The head of US intelligence said that while China’s military remains primarily focused on recapturing Taiwan, the country’s naval and missile buildup portends a global role for the country, AFP reported. "China’s desire to secure access to the markets, commodities, and energy supplies needed to sustain domestic economic growth significantly influences its foreign engagement," retired admiral Dennis Blair, President Obama’s new head of national intelligence, told Congress during the US intelligence committee’s annual risk assessment. Blair said that Beijing is trying to remain on friendly terms with foreign powers, but the country is also seeking to build up its image and influence in order to secure its external interests and counter threats to those interests and to its territorial integrity. Blair noted that the improvement in relations between Taiwan and Beijing was a good sign, but also that China’s soldiers are taking a more active role in the world. Of particular worry to the US is China’s short- and medium-range ballistic missiles that could attack US military bases in the Western Pacific.
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