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Home >> China
UPDATED: 12:19, June 13, 2005
US official peddles weaponry sale by "cooking up" China military threat theory: experts
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Chinese military experts on Friday dismissed the notion that China is a military threat, articulated up by US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld earlier this month, saying it is totally groundless and is actually designed to peddle the sale of US weapons.

Rumsfeld said on June 4 at an Asian regional security conference held in Singapore that "China was sharply increasing its military spending and buying large amounts of sophisticated weapons. Since no nation threatens China, one must wonder: Why this growing investment? Why these continuing large and expanding arms purchases?"

Peng Guangqian, a major general of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), who is also a research fellow with the PLA Military Academy of Sciences, said on Friday that Rumsfeld's frequent mention of the military threat from China has at least three true objectives.

"Firstly, the US Department of Defense needs an excuse to maintain its huge military budget and military scale; secondly, portraying China as a military threat could help promote the sale of US arms and; thirdly, China as a military threat could help the US continue to interfere in Taiwan Straits relations and could be used as a good excuse for the U.S. to sell weapons to Taiwan's military," Peng elaborated.

Peng said Rumsfeld's accusations coincided with a recent Pentagon's China military report, and that various experts who have read it feel it reads like science fiction and exaggerates China's military capabilities and intentions.

Last year, China's national defense budget was 211.7 billion yuan (about 25.5 billion US dollars), while that of the United States was 455.9 billion US dollars, or 17.8 times of China, Peng said. Per capita US defense expenditures were 77 times that of China.

PLA major general Ding Jiye, head of the finance office of the PLA General Logistics Department, said that along with its economic growth, China has increased national defense spending in recent years. The increases are used chiefly to improve the living conditions of military officers and men, he said.

China set a 244.7 billion yuan (approximately 29.48 billion US dollars) budget for national defense in 2005, up 12.6 percent over last year. From January 2005, the PLA increased the daily board expenses for its soldiers by 1.8 yuan to 10 yuan. "China has neither the willingness nor capability to expand it military drastically," said Ding.

"As a sovereign nation, China is entitled to invest a certain proportion of its tax revenues for maintaining a limited defense force. Its military force is defensive, not offensive, and it will never threaten other countries," said Peng.

The May 9th issue of Newsweek carried a cover story saying that a handful of Americans, mainly "neoconservatives" and Pentagon officials, always exaggerate China's military intentions.

Source: Xinhua

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