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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 15:38, June 15, 2005
Why does US preach "China military threat"?
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The wave of "China military threat theory" whipped up by the US military is a dangerous practice, involving its attempt to obstinately place China in a "rival" position. The "China military threat theory" not only injures China's security, it all the more involves the price paid for the peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the price paid for US misled security.

On June 4, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld delivered a lengthy speech at the Asia-Pacific security conference held in Singapore, with bombastic words attacking China's military development as "threatening" the military balance in the Taiwan Straits and Asia as a whole. At a time when the US army is about to conclude the large-scale counter-terrorism war stage and to usher in a new strategic adjustment, the backdrop and intention of these words uttered by Rumsfeld make people feel worry.

US again searches for enemies

The global counter-terrorism war launched by the United States has come to an end for the time being and America is now faced with an opportunity for strategic adjustment in security. In the opinion of the United States, the forces of terrorism, having been severely attacked by the more than three years of global anti-terror war, have been greatly weakened, although the counter-terrorism struggle will remain for a long time to come, it is still the traditional countries that constitute strategic threats to the United States. The White House anxiously hopes to continuously advance its global hegemonic undertaking, to this end, strategically it needs to take China as a new "adversary", in order to realize its security strategic shift.

US Right-wing forces and military are accustomed to regarding China as the "target", so as to consolidate its power and position in the US political circles. Many people in the US Right-wing forces and military have all along clung to the Cold War mentality, and held fast to the principle of containment in their policy toward China. They summed up all the problems encountered in US economy, society and security as "China threat", setting up all kinds of obstacles in the way of the development of Sino-US relationships.

At the same time, in agitating "China threat", the US army aims to create excuses for directing the spearhead of its strategic disposition adjustment in the Asia-Pacific region against China. In recent years, the United States has plans to quickly beef up its navy, land and air forces in East Asia and the West Pacific region, the US army's think-tank energetically advocates examining the situation of its troops stationed in the Asia-Pacific region, encircling and blocking China and strategically clamping down the military activities on the Chinese coasts. Besides an aircraft carrier formation permanently stationed in Guam and Hawaii, the US army increased its West Pacific formation stationed in Japan's Yokosuka to two, at the same time, it deployed two fleets carrying preset weaponry and logistic materials. US ground force also transferred the First Army Command from the US proper to Japan's Kanagawa to intensify its military hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region. As early as the 1990s, the United States moved part of the logistic command of its Pacific navy to Singapore, as a result, US troops in the Asia-Pacific joined Japan, S. Korea, Okinawa, Taiwan, the Philippines and Singapore together.

Uniting Japan to list China as primary enemy

Bruce Wright, commander of US army in Japan, disclosed in his speech delivered in Tokyo on May 11 that the US and Japanese governments had begun studying establishment of a Japan-US "joint operational command center" in the Yokota base of US troops in Japan, in order to strengthen bilateral military cooperation. Wright said that the US and Japanese governments would hold in Japan a "conference of leaders on the command and management of joint operations" at the end of June, formally beginning preparation for the establishment of the "joint operational command center", adding that the "joint operational command center" would introduce a "joint operation commanding and managing system" which will quickly transmit through satellite the intelligence and instructions obtained through the early warning satellite to Japan's Self-Defense Forces charged with missile interception task. US and Japanese military officers said with one voice that the agreement reached jointly by the Japanese and US sides on the common use of the Yokota base is a component part of US global military strategic adjustment. According to Japanese media reports, the Japanese and US governments have decided to begin formulating a "joint operational plan" and other military programs dealing specifically with Taiwan Strait disputes as well as the Korean Peninsula. A Japanese scholar recently pointed out that Japan is shifting the focus of its military disposition from north to south and from east to west, the former is aimed at China, and the latter at the DPRK. He said, "this is that Japan listed China as the primary enemy for the first time after World War II."

Agitating "China threat" actually threatens the Asia-Pacific region

In addition, another important issue we cannot neglect is the intention harbored by the US military in instigating the "China military threat theory" and its influence.

Firstly, the US military stirred up the "China military threat theory" is intended to create a tense atmosphere and estrangement in the Asia-Pacific region, disrupt the security cooperative mechanism being arduously deliberated by various East Asian countries and maintain US dominant authority in this region. In recent years, frequent and fruitful economic cooperation and trade relations in the East Asian region has made it necessary and possible for the establishment of a security mutual trust framework, and this tentative idea has been accepted by most East Asian countries. The situation now taking shape in the field of security cooperation in the East Asian region has aroused the uneasiness among some Americans. They fear that they would thus lose their dominant power over East Asian security affairs and which would be replaced by China.

Secondly, so-called "China military threat theory" actually may produce dual effects on the Taiwan Strait situation: One is pulling and raising the "Taiwan independence" forces and morale and thus offsetting the blows given to "Taiwan independence" forces by the recent cross-Strait political interactions. This could give a wrong signal to "Taiwan independence" forces, so that the "independence" forces may feel more emboldened with US backing, the result would possibly damage peace on both sides of the Straits; the second is to press Taiwan to pass the arms purchase plan at an early date, this would meet the interests of US arms dealers and maintain and "consolidate" the "partition" status quo of the two sides of the Straits.

Thirdly, the "China military threat theory" will damage the fragile Sino-US relationship of military trust. These words and deeds of the US military reflect their attitude on the strategic issue, and indicate that they do not pay attention to the Sino-US relations of limited military mutual trust. US experts on the issue of Chinese military affairs reach a wide-ranging consensus on China's armed forces: China's army lags at least 20 years behind the US army, they play up "China military threat", which is indeed too exaggerative.

The wave of "China military threat theory" whipped up by the US military is a dangerous practice, involving the attempt of obstinately placing China in the "opponent" position. We must keep sufficient vigilance against this. Time will prove that the "China military threat theory" not only injures China's security, it all the more involves the price paid for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the price paid for the misled US security. Only when China and the United States reduce suspicions, abandon confrontation and expand mutual trust, can they shoulder the common task of meeting future security challenges.

The article on the 11th page of Global Times, June 13, is translated by People's Daily Online. The author is a research fellow with China's Academy of Military Sciences.


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