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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid