The Pentagon warns in a new report that China is “likely” training its pilots to target the U.S. and pursuing nuclear capabilities on long-range bombers. “Over the last three years, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) 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. The annual report also notes the Chinese air force has “been re-assigned a nuclear mission” that could see Beijing deploying long-range strategic bombers with a nuclear delivery capability “within the next 10 years.” China also plans to set up floating nuclear power plants in the South China Sea, a move the Pentagon says would “add a nuclear element to the territorial dispute.” The report comes amid a bitter trade war between Beijing and Washington, and escalating tensions over China’s activities in the South China Sea.
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