Pentagon report adds to Sino-US distrust

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/5/16 0:42:55

The US Defense Department submitted its annual report to Congress on Chinese military activities on Friday. The US has published similar reports on the former Soviet Union, Iran and North Korea before, but now China report has garnered the most attention.

No matter how the Americans want to justify this report, the hostility it conveys is obvious. It adds fuel to the already strategic distrust between Beijing and Washington and exacerbates the negative view that China and the US will eventually become embroiled in a military clash.

How Sino-US relations develop is mostly determined by the interactions between public opinion in both countries. The Pentagon is keeping a close eye on China and considers containing the People's Liberation Army in the East China Sea, the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea as its primary strategic tasks.

The Chinese people did not misinterpret the Pentagon. The annual US reports on the Chinese military in the past few years have shaped the view of US society toward the "China threat" and pushed forward the formation of US strategies such as the pivot to the Asia-Pacific. They also hyped up the "China threat" theory across the world.

However, the pressure from these reports has not been able to prevent China from developing its national defense capability. As the buildup of the Chinese military has not gone beyond the need of a major power's strategic defense and coordinates with the thriving Chinese economy, it has won wide support from society.

The international opinion pressure created by Washington did not turn into the obstruction of the Chinese system. Nor did it serve as a driving force for some international forces to carry out confrontations to disturb China's development of its national defense.

While this year's report plays up the "China threat," it admits that China will not jeopardize regional peace and will avoid a direct confrontation with the US in Asia. The US impression of China's "aggressiveness" merely comes from its subjective imagination and its sensitivity that originates from its difficulty in maintaining global hegemony.

In the South China Sea, the US military has the advantage to mobilize its maritime strength and entice the Philippines and Vietnam to impose pressure on China. However, China's construction of islands is legitimate in international law and the rhetoric campaign of the US and its allies is just bubbles in the air.

The US will continue its war of words toward China. But it is most important for China to know that they cannot forcibly disrupt China's development. The biggest insurance for China's national security and independence comes from its overall strength. The military buildup is a must, especially nowadays.

China has the right to strengthen its military power to safeguard its national interests. In offshore areas, our target is to be absolutely confident about defending against any US military intervention. The US is wrong to view China's justified national defense buildup as a threat. Whether the US can readjust its thinking will underscore international relations in the 21st century.

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