China’s military power has been rapidly increasing, spanning from traditional and non-traditional forces to cyber and space domains. This development has complemented its overall warfare prowess. Therefore, China’s sea power, nuclear power, and potential ability to attack Taiwan are closely watched, all of which are emphasized in the “2021 China Military Power Report” by the U.S. Department of Defense.
China has shifted from “a rich country with almighty forces” to “almighty forces of a rich country” as a result of the significant improvement in its economic strengths. It has embarked on various long-term development projects for military equipment and policies in the development of national defense technologies. A large number of financial resources have been invested in multiple R&D initiatives for critical military technologies. These developments have significantly enhanced China’s national defense technologies and capabilities in recent years, evidenced by its performance upgrade of a variety of weaponry and equipment platforms. Further, it provides the physical conditions for the President of China, Xi Jinping, to realize his ambitions for China. While the U.S. still has indisputable advantages in military technology, the gap between the U.S. and China is narrowing. This trend suggests that China may surpass the U.S in certain key technologies, and the ensuing growth in China’s military power may cause dramatic changes to the power structure of the Indo-Pacific region, even the entire world.
Hence, The “2021 Report on the Defense Technology Trend Assessment— Assessment of the New Generation of Chinese Communist Party’s Military Technology “conducts an assessment of China’s development of key next- generation military technologies. This assessment covers four areas: China’s conventional military force; strategic military strength; strategic support equipment; military and civil dual-use technology and policy measures, including round forces, new-generation naval weapons, aerospace equipment, nuclear warhead, tactic weapon-delivery capability, missile defense capability, electronic reconnaissance capability, cyberwarfare capability, space warfare capability, carrier rocket and orbiters, UAV, alternative energy for military use, propaganda technology, and legal analysis of the military industry. Furthermore, it is expected that the introduction and analysis on these subjects establish an effective understanding of the PLA’s possible directions moving forward. Moreover, this will serve as a basis and a reference to Taiwan’s future development of national defense strategies and military forces.