Pentagon’s 2023 Report on China’s Military and Security Developments

October 19, 2023 12:11 PM - Updated: February 14, 2024 11:34 AM

The following is the Oct. 19, 2023, Department of Defense report to Congress, Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China.

From the report

The 2022 National Security Strategy states that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the only competitor to the United States with the intent and, increasingly, the capacity to reshape the international order. As a result, the 2022 National Defense Strategy identifies the PRC as the “pacing challenge” for the Department of Defense. As the PRC seeks to achieve “national rejuvenation” by its centenary in 2049, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders view a modern, capable, and “world class” military as essential to overcoming what Beijing sees as an increasingly turbulent international environment.

The DoD annual report on Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China charts the current course of the PRC’s national, economic, and military strategy, and offers insight on the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) strategy, current capabilities and activities, as well as its future modernization goals.

In 2022, the PRC turned to the PLA as an increasingly capable instrument of statecraft. Throughout the year, the PLA adopted more coercive actions in the Indo-Pacific region, while accelerating its development of capabilities and concepts to strengthen the PRC’s ability to “fight and win wars” against a “strong enemy,” counter an intervention by a third party in a conflict along the PRC’s periphery, and to project power globally. At the same time, the PRC largely denied, cancelled, and ignored recurring bilateral defense engagements, as well as DoD requests for military-to-military communication at multiple levels.

This report illustrates the importance of meeting the pacing challenge presented by the PRC’s increasingly capable military.

Report Scope: This report covers security and military developments involving the PRC until the end of 2022.

Download document here.

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