The Chinese military is growing stronger, as the latest Pentagon report duly notes — but only to safeguard peace and stability.
Lamentably, the Pentagon fails to see the latter part. The report released by the U.S. defense department Thursday overlooks China’s peaceful defense policy while focusing on its defense spending increase, as usual.
Firstly, a report on one country’s military is convincing only if it is issued by its own government, rather than the governments of other countries.
Now that the United States, for whatever reasons, is so keen on helping China release reports on the Chinese military, it is hard to guarantee that such reports are written from an impartial perspective.
In fact, the report itself is filled with flawed facts, inaccurate descriptions and ill-intended accusations of China’s military modernization and its size of defense spending.
China has repeatedly stated the defensive nature of its national defense policy and has issued official white papers on national defense since 1998 to enhance transparency and boost trust in its commitment to peaceful development.
Just three months ago, the Chinese government announced a budget report saying China’s military expenditure will see the fastest yearly growth in three years, increasing by 12.2 percent to reach 132 billion U.S. dollars in 2014.
However, the Pentagon report, based on whatever proof, questions the transparency of China’s defense spending, saying that it seems that some of it is not clear.
In fact, against the backdrop of an increasingly complicated international situation, it is reasonable for a country of China’s size to moderately increase its military spending in line with its economic and security conditions.
The total amount of China’s military spending is only one fifth of the spending of the U.S., which had a budget of more than 600 billion dollars in 2013. In per-capita terms, China’s military spending is equal to less than 5 percent of that of the United States and 20 percent of that of Japan.
Besides, a country’s military power should be viewed in terms of its policy trends, rather than mere figures.
With a military that is defensive in nature, China never deviates from its pursuit of peaceful development. As a responsible major country, it is playing an increasingly active role in maintaining regional peace and security.
Just as the report admits, the increase in the defense budget is partly due to the increasing international responsibilities China is facing, including counter-piracy, peace-keeping, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Therefore, it is highly advisable that the world, particularly the United States, abandons the current prejudiced viewpoint on China’s defense spending increase.