The Pentagon’s report on the military power of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 2020 puts it in third place worldwide and the rapid growth of its air force is driving its plans for dominance in this field. 

“The objective of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) is to become a ‘world-class’ military by the end of 2049,” the Pentagon said in its report to Congress.  

The report also reiterated the multiple criminal charges against people who remove controlled items to China, such as for espionage used to boost the technological development of their aircraft according to a summary by the Justice Department.

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper stressed that the role of the PLA is not to defend a nation or a constitution but to defend the CCP.

“Unlike the U.S. Armed Forces, the People’s Liberation Army is not an army that serves its nation or a constitution,” Esper tweeted.

He added, “Instead, it serves the Chinese Communist Party in its attempts to undermine rules and norms around the world. Learn more information in the DOD latest report.

Likewise, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged countries to “understand the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party [CCP],” by proposing a global coalition to confront it.

“We want every nation to work together to push back against the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts,” Pompeo said on July 21 in London at a press conference, according to the Washington Examiner.

“We hope we can build out a coalition that understands this threat and will work collectively to convince the Chinese Communist Party it’s not in their best interest to engage in this kind of behavior,” Pompeo said.

Nonetheless, the U.S. military’s dominance is ahead of the CCP’s. 

The United States can threaten the Chinese fleet and targets on Chinese territory from distant bases without having to move U.S. aircraft carriers and other expensive surface warships within range of Beijing’s missile arsenal.

“A single B-1 heavy bomber aircraft can deliver the same artillery payload as an entire carrier battle group in one day,” said David Deptula, dean of the Washington-based Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies and a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant general, according to the Japan Times. 

“Depending on where they are, it can take weeks for the ships to arrive at their location,” Deptula said. “But by using bombers, they can respond in a matter of hours,” he added, noting that the U.S. goal is to deter war. “No one wants to come into conflict with China,” he added.

The total air force strength for the United States in 2020 is 13,264 aircraft and vehicles, not counting those under construction, and for the CCP it is 3,210, according to Global Fire Power.