US mind-set can never comprehend PLA

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/1/16 21:28:10

The 2019 China Military Power report, released Tuesday by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) affiliated to the US Department of Defense, provided an overall description of the status quo and development of China's military power. 

"Beijing's long-standing interest to eventually compel Taiwan's reunification with the mainland and deter any attempt by Taiwan to declare independence has served as the primary driver for China's military modernization," said the report, adding China is "on the verge of fielding some of the most modern weapon systems in the world."

DIA believes that the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA)'s confidence in using force to unify with Taiwan is increasing, that China-US interactions in the South China Sea are conducted in a professional manner where China has no intention of making any compulsive actions. The PLA still has a long way to go to reach the US military's standard on the world stage, says the report, but the Chinese military's all-round capability is expanding. The US army has been paying close attention to the possibility of the PLA resolving the Taiwan question by force. The latest report has to some extent showed such a capability. 

Compared with previous US reports on the Chinese military, this one is relatively moderate with the clearest focus. A positive sign is the report does not exaggerate China's enthusiasm for seeking regional hegemony. But it sounds the alarm to Washington that the PLA may resort to force on Taiwan. Hence the island might be a relatively sensitive area in future China-US military competition.

The mind-set of defense has always been running through China's military construction. Nonetheless, the DIA does not focus on that and instead pays greater attention to the PLA's ability to attack Taiwan. It sheds no light on the Democratic Progressive Party's continuous provocation including denying the one-China principle, which is the fundamental reason for cross-Straits tensions. 

With growing economic and technological strength, China keeps improving and will continue to improve its military. This is China's fundamental right to safeguard its national security.

But China won't initiate an arms race with the US. Nor does China have the ambition to start a global military competition with Washington. China develops armaments to safeguard its national security, not for hegemony. The US has a global system of alliances, but China would not try to follow suit.

The Taiwan question concerns China's core interests. Peaceful reunification is China's basic State policy. US interference in the Taiwan question is the biggest impetus for the Chinese mainland to improve its military buildup. China is concerned that Washington will encourage Taiwan authorities to make extreme choices. Yet the PLA's full preparation may prevent Taiwan from making reckless moves and consolidate peace across the Taiwan Straits.

China's military buildup is not aimed at war. Among all the major worldwide countries, China is the most prudent one when it comes to resorting to force. But we must remain dignified and make sure external forces always respect China.

The US on the other hand uses military force willfully. If Washington judges Beijing by the experiences of the US itself, the conclusion is highly likely to be wrong. 

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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