USEUROPEAFRICAASIA中文双语FrançaisHOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELWATCHTHISSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperMOBILEOpinionCartoonsEditorialsOp-EdColumnistsFrom the PressOpinion LineFrom the ReadersBureau ChiefForum TrendsHome / Opinion / EditorialsUS has no cause to be adversarial with China
China Daily | Updated:2017-06-08 08:43As always, the US Department of Defenses 2017 report on military and security developments involving China carries some of the all-too-familiar biased interpretations of Chinas actions and intentions.
Portraying Chinese moves regarding its South China Sea territories and approach to related disputes as “coercion”, for instance, it ignores Beijings endeavors to ease tensions, and its latest consensuses with the Philippines and Vietnam on dispute management and bilateral consultations. The accusation that China supports its modernization via “cyber theft, targeted foreign direct investment, and exploitation of the access of private Chinese nationals” to foreign technologies is also included as usual.
But that might well be all that can be said of the concerns Chinas growing presence elicits. Because although the Department of Defense openly identifies China as one of the US “potential adversaries”-along with Russia, Iran and Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea-in its “Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request”, the report appears genuine about the nonaggressive nature of Chinese military progress.
Despite being obvious, though unspoken, worries about the logistics base the Chinese navy is building in Djibouti, and likely new ones elsewhere, it acknowledges: “A greater overseas naval logistics and basing footprint would better position the PLA to expand its participation in non-combatant evacuation operations, search-and-rescue, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, and sea lines of communication security.”
No country can afford to leave its economic lifelines unprotected. In Chinas case, these span from the East and South China seas through the Strait of Malacca and Indian Ocean to Africa and Europe. And to every country concerned, Chinas participation in antipiracy patrols and escort missions in the Gulf of Aden are an essential public service. As the report observes, “Chinas expanding international economic interests are increasing demands for the PLAN (PLA Navy) to operate in more distant maritime environments to protect Chinese citizens, investments, and critical sea lines of communication”. And as the inclusive, expansive Belt and Road Initiative proceeds, further overseas security guarantees will be required.
One critical, yet oft-omitted or distorted, aspect of the narrative of Chinese military developments is about purpose. The drafters of the report conclude “Chinas leaders remain focused on developing the capabilities to deter or defeat adversary power projection and counter third-party intervention-including by the United States-during a crisis or conflict.” In other words, Chinas leaders are preoccupied with defense.
Since, as the report concedes, Chinas “military modernization program has become more focused on supporting missions beyond Chinas periphery, including power projection, sea lane security, counter piracy, peacekeeping, and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief”, there is a question to be answered: Why is China considered a potential adversary?Related StoriesWreckage of missing Myanmar military aircraft found: military sourcesMilitary jet takes step tpward exportAI and the next revolution in military defenseChinese, Russian officials laud bilateral military tiesCartoonsSouth China SeaCraze for likeTrumps Paris Agreement withdrawalAlphaGo vs humansHappy International Childrens DayRun! Little red riding hoodMost Viewed in 24 HoursFroum trendsShould the penalties for drunken drivers be reduced?Is China becoming a cashless society?ColumnistsJapan cant buy pride by fabricating its history of war crimesRight time for EU to transform words into actionForumFeatured ContributorsTrumps climate decision wont change a lot: Thomas L. FriedmanBelt and Road will make Turkey-China cooperation a successChina Daily Bureau ChiefsChongqing and Chengdu City Cluster on faster trackXi-Ma meeting brings historic opportunitiesStar BloggersHow a brave girl grabbed happiness with her own handsNot all share bike riders embrace the sharing conceptBACK TO THE TOPHOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELWATCHTHISSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperMOBILECopyright 1995 -var oTime = new Date();
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