Posted: February 17th, 2017, 9:49am EST
Beijing's military development has placed it on 'near-parity' with Western nations, with some weapons having no equivalent, a British think tank says. Meanwhile, NATO members are lagging behind in the development of advanced military capabilities. The warning comes from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), one of the world's leading defense research institutes, which presented its annual assessment (the Military Balance 2017) on the world's armed forces on Tuesday. China's growing capabilities and the danger they pose to Western dominance were the focus for IISS director John Chipman, who presented the assessment in London. "We now judge that in some capability areas, particularly in the air domain, China appears to be reaching near-parity with the West. Also Beijing is now beginning to offer for export some of its modern military systems," he told the audience. One particular weapon the institute sees as a possible threat is the PL-10 short-range air-to-air missile, which "only a handful of leading airspace nations are able to develop," according to Chipman.