The report, which comes as the U.S. and China spar over trade negotiations, said China increased its global defense spending to more than $190 billion in 2017, according to Reuters.
“Over the last three years, the (China’s People’s Liberation Army) has rapidly expanded its overwater bomber operating areas, gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against U.S. and allied targets,” the report said.
With recent tests, China may be trying to show off its “capability to strike U.S. and allied forces and military bases in the western Pacific Ocean, including Guam,” the report said, according to BBC News.
China has yet to comment on the report.
As CNN reported, Chinese President Xi Jinping has said he hopes to modernize China’s military this year by “weeding out widespread corruption in the ranks and updating the country’s military hardware.”
The Pentagon report said China is undergoing its “most comprehensive restructure in its history to become a force capable of fighting joint operations.”
The Pentagon put countering China and Russia at the center of a national defense strategy this year.
The report said China could increase its spending to $240 billion by 2028, The Guardian reported.
The country’s space program is also growing.
“The PLA continues to strengthen its military space capabilities despite its public stance against the militarization of space,” the report said.
This month, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. will create a sixth branch of the military, which he called a “Space Force.”
“One of the arguments in favour of developing such a force is that American rivals like China appear increasingly ready to strike U.S. space-based capabilities in the event of a conflict,” according to The Guardian.