China is seeking to set up military facilities in a number of countries, including Sri Lanka, to allow the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to project and sustain military power at greater distances, according to a Pentagon report.
The report says China is seeking to establish a more robust overseas logistics and basing infrastructure to allow the PLA to project and sustain military power at greater distances.
Beyond its current base in Djibouti, the China is very likely already considering and planning for additional overseas military logistics facilities to support naval, air, and ground forces, the US report said.
In its annual report “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China (PRC) 2020” that was submitted to the US Congress, the Pentagon said China has likely considered locations for PLA military logistics facilities in Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Seychelles, Tanzania, Angola, and Tajikistan.
A Pentagon says global PLA military logistics network could interfere with U.S. military operations and provide flexibility to support offensive operations against the United States.
As Chinese leaders push the PLA to operate in defense of China’s expanding national interests, the PLA will develop concepts and capabilities to conduct force projection and defensive operations that expand China’s strategic space farther from mainland China.
New PLA campaign concepts also will attempt to integrate these new missions and capabilities across theater commands and in new domains, like cyber and space.
For example, the creation of the Strategic Support Force (SSF) and the PLA’s growing cyber, space, and electronic warfare (EW) capabilities will require campaigns that expand upon PLA notions of space confrontation operations by integrating space and terrestrial activates into multi-domain joint operations. Future campaigns may also integrate far seas air and naval operations.
PLA strategists also discuss the need to secure air, maritime, and information superiority at greater distances, which could entail campaign concepts that integrate joint forces—possibly to include forces deployed to overseas bases—to execute operations abroad, such as in the western Pacific and Indian Ocean.
The Pentagon says these operations will require a mature command and control (C2) organizations and processes for overseas operations that effectively divide responsibilities between the Central Military Commission (CMC), theater commands, and services. (Colombo Gazette)