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US damages mutual trust with China military report

By Wang Tian/Xiao Tiefeng (People's Daily)

16:50, August 29, 2011

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

The U.S. Department of Defense recently submitted a report titled "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2011" to Congress and released it to the public on Aug. 24.

The department wrote in the report that the United States welcomes a strong, prosperous and successful China that reinforces international rules and norms and enhances world security and peace. It also recognized China's growing involvement in international peacekeeping efforts, counter-piracy operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Regrettably, the department deliberately ignored China's defensive national defense policy, expressing unnecessary worries that "China's modernized military could be put to use in ways that increase China's ability to gain diplomatic advantage or resolve disputes in its favor."

According to the 84-page report, relations between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan have improved greatly since 2008. While acknowledging that there were no armed incidents in the vicinity of the Taiwan Strait in 2010 and the overall situation remained stable, the Department of Defense played up the military threat from the Chinese mainland in a self-contradictory manner.

The report alleged, "There remains uncertainty about how China will use its growing capabilities." The department believes that China's military has benefited from robust investments in modern hardware and technology over the past decade, and many modern systems have reached maturity. During the next decade, the People's Liberation Army will integrate many new and complex platforms and adopt modern operational concepts, including joint operations and network-centric warfare.

Furthermore, the department paid special attention to China's space and cyberspace capabilities, claiming that the U.S. government's computer systems suffered cyber intrusions originating in China in 2010. The report is self-contradictory to a certain extent. For example, it said that although China's expanding military capabilities can facilitate cooperation between the two countries in pursuit of shared objectives, they can also increase the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculation.

It is groundless for the American side to play up China's military strength. Even U.S.-based the New York Times had to point out on Aug. 22 that the Pentagon's annual military spending is 500 billion U.S. dollars more than that of China, and its military spending in Iraq and Afghanistan is closer to 700 billion U.S. dollars a year. According to the newspaper, Chen Bingde, China's Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army, said during his visit to the United States three months ago that China had no interest in challenging the American military.

The report has highlighted the development of China's navy. This year's report has added two "special topics" of China's maritime strategy and foreign military contacts, claiming that China’s military is boldly entering into global waters that have long been dominated by the United States. The report has also included the information on China's aircraft program, anti-ship ballistic missiles and air fighters and provided considerable coverage of China's “territorial disputes” with its neighboring countries, asserting that China's stance on the South China Sea issue is the source of regional conflicts.

Michael Schiffer, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, suggested at a news briefing of the Pentagon on Aug. 24 that the report should be viewed as the sets of questions and issues that the United States would like to be able to engage in dialogue and discussion with the Chinese side. The United States thinks that these are the questions and the issues that are important for it to be able to understand. He has also specified some military communication mechanisms and channels between the United States and China.

Reviewing the series of high-level military exchanges between China and the United States carried out in 2011, it could be easily found that the channels for the military communications and exchanges between the two countries are absolutely smooth. Then, why did the United States still obstinately make carping comments on the regular development of China's armed forces and try hard to damage the relationships between China and its neighbor countries in such a way?

Probably it is should be due to the Untied States' habitual hegemonic thought, but it obviously goes against the development direction of China-U.S. relations reached by the leaders of the two countries. The report exposed the United States' complicated position, which is that the United States not only wants China to help it in the areas related to its interests but also wants to find some excuses to press China. That kind of attitude will ultimately damage the mutual trust between the two countries.

Comment

In the "Annual Report to the Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China" issued in 2011, the U.S. Department of Defense admitted that China made contributions in international peacekeeping, anti-pirate and humanitarian aid operations, but it still unreasonably criticized China’s regular national defense construction and vociferously advocated the so-called China Threat Theory.

The U.S. assessment on China's military power has both positive and negative words but talked mainly about negative aspects, which is related to the change of American military strategy. The United States' wish to "guide" China's growing participation in world affairs by praising the latter so as to reduce its huge burden as the police of the world, which can allow the U.S. to speed up its eastern-oriented military strategy.

