News / Asia

    China Outlines More Assertive Military Policy

    FILE - China’s replenishment ship, Qiandaohu, left, sails past its hospital ship, Peace Ark, as it docks in Honolulu, Hawaii.
    FILE - China’s replenishment ship, Qiandaohu, left, sails past its hospital ship, Peace Ark, as it docks in Honolulu, Hawaii.
    VOA News

    China said Tuesday it will continue expanding its military strength further from its borders, including in disputed areas at sea, but insisted it does not want a confrontation with any of its neighbors.

    In a policy paper, China's cabinet said the People's Liberation Army will shift its focus "from territorial air defense to both defense and offense." It also will put a greater emphasis on "open seas protection."

    The paper was released as China and the United States quarrel over Beijing's island-building in the South China Sea, which has unnerved several other nations with territorial claims there.

    Beijing, which claims almost the entire sea, this week filed a formal complaint after a U.S. military spy plane flew a mission close to the Chinese man-made islands near the Spratly archipelago.

    The United States has said it is considering sending additional planes and warships even closer to the islands, in an attempt to send a message that it does not recognize China's claims to sovereignty of the area.

    Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun on Tuesday played down the significance of the man-made islands, saying they are "no different than the construction in other parts of China."

    "Some people have been speculating and exaggerating on this issue again and again and their purpose is to blacken China's military [and] exaggerate the regional tension," Yang said, appearing to refer to the United States.

    The white paper also noted challenges including the U.S. strategic shift toward Asia, Japan's rising military power, and other "provocative" actions by its neighbors.

    "On the issues concerning China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, some of its offshore neighbors take provocative actions and reinforce their military presence on China's reefs and islands that they have illegally occupied," the paper said.

    "It is thus a long-standing task for China to safeguard its maritime rights and interests," the paper added.

    China has competing territorial claims with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei in the South China Sea. It has a separate dispute with Japan in the East China Sea.

    The paper made repeated references to China's strategy of "active defense," which it said amounted to: "We will not attack unless we are attacked, but we will surely counterattack if attacked."

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Jake from: Albuquerque, USA
    May 28, 2015 3:22 AM
    Lone Eagle and Seato are correct here.
    This is Chinese terrorism.

    Only the United States has the power and wherewithal to deter this tyrant.
    The world is depending on US.

    by: lone eagle from: Bangkok, Thailand
    May 26, 2015 3:06 PM
    The PRC has no legal claim on the Spratlys given that the Spratlys are 1300 kilometers or 810 miles from the PRC’s mainland and in accordance with a treaty that the PRC signed on December 10, 1982 and ratified on June 7, 1996 called the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III).

    In no instance does the PRC have a 1) internal water claim 2) territorial water claim (up to 22 kilometers 3) contiguous claim (up to 44 kilometers) 3) exclusive economic zone claim (up to 370 kilometers), 4) continental shelf claim (up to 650 kilometers).

    Also besides the PRC that is a party to UNCLOS III, there is Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Brunei.

    In Francis Fukuyama’s “The Origins of Political Order” in his index under “rule of law” “Chinese lack of” he devotes 25 pages on this.

    If the PRC fails to develop an understanding and appreciation for the rule of law both domestically and internationally its future is bleak.

    by: Seato
    May 26, 2015 9:29 AM
    China has no legal rights whatsoever over 80% of the South China Sea that it claims,and so it is not appropriate for China to extend its military presence and impose ADIZ over the entire area.American armed forces can defy the Chinese ADIZ and restrictions,but smaller countries like Vietnam and the Philippines would eventually be forced out of their traditional fishing grounds.China should be forced to stop all their military installations or no country in the area is safe. It is China that has been aggressive and provocative towards all their neighbours and is the one that is causing instability in the region.Compromising is not the solution. Unite in one front and face up to them is the only way.A country that compromises for fear of war,would soon be conquered ! America and Japan need to do more to curb further expansion

    by: Cathy from: United States
    May 26, 2015 8:05 AM
    China does not have a legal right to occupy, build any infrastructure, civilian or military on any island or reef that is not part of its territory. Any such action violates international law. China should stop its sneaky reclamation work and cease bullying small Asian countries who are contesting unlawful occupation.
    In Response

    by: Ken Dinh from: Belgium
    May 26, 2015 4:54 PM
    @ Cathy: I totally agree with you.
    @ William: Do you really think that China has a legal right to occupy the islands? Don't be stupid, man!
    In Response

    by: william li from: canada
    May 26, 2015 1:28 PM
    Cathy, are you serious? Viet and Finos have been doing reclamation for decades, did US say a word? China asked them to stop this illegal action long time ago but nobody listen. Thats why China has to do it too to counter act viet and finos.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    May 26, 2015 8:00 AM
    REMEMBER? .. China told the US and the whole world, that it had suffered over 200 year of humiliation by "Gunboat treaties" and "Unequal treaties" force upon the by the US, Europeans, Russia and Japan, and China now says they will never give up one inch of the Chinese motherland again? .. ONE INCH? .. China either promised the Chinese people, [or], threatened those countries who would try to take one inch of Chinese land, sea or air of the motherland? .. China also told the US that there would be "NO COMPROMISE" and "NO DISCUSSIONS" with the US? .. But they emphasized they'd discuss "one on one" meetings with the affected countries of the South China sea? .. [does the US believe it?]
    In Response

    by: Hoang from: Canada
    May 27, 2015 5:52 AM
    American Eskimo is same as 50 cents Chinese. There is no American here.
    In Response

    by: American Eskimo from: San Jose, USA
    May 26, 2015 11:46 AM
    Only fool and fool only will believe in USA's assurance that she takes no side in the East Philippine Sea territorial dispute? For 1000's of years, China and neighbors had and will have quarrels and they always worked and will work out among themselves without outsiders interference. A troublemaker USA will always be one; she successfully cultivated the conflicts in the Middle-East, sows seeds of trouble in Ukraine, as well as in Africa, Latin America's and created wars in Korea Peninsular and Vietnam. Now USA wants to return/pivot/rebalance to Asia employing lap dog like White-want-to-be Japanese and lap poodle Filipinos to perform USA evil deed.

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