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The US Defense Department has issued its annual report on Chinese military developments in the past year.
The document, called Report on Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China, was issued to Congress.
Both China’s Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry expressed their strong objections to the report, which has played up “China’s military threat and lack of transparency" and distorted the country’s strategic intentions.
Who is the real threat?
According to Zhang Junshe, senior captain and vice president of the China Naval Research Institute, the US has neither the position nor reason to accuse China of beefing up its military power.
“For decades, the US has had the strongest military power in the world and has maintained the largest defense budget,” said Zhang.
On Monday, US President Donald Trump signed a defense bill that authorizes a top-line budget of 717 billion US dollars, claiming,“We are going to strengthen our military like never ever before and that’s what we did.”
The colossal number in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act is even more than the total defense spending of the large countries behind it, including China, India, Russia.
Zhang has also pointed out that the aims for China and the US in strengthening their military power is different.
“China is trying to strengthen its capabilities to better safeguard its sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. It is true if someone looks into the modern history of China between 1840-1949, when China was invaded by foreign countries, including Japan from the sea. Therefore, we want to build up our defense capabilities,” said Zhang.
However, the intention of the US is to seek absolute security over other countries while maintaining their powerful force. Their huge investments in new generations of weapons and armory somehow reflect that, according to Zhang.
An excuse for his own?
A US think tank published a report that has expressed pessimism about the US’ military capability. The report is considered a backup for supporting Trump's bolstering of the military expenditure, says Zhang.
“The US policy maker, US military and US think tanks for a long time have had a bad tradition of looking for and creating enemies as an excuse for the US to spend much more money to strengthen its military power,” said Zhang.