The U.S. military's annual report on the Chinese military "ignored objective facts," exagerated the threat China poses to Taiwan and should be abolished. If ever there was need for proof that China will become increasingly assertive as its economy grows and its military capabilities improve, this is it.
Here's what the Defense Ministry's newly appointed spokesman, Geng Yansheng, said:
China’s military development is reasonable and appropriate, and is aimed to protect its national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, as well as keep apace with the rapid military development in the world.The spokesman said China’s modernization is normal for a country of its size and that it pursues a purely defensive security policy and will neither enter into an arms race nor threaten militarily another country.
We ask the U.S. side to view China’s national defense and military build-up from an objective and just perspective, put an end to comments and conduct that might compromise mutual trust between Chinese and U.S. military forces, and stop issuing the so-called Chinese military and security development report, so to create a favorable environment for the improvement and development of Sino-U.S. military relations.
The story appeared in Xinhua, the government's official news outlet, making it as close to official policy as one can get. Buzz readers will remember this week's opinion piece by Dean Cheng of the Heritage Foundation in which he argued that, while China's wealth is diluted by dint of its enormous population, its economy is growing impressively in real terms. Combine this with the slow and painful economic descent of Japan, China's main regional counterweight, and one can see why the United States has reinvigorated its efforts to win friends and influence people in the Pacific region.
Of course, the Chinese spokesman may not believe that Congress, which ordered the Pentagon to produce the report in the first place, cannot be told by the executive branch to shut up. After all, China's executive branch would have no such problems.