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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Defense budget guards peaceful intentions

(Global Times)

14:20, March 09, 2012

(Photo from Global Times)

Asia's combined military spending may surpass Europe's this year, according to a study by the British think tank, the International Institute for Strategic Studies. The report stressed that growth in China's defense budget accounts for 30 percent of total Asian growth.

These two numbers have little significant meaning. Asia and Europe are not in an arms race.

There is no prospect of war between the two in the near future. As for the second, China's total military budget is way lower than 30 percent of the Asian total, while the growth does not suggest real deterrence capability.

Actually, the difference in defense budgets between China and the US is a far more important factor shaping Asian geopolitics than differences among Asian countries. Most Asian military issues originate in Washington. It is more meaningful to consider the US military budget, which was eight times China's in 2011.

Maritime conflict between China and its neighboring countries may not avoid the consequence of a military clash but China is not willing to solve territorial disputes this way. Its restraint is the foundation of Asian stability. If China repeated Japan's aggressive approach of a century ago, Asia would look very different.

China must possess strategic military power due to its uncertain defense environment. The uncertainty brought by China's rise is often stressed, but Chinese feel the same way. The US "return to Asia" has created a disturbance in China and neighboring countries. The fast growth of Asian military budgets is related to this factor.

Neither China nor the US has gone overboard in reacting to the other. China is not pursuing a military advantage over the US. This is inconceivable to this generation of Chinese.

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Leave your comment2 comments

  1. Name

McKechnie at 2012-03-1565.95.206.*
Strong fences make good neighbours.
Ron at 2012-03-09113.239.224.*
"If China repeated Japan"s aggressive approach of a century ago, Asia would look very different."It is good that you reflect on this, All of Japan"s cities were firebombed and 2 muked

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