News / Asia

    China: US Congress' Security Panel Has 'Cold War' Mindset

    FILE - A paramilitary soldier stands guard behind a chain as the giant portrait of the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong is seen in the background in Tiananmen square, Nov. 12, 2013.
    FILE - A paramilitary soldier stands guard behind a chain as the giant portrait of the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong is seen in the background in Tiananmen square, Nov. 12, 2013.
    VOA News
    China has sharply criticized a U.S. congressional commission for advocating an expansion of U.S. military power in Asia as a counterweight to China's modernizing military.

    In a briefing to reporters Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei accused the panel of having a "Cold War" mentality.

    The U.S. Congress created the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission to advise lawmakers on China-related policy. Hong said the panel has been releasing reports "brimming with ideological prejudice" for years.

    The commission issued an annual report Wednesday, saying China's growing military capabilities are "challenging decades of U.S. military preeminence" in the Asia-Pacific region.

    The report urged Congress to keep funding efforts to move 60 percent of U.S. military vessels to the Pacific by 2020. Currently, only 50 percent of the ships are stationed there.

    The commission also accused the Chinese government of "directing and executing a large-scale cyber espionage campaign against the United States." It said U.S. sanctions may be necessary to deter such spying.

    Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong said Beijing "maintains a path of peaceful development" and pursues a military policy that is "defensive in nature." He said China hopes the U.S. congressional panel will do "fewer things to disturb" U.S.-China relations.

    China has steadily increased its military expenditures in recent decades, though it remains far outpaced by the United States in defense spending.

    U.S. commission chairman William Reinsch said China is more aggressively projecting its power abroad. He said Beijing especially is using "coercive" tactics in the East and South China Seas, where it has overlapping territorial claims with many of its neighbors.

    "It is becoming clear that China does not intend to resolve its maritime disputes through multilateral negotiations or the application of international laws and adjudicative processes, but prefers to use its growing power in support of coercive tactics to pressure its neighbors to concede [to] China's claims," said Reinsch.

    This comes as President Barack Obama pledges to put a greater economic and military emphasis on the region. The commission welcomed Obama's promised "pivot" toward Asia, but noted that many U.S. allies are concerned that budget constraints will limit his ability to follow through.

    Commissioner Larry Wortzel urged U.S. lawmakers to take action in response to China's military development.

    "By 2020, China's navy and air force will outnumber and almost match the technical capabilities of our own forces in the Asia Pacific," he said. "A shrunken military may be insufficient to deter China or to reassure our friends and allies in the region."

    The panel also spoke of an "urgent need" for Washington to convince Beijing to change its approach to cyber spying, which some analysts say has cost U.S. companies billions of dollars.

    Wortzel said China's military views cyberspace as a "critical element of its strategic competition with the United States."

    "The Chinese government is directing and executing a large scale cyber espionage campaign that poses a major threat to U.S. industry, critical infrastructure, military operations, personnel, equipment, and readiness," he said.

    The report said U.S. sanctions may be necessary to change China's "cost-benefit calculus." It listed import bans, travel bans, and other economic restrictions as possible actions to be taken against those found to be stealing U.S. secrets.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: LC from: New York
    November 24, 2013 2:53 AM
    Your "mother land" is only economically sound thanks to The United States of America and it's citizens who buy your shoddily made products. Your a nation who enslave children to manufacture microwaves. Nothing to be proud of. Your government abuses it's people. My government protects it's people and even some of yours. When 1 in 3 Chinese have cancer and nobody to care for the sick who do you think will step in to help? The Russians? The North Koreans? No, it will be your friend the USA.

    by: palmer from: Philippines
    November 24, 2013 12:13 AM
    China has got to be the most beautiful and diverse place on earth. Why others are so afraid of them, i don't know, but i do know that there are more Chinese living in the US than there are people serving in the entire US Armed Forces. People who travel the world know how ridiculous these Western politicians look.

    by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
    November 22, 2013 7:29 AM
    What's the big deal of China's spying? Like Obama said, every government spies!
    At least we all know US is spying on every country and it's own ppl. Thanks to Mr. Snowdon!
    In Response

    by: Jorge Huangshinton from: Beijing
    November 22, 2013 7:25 PM
    There is no big deal. Our motherland spies on the USA to gain military advantage as well as ECONOMIC advantage.

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