While last year's report said that the People's Liberation Army lacked equipment and logistical support that would prevent China from conducting large-scale landing operations, the new report said that China had improved its air and sea transport capabilities, although it still lacks equipment and logistics.
The PLA's carrier fleet allows it to project naval and aerial force beyond the first and second island chains, and it appears to regularly conduct distant-sea exercises.
Gray-zone tactics include such tactics as the illegal operation of Chinese sand dredgers in Taiwanese waters.
The ability of China to blackout and cut communications have extended west of Taiwan and the first island chain, the report said, amplifying the assessment of previous reports, which said that China possessed the ability to paralyze Taiwan's anti-air and anti-surface systems and to effectively shut down its ability to launch countermeasures via cyberattacks.
Beijing no longer considers the sea it's only way to put boots on the ground but has expanded its options to include air-dropping troops.
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