News / Asia

Asia Recalibrates Defense to China's Fast Growing Military

Paramilitary recruits take part in a regular training at an army base in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, 12 Jan 2011
Paramilitary recruits take part in a regular training at an army base in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, 12 Jan 2011

China’s fast growing military might have made some of its neighbors uneasy about the security outlook in East Asia. Recently, Japan made significant changes to its defense posture with an eye on China.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates earlier this month stressed the importance of the U.S.-Japanese alliance in Asia’s security. Gates lauded Japan’s decision in December to shift military resources from the north near Russia to southwestern islands closer to China.

And he asserted that without the six-decade-old U.S.-Japan security alliance China “might behave more assertively toward its neighbors.”

China’s fast growing military capability has ruffled some of its neighbors, particularly those with territorial disputes with China, such as Japan and several Southeast Asia nations.

Last week, China tested its first stealth jet fighter. Some Western defense analysts say China is also preparing to deploy a new missile that could strike at U.S. aircraft carriers far beyond Chinese territory.

Tsuneo Akaha is the director of the Center for East Asia Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. He says the change in Japan’s defense outlook addresses such concerns.

"The most important reason is the expanding Chinese military, particularly naval capabilities offshore and also the recent development of new aircraft, stealth fighters, and the Chinese deployment and plans to build more submarines that would allow the Chinese to project their power to greater distances," Akaha said.
Tensions between Tokyo and Beijing rose in September when a Chinese trawler collided with a Japanese patrol boat near the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu islands.

Though not a direct party to any of China’s territorial disputes in the Pacific, the United States is very much involved in shaping an emerging security order in Asia.

The U.S. says it has a national interest in freedom of navigation in these waters. Akaha says the U.S. has rallied allies and smaller nations in Southeast Asia to help temper Chinese assertiveness.

"This sort of gives greater political incentive and also strategic rationale for engaging Southeast Asian countries on the part of the United States,” Akaha says, “and that would also shore up Japanese confidence that as long as the U.S. is present there, international shipping will be secured."

Ma Zhengang, chairman of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, says China does not want conflict with the United States.

But he says if the U.S. keeps pointing at China as its rival, even challenges Chinese interests of harmony, then it is possible that there could be severe crisis between the two countries. This is something that China does not want to see. He says that cooperation in matters of security between China and the U.S. benefits both countries. He adds that he absolutely does not think that it is inevitable for the two countries to get into a confrontation.

Secretary of Defense Gates also said last week China is not an inevitable strategic adversary of the United States. Still, some Asian nations are recalibrating their defense capabilities for future threats and are watching U.S.-China relations closely.

China claims the South China Sea, including the Spratly and Paracel islands. But Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims on the islands.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid