Washington, Mar 26(ANI): US Commander-in-Chief of the Hawaii-based Pacific Command, Admiral Robert F. Willard, reckons that the buildup of Chinese armed forces is continuing "unabated" and Beijing's goal appears to be power projection beyond Asia.
"China's rapid and comprehensive transformation of its armed forces is affecting regional military balances and holds implications beyond the Asia-Pacific region," The Washington Times quoted Admiral Willard, as saying.
"Of particular concern is that elements of China's military modernization appear designed to challenge our freedom of action in the region," he added.
The comments in testimony to the House Armed Services Committee are likely to fuel an ongoing debate inside the Obama administration over whether China's military buildup is limited to a future conflict with Taiwan or whether China harbors global military ambitions.
"The United States remains the pre-eminent power in the Asia-Pacific, though China's rising influence is changing regional power dynamics in ways that create both challenges and, I think, opportunities," Admiral Willard said.
He also disclosed that China is moving ahead with a new anti-ship ballistic missile capable of attacking aircraft carriers hundreds of miles from China's coasts.
Admiral Willard also believes that China will deploy its own aircraft carrier by 2012 and currently has over 60 submarines. (ANI)