Pentagon report smacks of Cold War mentality

By Li Xiaokun (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-03-05 06:52

A Pentagon report on China's military modernization distorts facts and plays up the "China military threat" theory, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

"It is also an interference in China's internal affairs and violates norms on international relations. China is firmly opposed to it," spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news briefing.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang at a regular press conference on March 4, 2008. [Xinhua]

China urges the US to abandon its Cold War mentality and adopt the right attitude toward China and its development, Qin said.

China pursues a path of peaceful development and a defensive national defense policy, Qin said.

He urged the US to adhere to the one-China policy and stop arms sales to Taiwan to avoid sending wrong signals to secessionist forces on the island.

In an annual report on China's military power, the US Defense Department said on Monday that the international community has limited knowledge of the motivations, decision-making and key capabilities supporting China's military modernization.

"The lack of transparency in China's military and security affairs poses risks to stability by increasing the potential for misunderstanding and miscalculation," the report said.

"This situation will naturally and understandably lead to hedging against the unknown.

"China's expanding and improving military capabilities are changing East Asian military balances; improvements in China's strategic capabilities have implications beyond the Asia-Pacific region."

Rear Admiral Yang Yi, a senior military expert at the University of National Defense, said: "Despite warming Sino-US military relations, Washington is still wary of China.

"However, as more countries recognize China's long-term efforts at maintaining regional and global peace and stability, the 'China military threat' theory is losing its audience."

He also noted the fear-mongering is partly driven by the US military industry's quest for a larger defense budget.

Some US military analysts have also dismissed the notion that China poses a military threat.

Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), recently told The Washington Times that assertions of China's military expansion "appear to be merely an attempt ... to incite angst or provoke a fight that does not actually exist".

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