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Home >> China
UPDATED: 10:25, July 21, 2005
Pentagon report reflects "cold war mentality" toward China's rise: experts
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Chinese military experts said Pentagon's annual report on Chinese military power is full of "guesswork and prejudices" and it reflects the animus and ambivalence of certain forces in the United States toward China's peaceful rise.

Although some people in the United States wantonly plays up "Chinese military threats" in the report, it won't have any obvious influence on Sino-US relations and China's military modernization won't slow down for it, says the experts.

"The report issued by the Pentagon on July 19 shows some forces in the US military sector still view China's peaceful rise with cold war mentality," said Shi Yan, a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Military Science.

The report, originally scheduled to be released in April or May, has been postponed again and again for various reasons.

"Its difficult birth indicates that this is not an objective research report," said marine expert Li Yaqiang. "If it is entirely based on facts, why should it be postponed again and again and revised again and again. Generally, only conjectures are prone to revisions."

Li, who participated in the drafting of China's national defense white paper several times, said the report made irresponsible subjective conjecture on the growth of China's military spending, development of weaponry and military modernization.

For instance, said Li, the report says China's actual military expenditure is three times that of the officially released figure.

"That's sheer nonsense!" said Li. "China's national defense is becoming increasingly transparent. The fact has been acknowledged by the world."

He said along with China's economic growth, China's expenditure on national defense has grown slightly in recent years mainly to address the gap accumulated over the years.

"Even so, China's national defense spending is still at a relatively low level compared with other big countries," he said.

China's national defense spending amounted to 211.7 billion yuan (approximately 25.5 billion US dollars) in 2004, while that the United States was 455.9 billion dollars, 17.8 times of the Chinese figure. The per capita figure of the United States was even 77 times that of the Chinese one.

Li said there's no cause to blame China's weaponry upgrade, which is necessary for China to cope with a complicated and changeable international situation, safeguard national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.

Shi Yan said the report is also noted for its advocacy of the message that the Chinese mainland's military power has surpassed that of Taiwan.

"These sensational remarks constitute a tactic that has been constantly used by the report," said Shi. "Its purpose is to compel Taiwan authorities to pass an arms purchase bill involving huge expenditure to satisfy US arms dealers and bring development of relations across the Taiwan Strait to a standstill."

Choosing cooperation based on a new security concept featuring "mutual trust, mutual benefits, equality and collaboration" or choosing confrontation based on the "cold war mentality"? That's a matter that concerns not only the development and orientation of China and the United States, but also peace and Stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the whole world, said Shi.

In spite of the report, the two experts are still sanguine about the theme of cooperation and a win-win relationship between China and the United States.

"The United States is a pluralistic society. Although the report is submitted in the name of the US Department of Defense, it is not likely to reflect the main stream opinion of the US society and less likely to change the set course of the United States' China policy," said Shi.

"In the United States, more and more people have realized that common interest between China and the United States is growing constantly. The best policy to benefit the fundamental interests of the two countries is seeking common ground while reserving differences," Shi said.

Li Yaqiang said the general situation of cooperation and a win-win relationship between China and the United States will not change, and the set pace of China's military modernization will not slow down under the effects of the report.

Source: Xinhua

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