China had learned to watch the United States go to war in the Middle East and used these lessons to develop its own military, said current army chief General Mark Milley at his confirmation hearing before the Senate armed services committee.
"China went to school at us," Milley said, answering a question from Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in Virginia.
"They saw us very close in the First Gulf War, the Second Gulf War. They looked at our possibilities. In many ways they have mimicked them and they have adopted many of the doctrines and organizations."
Milley questioned questions about how he should act as the president's chief military advisor and manage the pressure to leave their own opinions in the Oval Office.
About he confirmed he will succeed outgoing chairman of the joint chiefs, Joseph Dunford, to become the highest-ranking military officer in the United States and the president's military adviser. This transition would come at a time when the Trump administration faces a number of geopolitical challenges, including the continued expansion of the Chinese military force, seen in areas such as the South China Sea.
"China is improving its military very quickly – in space, air, cyber, maritime, land domains," Milley said. "They spend us in research and development and procurement … We, the United States, must ensure that we do not lose our benefits as we have relations with other countries, especially in relation to China."
But Milley was cautious about pointing out that "China is not the enemy", but instead was a "competitor".
The term "enemy" means "you are in war," he added. "We're not there. We don't want to be there. We want peace, not war, with China."
Kaine wasn The only senator who raised questions about China. When Republican late David Perdue in Georgia asked whether China's reconstruction of its military constituted a long-term threat, Milley replied: "I think China is the main challenge for US security over the next 50-100 years. I think any historian in 2119 will look back on this century and write a book and the central theme of history will be the relationship between the United States and China. "
Milley, who was dropped by Trump to become the next chairman of the joint chiefs in December, has ordered entities The 10th Mountain Division and the 101th Airborne and served several camps in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After becoming army chief for the military in 2015, Milley helped to monitor the army's transition from large-scale campaigns to campaigns in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, instead focusing on challenges from Russia and China.