More fundamentally, the U.S. tries to achieve its goal of killing two birds with one stone by preaching against the excessive expansion of Chinese military. First, it wants to maintain stable military expenditures in the next years. According to the debt limit bill approved by the House and Senate in August, the United States will cut at least 350 billion U.S. dollars of its military expenditure in the next decade. Because of the downgrade of U.S. sovereign debt level and the continuing economic downturn, the U.S. military desperately needs a reason to maintain the military expenditure scale and Chinese military development provides a given excuse.

Secondly, the U.S. wants to force China's neighboring countries to assist against China's rise. It hopes to deepen these countries' fears of China by preaching the "China threat theory" to build a political alliance against China. Basically, the U.S. has been trying to return to the Asia-Pacific region, and preaching "China threat theory" helps to achieve such a strategic goal.

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:刘晓宁)

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3hairs at 2011-08-30175.137.167.*
If I were China I would not be disturbed by those comments made by DOD. Just view their comments as a propaganda ploy to try to induce fear on the Asean claimant countries in the disputed South China Sea. The US has never allowed any country (apart from the "alliance" countries) to progress militarily and if they do they feel threaten, just like a small boy, they protest. And they grew up with this sort of boyish attitude of "if you are not with me then you are against me". Whenever they feel threaten they would gang up with other countries (allies...NATO) to prevent, contain, and bully. And they eventually share the spoills of victory....and suppress their victims and imposed huge war compensations. So war for them is a viable economy. US depends heavily on arms export and their military industries create jobs, lots of jobs for the Americans. It is their aim to create instability around the world so that there are markets for their weapons of destructions. Quote from Military-industrial complex by WIKIPEDIA :"According to SIPRI, total world spending on military expenses in 2009 was $1.531 trillion US dollars. 46.5% of this total, roughly $712 billion US dollars, was spent by the United States. The privatization of the production and invention of military technology also leads to a complicated relationship with significant research and development of many technologies.The Military budget of the United States for the 2009 fiscal year was $515.4 billion. Adding emergency discretionary spending and supplemental spending brings the sum to $651.2 billion. This does not include many military-related items that are outside of the Defense Department budget. Overall the United States government is spending about $1 trillion annually on defense-related purposes.The defense industry tends to contribute heavily to incumbent members of Congress. Oliver Stone said that Néstor Kirchner, the former President of Argentina, told him former US President George W. Bush told Kirchner "The best way to revitalize the economy is war, and the U.S. has grown stronger with war." That virtually summaries the military doctrine of DOD. It is a lobbed sided view of its ownd affairs, comments created to destablise other "not-in-the gang" countries who may have ambitions to build astronger military to prevent any intimidation by the "gang". It is a self fulfilling scenario where a group of countries (like the "alliance" or NATO can pick another country to dominate (under the pretext of "a dictator regime" or "terror state" or "you-coin-any-dictum") and impose psudo-colonalism, neo-colonialism for their own gains. You would therefore counter such measures by building your military to defend your sovereignty and be accused of "threatening" and destablise the region. How convienent.
Nato insider at 2011-08-29174.253.76.*
China has been intentionally pushed its neighbors like Vietnam, Phiippines, Malaysia, Singapore, etc into the arm of the US, Russia. Continuing bullying smaller countries will be the destruction of China.
PD User at 2011-08-2991.118.50.*
The "look the other way" strategy of complaint and scoffing is wearing old. Typical response year after year when the DOD report comes out. If the PLA wants to dispute the claims, fine, but be open to proving it wrong, rather than simple bluster.
arkhangelsk at 2011-08-29210.177.156.*
Wang&Xiao: While I always have a soft spot for any country that America complains for spending on defense, you might want to be more convincing by reminding us of CONCRETE Chinese actions to substantiate its "defensive national defense policy"
  

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