Wednesday, March 5, 2008

China Spends to Build Their Military Might

China is making it clear that the 2008 Beijing Olympics are part and parcel of their rationale to reorganize, restructure and then use business school speak about what their military spending really means and how the perception of China will be manged as the world looks on. It also provides an opportunity for China's premier, Wen Jiabao, to threaten Taiwan during his presentation at the National Assembly, for its upcoming March 22nd presidential elections and Taiwan's request to the UN on recognition. No public statement by the Chinese goes without a direct challenge to Taiwan's intransigence against the One China policy. The Chinese allocated a substantial portion of funds to increase their known military spending by 18% while standing on a military and rhetorical alert, in instant readiness to thwart any Taiwanese rebellion Beijing deems destructive to their control of the tiny island nation and Asian financial powerhouse.

"All sons and daughters of the Chinese nation are looking forward to them, and they will be of great importance in promoting China's economic and social development and increasing friendship and cooperation between Chinese people and the peoples of other countries," Wen told the 2,970 delegates.

Wen said the changes will "mainly center on changing the way the government functions, appropriately dividing responsibilities among departments that exercise macro-economic regulation, adjusting and improving bodies in charge of management, and improving departments responsible for public administration and public services."...

"We firmly oppose Taiwan independence, secessionist activities and will never allow anyone to separate Taiwan from the motherland ... by any means."

"Attempts of Taiwan independence, secessionist forces to deny the reality that the mainland and Taiwan belong to one and the same China and to undermine peace in the Taiwan strait are doomed to fail," he said.

On multiple levels, the Pentagon does not like to see its supremacy challenged. Especially by a nation that owns so much of the US debt, has its own space program and an army numbering in the millions. China also has a paramilitary operation and ongoing training similar to what the US deploys in Iraq and elsewhere as contractors through the Pentagon and State department, like the notorious Blackwater based in North Carolina and manged by Bush cronies and donors. The US has spent billions of dollars to gain just parity in quelling the violence in Iraq and now faces a challenge; China is free to train an army that is not tied down in two wars and draining its treasury. Cyberwarfare between the US and China has also reached boiling points within the last year as the Pentagon itself came under a cyber attack.

The release of the budget figures came after the Pentagon published a report that expressed concern about China's growing military might and said a lack of transparency from Beijing posed risks to regional and international stability.

The Pentagon said China's military spending in 2007 was between 97 and 139 billion dollars, well in excess of Beijing's official budgeted figure of 45 billion dollars.

The Pentagon further raised concerns over China's development of cruise and ballistic missiles, its testing of an anti-satellite weapon last year and an apparent rise in cyber-espionage emanating from the Asian nation.

"China's expanding and improving military capabilities are changing East Asian military balances; improvements in China's strategic capabilities have implications beyond the Asia-Pacific region," the report said.

Meanwhile, China is on track to present a peaceful happy face to the world after spending billions to make Beijing a show stopper in Olympic history. A war with China would be a multi-modal fight, economics, military means, space, propaganda and cyber warfare are major components that should be keeping the Pentagon up at night while they figure out how to get the billions of dollars the US treasury does not have to train a broken US military against these threats as it fights a hydra monster world wide terrorist organization in just two places without enough attention on the coming resource wars that are consuming the planet. China is choosing its opportunities judiciously in announcing their military intentions and the funds to back up the rhetoric, unlike George Bush.

James Carroll wrote a lyrical empirical history of the Pentagon with its features and foibles in House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power.

China's military is the cause for study from author, Xiaobing Li, in A History of the Modern Chinese Army. This is one of the first books for English speaking and reading audiences about the make up and capability of China's armed forces.

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