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An inopportune or inappropriate report
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15:39, March 06, 2008

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The US Defense Department, or the Pentagon, has released its annual assessment of Chinese military power. On March 3, "the 2008 Military Power of the People's Republic of China" was delivered to the United States Congress by Pentagon, in which it again peddled the theory concerning China's military threat.

"The lack of transparency in China's military and security affairs poses risks to regional security," notes the Pentagon report, which has also viciously exaggerated the Chinese army's cyber and outer space operational capabilities.

Without any significant evidences, the report guesses that that hackings of computer networks in the US Defense Department and Federal Government in 2007 might come from China, infers or implies that the launch of Chang'e-1 was conducive for increasing its operational capacity in the outer space, and also alleges that the gap in the military strength across the Taiwan Strait has somewhat enlarged.

The keynote of the Pentagon report, however, is very difficult to gain a foothold. By citing "the lack of transparency in China's military," it has in fact turned a blind eye to substantial efforts China has made to raise its military transparency. China has promulgated main strategic ideas on its self-defense nuclear strategies and the development of its ground, naval and air forces, with a detailed account of the composition, growth ranges and reasons listed for the national defense spending and their principal uses in the six national defense white papers China it has released since 1995.

At the same time, China's armed forces have kept up exploring and expanding its exchanges and cooperation with armies of other countries. The Chinese navy has completd 29 overseas journeys of naval vessels or formations of vessels, which called at more than 30 countries from the mid 1980s. Moreover, since 2002, the Chinese army has held more than 20 joint military drills or exercises with over 20 countries, including Russia and India.

So, people are really at a loss what to say as the Pentagon report charges China with "posing risks to regional security." With China's positive coordinative efforts, a breakthrough progress was made regarding the Korea Peninsula Issue last year, and the process to defunct Yongbyon nuclear facilities in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is drawing to a close; China has played a constructive role in negotiations with regard to Iran's nuclear enrichment program. In order to resolve the crisis of Darfur region in Sudan, China has not only sent its special representative for maneuvering and but dispatched its peacekeeping troops there. It is thus quite evident that China has played a vital, crucial role in stabilizing the regional situation and safeguarding the world peace.

The Pentagon report, nevertheless, plays up China's operational capability in the outer space while neglecting the United States' rejection in February 12 of a Sino-Russian draft treaty to ban the use of weapons in the outer space and downing of a spay satellite on February 20. The U.S. army commenced to develop the anti-satellite missiles three decades ago, back in 1978, and proceeded to begin deploying its new-type space-based weaponry system in 2004.

As for a growing gap of the military power across the Taiwan Strait, it poses merely a stereotype phrase, which has often been appearing or recurring in the Pentagon's annual reports on China's military power, with a purpose of merely finding the excuse for its continued arms sale to Taiwan.

China has embarken on the steps that have been taken by any normal countries to develop their military, acknowledged US National Intelligence Director Michael McConnel in his written testimony to Congress. In fact, some Americans would not be concerned with China's military threat provided they do away with their "amnesia" and look squarely and rationally that the Chinese government has increased its defense spending appropriately on the basis of the relatively sustained, stable growth of the national economy and a subsequent growth in the financial revenue.

By People's Daily Online and its author is Xin Benjian

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