China ‘threat’ or threat to China?
Published Jul 28, 2005 2:17 AM
After three months of inner struggle and delay, the Pentagon has issued a
belligerent report on China. The report, which raises the prospect of the
so-called “China threat,” is itself a threat—to China.
This report comes at a time of growing anti-China political currents in
Washington. Belligerent trade bills aimed at China’s exports into this
country are sitting in Congress. A number of bills aimed at blocking the
prospect of the purchase of the Unocal oil company by the Chinese National
Offshore Oil Com pany (CNOOC) are making their way through the legislature.
The Pentagon report stokes the anti-China fires building up in the
political and military establishment.
The report warns that the balance of
power in the Taiwan Straits is “shifting towards Beijing” and
declares that “current trends in China’s military modernization
could provide China with a force capable of prosecuting a range of military
operations in Asia—well beyond Taiwan—potentially posing a credible
threat to modern militaries operating in the region.”
China of spending $90 billion on the military, three times the figure China
announced this year.
First of all, China has clearly stated its intention
to keep the renegade province of Taiwan from permanently separating itself from
China. Taiwan was set up as a U.S. dependency after U.S.-backed
counter-revolutionary forces were driven from the mainland in 1949. Since then,
Washington and the Pentagon has used Taiwan independence as a threat against
China. China has never deviated from this position. The present report warns,
“China must fear U.S. military intervention in any conflict over
Second of all, regardless of inflated Pentagon estimates of
the Chinese military—which are aimed at getting more money from Congress
for the Pentagon budget—China has every right and need to modernize its
armed forces to cope with “modern militaries operating in the
region.” Those “modern militaries” belong to Washington and
Tokyo, two imperialist predators bent on dominating the region. Both have long
histories of aggression against China.
Third of all, as the Chinese
People’s Daily has pointed out, Chinese defense spending amounts to $25
billion while U.S. military spending is $455.9 billion or 17.8 times larger than
China’s. On a per capita basis, it is 77 times greater than China’s.
After all, China has one-fifth of the human race.
This report is timed to
coincide with Pentagon requests for military spending. With all the emphasis on
the so-called “war on terrorism,” there is the danger that hugely
expensive and highly profitable weapons systems designed for large-scale warfare
will come up short.
According to the Los Angeles Times of July 20, a
senior defense official said, “You look at the Air Force’s
briefings, and they are all China, China, China ...” The hundreds of
billions for aircraft and high-tech destroyers need a “threat” to
This potentially earthshaking conflict that is developing has been
low-keyed in the big business media. But the anti-war movement and the working
class movement must take careful note of this growing bellicose attitude at the
highest levels of the Pentagon and U.S. imperialist strategic planning. No one
should fall into the anti-China trap.
The threat to the peace in Asia and
everywhere else in the world is right here in the White House and the Pentagon.
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