A new Pentagon report calls China the main threat to the US military-industrial complex, sounding alarm over the decline of some “critical defense functions,” due to Beijing’s actions, workforce shortages and “unstable” funding.
“While multiple countries pursue policies to bolster their economies at the expense of America’s manufacturing sector, none has targeted our industrial base as successfully as China,” the report, titled ‘Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States,’ says.
The document looks at other problems, such as the decline of certain sectors, namely shipbuilding, as well as the lack of skilled workforce and the unstable flow of contracts for strategic manufacturers, whose highly niche factories sit for years without work. But most of that can be fixed by a “stable and predictable” funding flow to the Department of Defense – which has already secured a record $719 billion budget for the next year.
The document singles out Beijing, branding it a “significant and growing risk” to the supply of the materials vital to the US military, and accusing it of “aggressive” industrial policies.
Beijing’s activities have already allegedly rendered some of the US “critical defense functions” effectively extinct, namely “solar cells for military use, flat-panel aircraft displays, and the processing of rare earth elements.” Other high-tech fields are also seriously “threatened”by China’s actions, the Pentagon claims.
“China’s actions seriously threaten other capabilities, including machine tools; the production and processing of advanced materials like biomaterials, ceramics, and composites; and the production of printed circuit boards and semiconductors,” the report reads.