Think of it like an
iceberg: The top lies in plain sight, but a lot more hides beneath the surface.
In its annual
appraisal of the Chinese military published last week,
the U.S. Department of Defense seems to be describing an object it finds both
familiar and mysterious. The report certainly answers many of the important
issues concerning China’s military, including its attempts to develop an anti-ship
ballistic missile and its continuing fixation on Taiwan.
Yet for many
crucial aspects of China’s strategy, the Pentagon seems like it’s just guessing.
Here are the five most important questions about Beijing’s defense strategy that
remain stubbornly unanswered.
1. What are China’s long-term defense spending plans?