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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid