The US Department of Defense released its annual report entitled "2013 Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China" on May 6.
This report once again ramps up the "China threat theory," claiming that US computer systems continuously being targeted for intrusion are "attributable directly to [Chinese] government and military organizations." Besides this, there are also other catchwords which Chinese people are already familiar with in the report.
Some people say that this annual report has almost been a yearbook of China's military strength. In fact, the report is more like a mirror of America's mentality toward China's rise, namely a worry about China's increasing strength and a desire to maintain the US' strategic advantage.
The Pentagon's report shows that regardless of the level of cooperation between the two countries, the relationship between China and the US is a game between powers, and even potentially antagonistic.
We should have no illusions as to the fundamental nature of the Sino-US relationship.
However, the influence of this annual report is decreasing. Due to large and complex interests involved in the Sino-US relationship, US diplomacy toward China should be realistic.
Therefore, the extreme depictions of China's military strength have limited influence on US policy toward China.
It remains unknown who will suffer more from this report. The report shows Chinese people the deep hostility within the US, which increased Chinese society's awareness about the US. It also misleads the US people in regard to the urgency of military competition.
This report creates the impression that the military field will be crucial in the future. It predicts China will use its military as the breakthrough point to subvert the hegemony of the US but the US will win as long as it maintains its military superpower position.
The US cannot be persuaded by China. China should accept the reality that the US views China as an opponent, and establish a cooperative relationship between rivals.
Diplomatically, China should pay attention to every US move toward China. But strategically, we need not be overly concerned about these little tricks. China has the ability to defend and enhance its national security. However, China's most powerful advantage will be formed in the economic field.
Such reports can no longer really harm us. It is because we care about our reputation and the relationship between the two countries that we feel uncomfortable. As long as we have more confidence, such reports will mean nothing.