March 05, 2008
CHINA AND THEIR MILITARY
"China's military buildup has been characterized by opacity...by the inability of people in the region and around the world to really know what ties together the capabilities that China's acquiring with the intentions it has." -David Sedney (deputy assistant defense secretary for East Asia).
Are any of us really surprised by this military buildup? In the last few months we have witnessed the incarceration of chinese spies, felt Beijing slowly tighten its noose around Taiwan, and watched as the strong man of Asia has used its influence on countries like North Korea and in many ways the USA. The Chinese coffers are brimming. With past decisions to support lofty (possibly unecessary?) projects like their space program or that ridiculous Three Gorges Dam, it was only a matter of time before their military budget got a more publicized hike. In many ways a strong military presence is the perfect cherry to add to "the Chinese century." The century where Beijing shows the world that the Chinese deserve the respect that they so desperately crave.
The US claims they are significantly understating their actual spending- OBVIOUSLY. Its inherent in their culture to never show their hand till the fight has been won. Which is why a public declaration of this sort is a welcomed change, at least it has the semblance of a country willing to listen and adapt to world opinions. I wonder if they will set up a text hotline next to their new Beijing-Washington military hotline? I would love to chikka my two cents in...
Though this may not be the slow beginning of another cold war, It is the start of China's emergence as the military power that can balance the USA. However, with defense spending in the US at roughly 500 billion (don't quote me on this), the Chinese will need to sell a whole lot more of those DVD players to catch up.
Labels: News and Interests