World News

Report: China 'Challenging US Military Pre-eminence in Asia'

A U.S. congressional panel says China's rapidly modernizing military is "altering the security balance in the Asia Pacific and challenging decades of U.S. military preeminence in the region."

That warning was given Wednesday in a wide-ranging annual report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which advises U.S. lawmakers on Beijing-related policy.

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

China has not responded to the allegations. Last year, Beijing's foreign ministry condemned the panel's report for having what it called a "Cold War" attitude.



Though it is still far outpaced by the U.S. in defense spending, China has steadily increased its military expenditures in recent decades. Beijing, for its part, insists its rise is peaceful.

But commission chairman William Reinsch said China is more aggressively projecting its power abroad. He says Beijing is especially using "coercive" tactics in the East and South China Seas, where it has overlapping 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 China's claims."



This comes as President Barack Obama pledges to put a greater economic and military emphasis on the region. The commission welcomed the so-called "pivot," but noted many U.S. allies are concerned budget constraints could limit Washington's ability to follow through.

To address these concerns and to "offset China's growing military capabilities," the report recommended Congress continue to fund efforts to move 60 percent of U.S. ships to the Pacific by 2020. Currently, 50 percent are stationed there.

Commissioner Larry Wortzel told lawmakers urgent action is needed.



"By 2020, China's navy and air force will outnumber and almost match the technical capabilities of our own forces in the Asia Pacific. 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 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."



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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs