US biggest perceived threat to PLA: Strategist

08:32, April 26, 2010      

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The United States is the greatest perceived threat to the People's Liberation Army (PLA), a top military strategist told China Daily on Sunday, confirming remarks made last week to a group of visiting senior US officials.

Rear Admiral Yang Yi, the former head of strategic studies at the PLA's National Defense University, said last Thursday while addressing delegates at the US-China Government Executive Global Leadership Course.

Yang said that the US was the only country capable of threatening China's national security interests in an all-round way, while answering a question on where the PLA perceived its greatest threat as coming from.

"This is a joke and not a joke," he said.

Yang also said that (frictions over) the cross-Straits relationship was the most likely to provoke a Sino-US nuclear war.

Japan has no such ability, while Russia has no such motivation and India is more worried about China, Yang explained.

Yang said Beijing was hoping to maintain and develop a stable and healthy relationship with Washington but it also needed to make necessary preparations for any possible threats and pressures.

"Fortunately, the risk of a Sino-US confrontation is decreasing due to the relaxation of the Taiwan question," Yang noted.

He said the Taiwan question would be solved politically rather than militarily, adding the cross-Straits relationship would become even more stable and secure if it continued to develop positively (as it is now) over the next five to 10 years.

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