China is modernising its military and plans to extend its influence into the Pacific and Indian oceans, according to the US Department of Defense (Dod).

In its annual report to Congress, the DoD listed areas in which China’s military was advancing, which included areas such as new nuclear-powered submarines equipped with intercontinental ballistic missiles, space warfare systems and cyber warfare capabilities.

The report said China possessed the most active land-based ballistic and cruise missiles, surface-to-air missiles, principal combatants, submarines, and amphibious warfare ships in Asia.

The main focus of China’s military modernisation, however, is on hindering US forces operating in Taiwan.

China’s People’s Liberation Army (Pla) will deploy 1,050-1,150 short-range ballistic missiles in areas opposite Taiwan by December 2010, according to