Pentagon report clouds facts, says analyst

By Hu Xuan (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-05-28 06:33

There is nothing new in the Pentagon's annual report to the US Congress on China's military capabilities except that it attempts to overplay the so-called "China threat", an analyst said yesterday.

The US Defense Department report unveiled on Friday said that while Beijing had maintained its traditional focus on the Taiwan Straits, it also seemed to be looking at projecting its growing military strength beyond the island of Taiwan.

"Analysis of China's military acquisitions and strategic thinking suggests Beijing is also generating capabilities for other regional contingencies, such as conflict over resources or territory," the report said.

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Yang Yi, director of the Institute of Strategic Studies under the National Defense University of China, said the reports' authors seem to have forgotten that the United States maintains a military presence in regions far beyond its territorial boundary. "While intervening in China's internal affairs, the commanding tone of the report displays more bias than reason," Yang said.

He said China is an independent nation, and is not obliged to seek permission from any other country to develop its military capability to match the size of its territory, population and national economic strength.

As a responsible member of the international community, China has made the purpose of its military budget clear, said Yang, noting that peaceful development is a promise that China has made to the entire world. But peaceful development does not clash with a nation's need to build up its defensive military capability, he added.

The Pentagon is in no position to decide how strong a specific country's military ought to be, he said.

(China Daily 05/28/2007 page2)

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