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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 16:56, June 08, 2005
Don Quixote in the Pentagon
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Since the formation of the new interim Iraqi government and the shift of US army's main task to the training of new army and police for Iraq, senior officers of the Pentagon, like Don Quixote, are again seeking new rivals worldwide, thus beginning to preach the "China threat theory", of whom, the most energetic trumpeter is Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

He first said at the Senate: In less than 10 years, the size of China's navy will surpass that of the United States. Recently at the Asia-Pacific Security Conference in Singapore, he claimed: China's military spending is much higher than the published budget, just behind that of the United States and Russia, ranking third in the world; such military expansion would result in a regional military imbalance, this is particularly true with the case of Taiwan; China does not face military threats from any countries and yet it continuously increases its expenditure on national defense and repeatedly enlarges its missile capabilities and precision weaponry, people cannot but ask: For what does it increase its military spending?

On June 7, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao pointed out in just and severe terms: Rumfeld's parlance about China's actual military spending being ranked first in Asia and third in the world is utterly groundless.

The well-known fact is that the US military spending in 2004 was as high as US$455.9 billion, equivalent to the combined total of countries around the world. China's military spending last year was only 211.7 billion RMB yuan, much less than the US figure. In other words, American military spending was 17.8 times that of China's, if calculated on a per-capita basis, US military spending was 77 times that of China's. Furthermore, China is a country with a vast territory and long boundary line and coastline, like any other countries, China needs an appropriate growth of expenditure on national defense, so as to meet the requirement for maintaining the security of normal national defense.

More importantly, whether or not a country constitutes a threat does not depend completely on a slight increase or decrease in its military spending, instead it depends more on the foreign policy it pursues. China pursues an independent diplomatic line of peace and follows a foreign policy of "developing good-neighborly relationship and partnership" and of "bringing harmony, security and prosperity to neighbors". Let's come to see that self-styled most democratic superpower, how many wars it has launched on the lands of others and how many civilians it has killed in the past few years?

Again it was this superpower that refused to sign the CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty), refused to commit itself to refraining from using nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries, it has not only deployed a missile defensive system, but also has plans to develop land-boring weapons, and demands the disposition of outer space weapons! Not long ago a US newspaper carried a cartoon: Uncle Sam carrying on the head a high missile pointed his finger at the nose of a person, saying: Do what I say, not what I do. This cartoon sketches the rude and arrogant images of certain Americans in a vivid and penetrating way.

Perhaps people may ask: Why does the Pentagon trumpet the "China threat theory" again? Actually this is not hard to understand, although physically they have entered the 21st century, mentally they still stay in the Cold War era, they still judge the world changes by the standard of Cold War mentality, they regard the fast developing China as a potential enemy.

Domestically they advertise the "China threat theory" for two purposes: One is that they vainly attempt to exaggerate China's military development in order to affect the Bush administration's policy toward China. Second is that they strive for more military orders for the war industry group backing the Pentagon.

In trumpeting the "China threat theory" abroad, Rumsfeld's intention is to evoke doubts and worries among China's neighboring countries, so as to drive a wedge in the relations between China and its East Asian neighbors. But this trick seems cannot succeed--Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has clearly pointed out that the intention to contain China will not be accepted by many countries in the Asian region. Because people free from prejudice can clearly see that China's peaceful development is an opportunity, not a threat.

Another reason explaining why the Pentagon cannot succeed is that after the United States told a glaring lie about the reason why it launched war in Iraq, how many people are left to believe its irresponsible remarks?

Carried on the front page of People's Daily Overseas Edition on June 8, this article is translated by People's Daily Online

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