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UPDATED: 14:31, June 25, 2004
India, Japan assert China is already a military power
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Recently, Indian and Japanese media published in succession two reports on China's military strength. An evaluation report by a concerned institution revealed by the Hindu holds that China's military strength ranks second in the world next only to the United States, this is not completely the same as similar research result gained by some Western research institutes; while an article on a Japanese newspaper, World Daily, declares that China's military strength will run parallel with that of the United States in 2015.

India puts the United States, China and India at the 'first level'
According to a report by the Hindu, the Secretariat of the Indian National Security Committee recently published the latest edition of the Evaluation Report on National Security Index. The report was completed by a research group led by Prof. Satish Kumar Jain with the Jawaharlal Nehru University, the objects of research encompass 50 main countries in the world, it made a comprehensive evaluation of national security index based on five main indices, namely, national defense capacity, GNP, humane developmental level, research developmental level and population index, the rankings are put in the following order: the United States, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, Russia, Germany, India, France, Britain and Israel.

India's Financial Times report says that the report drew on and referred to US think-tank-Rand Company's "national strength" evaluation mode (the three aspects of the resources, performance and military strength of the state) as well as the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) "overall national strength" concept (including eight items-natural resources, domestic economy, import and export trade, science and technology, military, government control capacity, diplomacy and social development capability), the item "population index" is added to it, designed to stress the "population strength" a country can embody, not the simple number of population.

While evaluating the index of national defense capability, the report synthesizes the research object's national defense spending and the number of armed forces, it lists the United States, China and India at the first level, Russia comes fourth, the ROK, Pakistan,Turkey, Iran, Vietnam and Egypt rank from fifth to 10th.

Comprehensive national strength is one of the main bases for a country to formulate its internal policy and foreign strategy,various countries have a variety of different ways of guess and estimation, but the way like India's pure research on the "national security index" is rarely seen.

Japan to make preparations for a US-China "new Cold War structure"
Japanese military commentator Kyudai Nineo on April 5 published an article entitled "Making Preparation for US-China 'New Cold War Structure'", emphasizing that the "Japanese nationals must have a profound understanding of the threat that is imperceptibly coming near Japan".

The article holds that according to Napoleonic behest on "a defeated country not to be revived in one hundred years", Japan that had lost to the United States should have been revived in 40 years. But viewed from the structure of visibly changing Asian strength, it must be said this is actually an extremely na?ve prediction. That is to say, attention must be paid to the following US judgment-China whose military strength is already approaching the United States will eventually advance side by side with the United States in 2015. Obviously, by then no matter how US-China relationship will change, Japan, America's ally, will have to be involved in it.

The article has a basic tentative idea about the development trend of US-China relationship in 2015: First, US-China confrontation (entry into a war state); second, formation of a Cold War structure; third, formation of an alliance relationship. Of the three points, the possibility for the "formation of a Cold War structure" is the greatest, the possibility for the "formation of alliance" is the smallest. Like previous US-Soviet ties, the United States and China which possess powerful military strengths in the Asia-Pacific region will, while retaining their mutually restrictive global strategic relationship, continue to maintain their mutually confronting military strength and their interdependence relationship of the economic market.

The article points out that the United States has been prepared to gradually establish a "strategic net of encirclement against China" in the name of "eliminating terrorism". The author holds that under whatever circumstance, Japan must uphold Japan-US military alliance, and Japanese nationals must cherish the following sense of crisis-once Japan-US relationship of alliance deteriorates, the State of Japan will face a critical crisis.

Prime Minister Koizumi has adopted the policy of "leaning to the side" of the United States, he ignores the unanimous opinion of Japanese nationals, and even forcibly sent the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to Iraq, the future will be the "real beginning of test "the SDF accept US test on whether Japan can be America's ally.

After obtaining the US "certification", the SDF, as a component part of US "elimination of terrorism", the "strategic net of encirclement against China", must participate in the US fighting ranks, only at that time can a "new Japanese army" be born as expected by the United States. The "obstacle" blocking the thorny road to a "new Japanese army" is precisely the "war" under the US-China "new Cold War structure", that would break out at any moment, and marks the formal beginning of Japan-US joint operations. That is exactly the future "contingencies" Japan has all along been discussing.

A competitive situation is being formed rapidly among Asian powers
According to Western strategic research theory, the definition of a "big country" consists of three aspects: having fairly adequate "hard national strength" (including economy, military and science and technology) and "soft national strength" (the political system, nationals' quality, the degree of state and social unity, the situation of education and the state's control capability), as well as the degree of influence exerted by the international community.

It is the general view of Western countries that China, Japan and India are the three Asian countries where "conditions for being big powers are most available". Despite difference in their developmental modes, the three leading Asian countries are faced with an increasingly evident situation of competition among big powers in the international community and in the Asian strategic pattern.

As the world's No.1 most populous country and the only UN permanent Security Council member in Asia, China is actively creating a favorable strategic environment. In recent years, China's military strength has indeed experienced a steady growth, however, it has never gone beyond the actual need for consolidating national defense and guaranteeing national interests, still less constituting a military threat to neighboring countries.

However, China's rapid economic growth, the evident growth of its overall national strength and an ever-bigger role it plays in international affairs-these have unavoidably caused India and Japan to pay ever-higher "attention" to China.

India's economy has been developing very fast in recent years: Its average economic growth rate has reached 6 percent for 10 consecutive years. US Goldman Sachs predicts that in light of the present development rate, it is possible for India to become the world's third largest economic entity in 2050 following China and the United States.

As a matter of fact, India not only wants to become a big power in Asia, it all the more wants to squeeze itself into the ranks of world big powers. Recently, Indian media have been zealously discussing topics such as "Is India a Big Power?" and "Who Is the Big Power in Asia?" The delineation of India as "a big power" by the "Evaluation Report on National Security Index" is exactly a reflection of the psyche of self-improvement.

In the opinion of India's Financial Times, along with the fast development of economy and science and technology, China will probably pose greater strategic challenge to India, India should pay high attention to this challenge from China.

For many years, Japan has intensified the building of its military strength under the pretext of the "peripheral situation" and attempted to rename the SDF a regular army. From the article on the Japanese newspaper, it can be seen that so-called "peripheral situation" actually is Japan's consideration of China-US strategic confrontation.

Japan directs the spearhead at China in its advance toward a big military power and regards the growth of China's military strength as a main threat, and the basic road for it to become a big military power is to strengthen US-Japan military alliance, particularly to intensify the joint combat capability of SDF and US troops.

It is thus clear that Indian and Japanese media "casting their eyes" on China is nothing surprising.

By People's Daily Online

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