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US military report on China fails to see China's defense policy peace-oriented


17:19, August 26, 2011

BEIJING, Aug. 26 (Xinhuanet) --In the United States, the Department of Defense has released its annual report to congress on the state of China's military. This year's report recognizes China's contribution to support a safe and secure global environment as well as touching on the need to further strengthen military dialogue between the two nations. For China however, the report still fails to acknowledge that China's defense policy is peace oriented.

According to the recent defense report titled Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China, the country has made "modest, but incremental, improvements in the transparency of its military and security affairs." The United States is "uncertain about how China will use its growing capabilities."

U.S. concern regarding China's military capabilities comes from the expansion of China's naval power and the modernization of many military systems. But once again, China insists in its own defense whitepaper released this March that its National Defense Policy will never adopt an aggressive military policy.

Although the U.S. is concerned about China's military policies, the difference in defense spending between the two countries is still quite large. For 2011, military spending by the United States is nearly 8 times that of China. On a per person basis, the U.S. spends over 30 times the amount of China and with a GDP 2.5 times larger, the defense budget of the United States takes up roughly 5 percent of its GDP compared to 1.6 percent for China.

The Chinese government says the report interferes with China's internal affairs by talking about cross-strait security issues between Chinese mainland and Taiwan. Last year, the United States approved a 6.4 billion dollar weapons package for Taiwan that included Patriot Missiles, Black Hawk helicopters and communications equipment for F-16s. Arms sales to the island have always been a thorny issue between China and the U.S., bringing into question how much the United States really want to improve bilateral military cooperation.

Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff says that the U.S. has a "legal responsibility" to Taiwan but also says he didn't want the sales to disrupt military ties between the two countries, sending a conflicting signal to China.

Nonetheless, military relations between the two countries have warmed this year. Admiral Mullen met with the Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, General Chen Bingde this July. Chen visited the United States this May following a January visit to China by then U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.


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