Beijing: Rear Admiral Yang Yi has said the US is the biggest perceived threat to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Yang Yi was the former head of strategic studies at the PLA’s National University of Defence.
Dissonance over cross-Strait relationship was the most likely trigger for a Sino-US nuclear war claimed Yi.
About rivals Japan and India, the China daily quoted Yi as saying that while Japan does not have the ability, India is more worried about China.
Yi suggested that Beijing should maintain healthy relations with Washington while at the same time covering for potential threats and pressures.
"Fortunately, the risk of a Sino-US confrontation is decreasing due to the relaxation of the Taiwan question," China Daily quoted Yi as saying. The Taiwan issue would be resolved politically not militarily, said Yi.
"Those weapons will be ours sooner or later." Said Yi of US arms sales to Taiwan, reflecting the PLA’s self assured stance regarding Taiwan.
Yi first made spoke about the subject while addressing delegates at the US-China Government Executive Global Leadership Course last week. The 17-member US group included office directors of NASA, Department of Defence and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The comparative educational dialogue involving senior US officials is the first such interaction between Washington and Beijing.
"A US Navy official in charge of intelligence asked the question and he quickly responded that it was the same case for China about the US," said course director Sun Zhe. He said that the frank communication by Yi should not be seen as a threat, and that it would help the two powers understand one another better, especially Beijing’s position on the Taiwan issue.