( dpa )- China's secretive military buildup could fuel instability in Asia and could create confusion about Beijing's intentions, the Pentagon said in an annual report published Monday.
"The lack of transparency in China's military and security affairs poses risks to stability by increasing the potential for misunderstanding and miscalculation," the report said.
China has been modernizing its nuclear force by fielding new DF-31 and DF-31A intercontinental ballistic missiles and is upgrading its capability to wage in war in the Taiwan Strait, the report said.
The United States has been expressing concerns about the potential challenges to US military superiority from China's buildup as Beijing continues to accelerate improvements to the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
The Pentagon said in the report that China does not provide complete figures for its military budget and that some aspects of the buildup are inconsistent with Beijing's stated goals.
" China's leaders have yet to explain in detail the purposes and objectives of the PLA's modernizing military capabilities," said the report, titled Military Power of the People's Republic of China.
China has sought to expand its capabilities beyond conventional forces to include the ability to strike in space and through the internet to disrupt longstanding US advantages, the report said.
China sparked international criticism including from the United States in January 2007 when it successfully hit its own ageing weather satellite in orbit with a ballistic missile. Washington harshly criticized Beijing for the test.
The US military in February shot down an unresponsive satellite carrying toxic fuel.