UK is right to treat China as a rising threat, military experts warn

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Veerle Nouwens, senior research fellow in international security at the Royal United Services Institute, believes China presents “both a direct and indirect challenge” to the UK. “China’s military modernisation efforts have already transformed it into having the world’s largest navy and coast guard in fleet size, while it seeks to further build its capabilities across all domains in order to be a ‘world class military’ by 2049,” said Ms Nouwens. “The ambition to increase China’s conventional and nuclear capabilities further add to rising tensions in the region, with countries like Japan now looking to build their own counterstrike capabilities. “All this stands to destabilise an incredibly important region that is critical to the global economy, as was highlighted by a recent assessment by the Rhodium Group that a blockade of Taiwan, for instance, would cost the global economy well over US$2trn. “As the Integrated Review notes, there are potential conflicts in the Indo-Pacific which would stand to have global consequences greater than the conflict in Ukraine. This should be of concern to the UK, as much as any country in the region.”