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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 20:58, May 28, 2005
For what does US over-estimate China's military power?
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On May 20, the US Department of Defence referred to the US Congress an annual report on "Chinese military power", playing the hackneyed theme of "China threat theory" again.

However in order to strengthen its persuasion, a large amount of fabricated contents, which are more seditious, were filled to the report such as the "huge Chinese military expenditure" in recent years, modernized progress of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) that will threaten the security of US army and the aggravated imbalance between the military powers across the Taiwan Straits.

Due to the over exaggeration the "report" suffered the queries and criticism from numerous professional research personages in the US immediately. The US former Ambassador to China James Lilley analyzed that "China threat" has been exaggerated by some Pentagon people maliciously.

The "report" says the Chinese military spending in 2003 reached 65 billion US dollars and was up to 70 billion US dollars in 2004. As to this, James Mulvenon, expert on the issue of China national defence with the US RAND (Research and Development) Corporation, thinks "The US government does not sit down and study the firsthand information on Chinese military spending, but "guess without restraint'." Just as what an article published by the US "International Herald Tribune" on April 8 said that US has already suffered from "the bigoted disease of China threat".

These wrong "evidences" stem from some very important persons from the US government. At the beginning of this year, Porter Goss spread that China military modernization constitutes the direct threat to US when he became the chief to head the US Central Intelligence Agency; then, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said while speaking to Senate's Military Committee that within 10 years, the scale of the Chinese navy will exceed that of the US.

Then, why does US Department of Defence spare no effort to exaggerate China's military strength constantly? To sum up, there are nothing more than five respects:

First of all, the US military and right-wing forces need China to be its strategic rival in order to reach the goal of "having the soldiers and conducting itself with dignity". It makes them eager to "make" a new strategic rival since the anti-terrorism war is drawing to an end, in order to maintain its position and force in the American political circles.

Professor of Political Science John Mearsheimer with Chicago University, the heavyweight personage in the US academic circles, said with ulterior motives, "China can not emerge peacefully" and "the possibility of making war is quite great". In order to cope with the emergence of China, the American right-wing conservatives and the military always stand together to make uproar for strengthening its military containment against China.

Second, make a favorable atmosphere for the US global strategic readjustment. According to American media, while planning to make "Chinese military power" report in Pentagon, US Defence Secretary Rumsfeld was organizing the senior aides and staff of the Department of Defence to make a secret report on the new military strategy of the American army.

The so-called "new military strategy" is to shift its defence emphasis in the East Asia to China progressively in its global military deployment in a certain sense. As long as the strategic emphasis is established, the US military will have a sufficient reason to require the US Congress to increase the military expenditure by a big margin.

Third, bear away the huge profit orders for the American interest groups of military industries. Regarding China as the strategic rival, the military and right wing forces are the biggest profit-making sides. As everyone knows, the US Department of Defence is in fact the advertiser and promoter for the products manufactured by the huge groups of the US military industries.

Fourth, exaggerate China's military strength for the excuse of its military sales to Taiwan. On one hand the US advises devoting more efforts to the military sales to Taiwan at home; on the other hand, it threatens the Taiwan authorities to make an early decision in order to buy more American weapons and said that otherwise, there will be no support for Taiwan's security. The enhancement of its military sales to Taiwan also brings benefits to the military industrial groups and the military.

Fifth it presses those who intend to strengthen their military technological cooperation with China. It exaggerates China military strength willfully, plays up China threat in the East Asia purposely as well as warns the European Union and Israel not to have their military technological cooperation with China.

Article carried on the People's Daily Overseas Edition, May 24, and translated by People's Daily Online

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