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Pentagon issues annual report on China's military power
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08:15, March 27, 2009

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The U.S. Pentagon released its annual report on the Chinese military power on Wednesday, turning a blind eye to China's long-held peaceful defense policy and ever increasing military openness.

In the largely subjective report with distorted facts and groundless speculations, the Pentagon alleged that "China continues to promulgate incomplete defense expenditure figures and engage in actions that appear inconsistent with its declaratory policies."

It claimed that "the limited transparency in China's military and security affairs poses risks to stability by creating uncertainty and increasing the potential for misunderstanding and miscalculation," adding that China left unclear to the international community the purposes and objectives of the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) evolving doctrine and capabilities.

In a recent interview, Luo Yuan, a PLA major general and a researcher with the Beijing-based Academy of Military Sciences, pointed out that the accusations of the so-called "lack of transparency" of China's military were baseless.

"It's not an issue of transparency here, but rather one of trust," he said.

The Chinese government began to submit its annual report on military expenditure to the United Nations in 2007.

In other significant moves to increase its military openness and transparency, China in the past years has invited military representatives from many countries to observe PLA war games, conducted joint military exercises with neighboring countries, and enhanced personnel exchanges and dialogue between the PLA and foreign armies.

The 78-page Pentagon report, entitled "Military Power of the People's Republic of China," also interfered with China's internal affairs by making irresponsible comments on the situation across the Taiwan Straits.

"The PLA's modernization vis-a-vis Taiwan has continued over the past year... In the near-term, China's armed forces are rapidly developing coercive capabilities for the purpose of deterring Taiwan's pursuit of de jure independence," it alleged.

Last month, during the two-day Defense Policy Coordination Talks in Beijing between China and the United States, Qian Lihua, director of the Foreign Affairs Office of China's Defense Ministry, urged the United States to "prudently deal with the Taiwan question, stop upgrading substantive military relations with Taiwan, stop selling arms and make concrete actions in support of the peaceful development of cross-Straits ties."

Meanwhile, the Pentagon report acknowledged the fact that the Chinese military has contributed to global peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, and called for more dialogue between U.S. and Chinese militaries.

It said "the United States welcomes the rise of a stable, peaceful, and prosperous China, and encourages China to participate responsibly in world affairs," but added that the United States "continues to work with our allies and friends in the region" to monitor China's military developments and "adjust our policies accordingly."

The Pentagon started its practice of submitting an annual report on China's military power to the U.S. Congress in 2000.


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