Washington: China is the “primary challenge” to the United States national security over the next 50 to 100 years, a top American army general said on Thursday.
At the confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Service Committee, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley said that China had learned from watching the US military capabilities and have adopted many of the “doctrines and organisations”, CNN reported.
“China went to school on us. They watched us very closely in the First Gulf War, the Second Gulf War. They watched our capabilities. And in many many ways, they have mimicked those, and they have adopted many of the doctrines and organisations.” he said.
Milley, who would succeed General Joseph Dunford as the Joint Chiefs chairman, was responding to a question from Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia on how he would function as the President’s principal military adviser
“China is improving their military very, very rapidly — in space, air, cyber, maritime, land domains,” Milley said.
“I think China is the primary challenge to the US national security over the next 50-100 years. I think some historian in 2119 is going to look back on this century and write a book and the central theme of the story is going to be the relationship between the United States and China,” he added.
However, Milley was careful to point out that “China is not the enemy,” but instead was a “competitor”
His appointment comes at a time when the Trump administration is dealing with various geopolitical challenges including China’s military expansion in the South China Sea.