China seeks to shape the world: Pentagon


Representative image.

Washington: China seeks to mould world in line with its authoritarian model and national goals, a top Pentagon official said on Tuesday, voicing concerns that Beijing has grown more prone to force other countries, ignoring the frictions in pursuit of its vision.

Observing that China, under the leadership of the its President Xi Jinping has a different vision, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo Pacific Security Affairs Randall Shriver told a Washington audience that Beijing is increasingly developing the tools to pursue its vision and seems willing to accept more and more friction in pursuit of that vision.

We are competing with China, therefore, because we see China’s leaders have assessed that they are in competition with us, both our ideas and our capabilities. Globally, China seeks to shape a world consistent with its authoritarian model and national goals, Shriver said during his appearance at the Brookings Institute, a top American think-tank.

The rule of the Chinese Communist Party is increasingly authoritarian and less respectful for human rights and dignity, he said and alleged they are even beginning to export some of these tools such as facial recognition software and nationwide surveillance capabilities to other countries who are learning from China’s governance model. We are concerned that China has grown more willing, as I said, to apply pressure against other countries and accept friction in pursuit of its vision, he said.

We observe China using influence operations to interfere in domestic politics of other countries, undermining the integrity of elections and threatening internal stability using economic coercion, and we’ve seen certainly recent examples in countries such as Mongolia, Australia, and Canada, he said.

Shriver accused China of “promoting state-sponsored theft of other nations’ military and civilian technologies and exporting the most effective tools from its domestic toolkit to other nations for surveillance and potential use for internal repression.” “We see them extending its military presence overseas and expanding the one belt one road initiative to include military ties with China.”

“We see deploying advance weapon systems to militarise disputed features despite pledges at the senior most level that they would not do so,” he added. Noting that China seek to be a world-class military by 2049, and are making progress toward that goal, he said the Pentagon views military developments in China as seeking to erode the US military advantages.

They are working to become a preeminent power in the Indo Pacific region while simultaneously undertaking plans to expand overseas presence and develop capabilities to sustain operations further from Chinese shores, he said.