News / Asia

Pentagon Says China's Military Getting Stronger

Chinese sailors march during a parade in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province, March 5, 2012. Chinese sailors march during a parade in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province, March 5, 2012.
x
Chinese sailors march during a parade in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province, March 5, 2012.
Chinese sailors march during a parade in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province, March 5, 2012.
Luis Ramirez
A new Pentagon report says China is steadily building its military and expanding its capabilities to operate far from its shores.

In its annual report to Congress, the U.S. Defense Department says China's military budget continues to grow as Beijing modernizes its military to eventually be able to carry out what the Beijing government calls "new historic missions," which could include some in places far beyond China's shores.

David Helvey, an acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia security, told reporters Friday China is investing in newer and better weapons, missile defense systems, submarines, an aircraft carrier and development of a stealth fighter jet.

"This comprehensive military modernization is supported by robust increases in defense resources.  On March 4th of this year, Beijing announced an 11.2 percent increase in its military budget, raising its publicized budget to $106 billion, continuing more than two decades of sustained military budget growth," Helvey said.  

U.S. defense officials estimate China's non-publicized military spending was as high as $180 billion last year.

The U.S. Defense Department report says China is using technology from airplanes and other equipment it buys from the West to develop its military capabilities.  The report calls China one of the world’s most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage.

The report says China's military focus is for now set on Taiwan.  But it also points to operations such as the evacuation of Chinese nationals from Libya, counter piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden, and humanitarian missions in Latin America as indicators of the Chinese military's ambitions to reach farther.

U.S. officials stopped short of voicing concern over the modernization of China's armed forces, known formally as the People's Liberation Army, or PLA.  Delvey says that, along with the potential challenges, there is an opportunity for China to be a positive force for stability.

"We see the PLA adapting to these missions and looking at ways to operate farther and farther from China.  We see an opportunity to be able to work with China as they are adapting to these new missions.  We see that as China has greater capacity and capability to operate at distances from China that it has a responsibility also to uphold international norms and rules and to support the international community’s interests in peace and stability," Delvey said.

Thomas Hammes, a retired Marine colonel who has written on the topic of future warfare, says the Obama administration's decision to pivot its focus to the Asia Pacific region is a positive move.  He says what is missing now is a strategy for how to deal with any potential threat from China.

"There's been no discussion of a strategy if we have a conflict with China.  First off, a conflict with China is extraordinarily unlikely.  Let's agree on that.  Also agree on the fact that there is no limit to the infinite capacity for stupidity of the human race.  So, while it's a really bad idea, you have to be prepared in case it happens," Hammes said.

Analysts say indications are that China wants to avoid conflict in the near future.

The Pentagon report notes steps Beijing has taken to ease troubled relations with Japan and confidence-building measures it is taking with its Southeast Asian neighbors in the region with whom it has ongoing territorial disputes.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ye from: China Mainland
May 18, 2012 11:13 PM
China cannot win United States in the far shore war, but United States cannot win China in the near shore or land war. So they shouldn't fight each other, it's stupid! Two countries shold be united to act in the future military operation.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid