Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

China prepares for war ‘in all directions’ [The Age]

The key is here – the Chinese think that China’s military growth corresponds to its national power strategy, who would not want the means to protect oneself?

Analysts remain divided over whether China is initiating an Asian arms race. Even allowing for undeclared spending, China’s annual defence budget is still less than one-sixth of America’s $US663 billion ($A651.5 billion) a year, or less than half the US figure when expressed as a percentage of GDP.

Related article –
Military must be self-reliant: [Defence] minister [China Daily]

– – –

China prepares for war ‘in all directions’
Peter Foster, Beijing
Source – The Age, published December 31, 2010

CHINA is preparing for conflict ”in every direction”, its Defence Minister says.

”In the coming five years, our military will push forward preparations for military conflict in every strategic direction,” General Liang Guanglie said in an interview published by state-backed newspapers in China.

”We may be living in peaceful times, but we can never forget war, never send the horses south or put the bayonets and guns away.”

China has repeatedly said it is planning a ”peaceful rise”, but the pace and scale of its military modernisation has alarmed many neighbours, including Japan, which described the build-up of its armed forces as a ”global concern”.

Tension between China and India also emerged during a mid-December visit to Delhi by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. Indian leaders contend that China is being provocative in Kashmir as it grows closer to Pakistan, China’s ally and India’s nemesis.

China has infuriated India by starting to issue special stapled-paper visas – rather than the standard visa – for anyone in Indian-controlled Kashmir travelling to China, on the grounds Kashmir is a disputed territory.

China later objected to including a top Indian general responsible for Kashmir in a military exchange. In response, Indian officials angrily suspended military exchanges between the countries.

The most visible evidence that these problems were deepening came in the joint communique issued by the two nations at the end of Mr Wen’s visit. China typically demands that nations voice support for the one-China policy, which holds that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. In the past, India has agreed to such language, but this time it was omitted, a clear sign of Delhi’s irritation.

General Liang’s remarks came at a time of increasingly difficult relations between the Chinese and US armed forces, which a three-day visit by his counterpart, Robert Gates, was intended to address.

A year ago, China froze substantive military relations in protest at US arms sales to Taiwan and relations deteriorated further this summer when China objected to US plans to deploy a nuclear aircraft carrier, the USS George Washington, in the Yellow Sea off the Korean Peninsula.

China also announced this month it was preparing to launch its own aircraft carrier next year. The news emerged a year earlier than many US defence analysts had predicted.

China is also working on a ballistic missile that could sink aircraft carriers from afar, fundamentally reordering the balance of power in a region dominated by the US since the end of World War II.

In an interview in Japan this week, Admiral Robert Willard, a US Navy commander, said he believed the Chinese anti-ship missile had already achieved ”initial operational capability”, although it would require years of testing. Analysts remain divided over whether China is initiating an Asian arms race. Even allowing for undeclared spending, China’s annual defence budget is still less than one-sixth of America’s $US663 billion ($A651.5 billion) a year, or less than half the US figure when expressed as a percentage of GDP.

However, in a speech earlier this year, Mr Gates warned that China’s growing military might ”threatens America’s primary way to project power and help allies in the Pacific”.

General Liang also pledged that China’s armed forces would increasingly be self-reliant when it comes to technology, an area in which the People’s Republic lags behind the West.

”The modernisation of the Chinese military cannot depend on others,” he said. ”In the next five years, our economy and society will develop faster, boosting comprehensive national power. We will take the opportunity and speed up modernisation of the military.”



Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, India, Influence, International Relations, japan, military, Nationalism, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Strategy, Taiwan, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

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