News24

Be cautious over military plan, US told

2012-01-10 13:20

Beijing - Beijing has urged the United States to exercise caution as it refocuses its defence policy to counter China's rising military power and growing assertiveness in Asia.

China's defence ministry said a new US military strategy unveiled by President Barack Obama last week was based on "unfounded" charges, and insisted its rise presented "an opportunity, not a challenge" to Washington.

"There is a movement towards greater peace and stability across the Asia-Pacific region," said spokesperson Geng Yansheng in a statement published on the ministry website late on Monday.

"We urge the United States to follow the prevailing trend, take an objective and balanced view of China and its military and behave cautiously and in a manner conducive to developing good relations."

Geng's comments came hours after China's foreign ministry said the new US defence strategy was based on "groundless" and "untrustworthy" charges, and insisted it posed no threat to any nation.

Washington's focus on Asia is fuelled by concerns over China's growing navy and its arsenal of anti-ship missiles that could jeopardise US military dominance in the Pacific.

China is highly secretive about its military spending, but its People's Liberation Army has benefited from a huge and expanding budget boosted by the nation's rapid economic growth.

However, China's responses to recent US moves to boost its military presence in Asia - including the deployment of up to 2 500 Marines to northern Australia - have been relatively restrained.

China's official Xinhua news agency said last week it welcomed a larger US presence in Asia as "conducive to regional stability and prosperity", while urging it against "warmongering".

Comments
  • Graziella - 2012-01-10 13:36

    'Let China slumber, for when she wakes, she will conquer the world.' Napoleon

  • The-third - 2012-01-10 14:11

    The defense machine needs a "new enemy" every few years to warrant Gov spending (and get public buy in). Iran and China next. Whatever.

  • Kobus - 2012-01-10 14:41

    America is becoming like a cat on a hot plate. Damned if you do and damned if you dont. Either way, dont trust China for a second !

  • Graziella - 2012-01-10 14:54

    What is depressing here is the US response. China expands links with Africa? Set up Africom. China's influence is growing in the Asian and Pacific area? See it as essentially as a military threat rather than a normal process of trade. Refer to everything as weapons, and use the language of war to describe trade.

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