with the United States (US).
In addition, Xi Jinping’s fairly high belief in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), that the CCP should be a strong government, and this is the background that the quite aggressive policies of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) today, are actually its ultimate goal is to ensure that the CCP can survive.
*Silvanah is an international relations student at the Islamic University of Indonesia, a researcher focusing on East Asia.