Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Beijing's Military Budget Soars

China is hard at work transforming its army from one designed to fight long wars of attrition on its soil to one that can project force in short, high-tech wars outside its boundaries, says the pentagon's annual report to Congress on Chinese military activities.

Voice of America reports on the Pentagon report:
It says that the main short-term focus of China's military build-up is the Taiwan Strait, but that Beijing is also improving its ability to win possible conflicts over resources or territory.

David Sedney, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia, says the international community still knows very little about China's military modernization.

"I think the biggest thing for people to be concerned about really is the fact that we don't have that kind of strategic understanding of the Chinese intentions," said Sedney. "And that leads to uncertainty, that leads to a readiness to hedge against the possibility that China's development will go in ways that the Chinese say it won't."

The 2008 report says China's capabilities are expanding from the land, air and sea dimensions of the traditional battlefield into space and cyber-space.
I'm hoping globalization will mute China's threat, as does Thomas P.M. Barnett:
[W]e can't rule the peace with our Leviathan-heavy force, but they can't rule war with their Leviathan-lite force either, so we must cooperate in extending and protecting globalization to our mutual advantage..

We owe China this strategic understanding before the 5th/6th generations of Chinese leadership hit some of the fish-or-cut-bait moments that must inevitably arise for them in coming years.
Yes, and they owe us an explanation, too, or reports like this from VOC run counter to wishes for mutual cooperation:
China's own military newspaper last week called on Beijing to increase defense spending to make up for what it called "historic shortfalls" in the 1980's and 1990's. China's Liberation Army Daily warned of grave consequences if the spending increases do not continue.

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