Washington: The US needs to prepare
itself for any eventuality with the Chinese army as a Pentagon report has expressed concern over the increasing military might of China, a senior Congressman said Tuesday.
"Conflict between our nations remains a possibility,
and we must remain prepared for whatever the future holds in
the US-China security relationship," Congressman Ike Skelton,
Chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee said.
At the same time he noted that he continues to believe
that China is not necessarily destined to be a threat to the
US and China doesn't need to view the US as a threat to its
The Congress mandated-Pentagon report, he said, shows
how critical it is for the US to be actively engaged
throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
"China's security posture is undergoing a significant
transformation, and the US must continue to be prepared to
address a number of regional security challenges and
opportunities and do what we can to encourage China to play a
constructive role in the international security environment,"
Skelton said particularly troubling was China's
continuing trend of suspending US-China military-to military
contacts, which limits the extent to which the two nations can
explore areas of cooperation and was not a helpful approach to
addressing our differences.
"There is a dangerous risk that miscommunication and
misperception between the US and China could lead to a
miscalculation, particularly given China's increasing military
capabilities, and military-to-military contacts are an
essential tool to help prevent such instances. These contacts
promote understanding, build trust, prevent conflict, and when
appropriate, foster cooperation," he said.
"I am also concerned by some continuing trends and
ambiguities regarding China's military modernisation,
including its missile build up across from Taiwan, its maritime
activities in the South China Sea, and the steady increase of
its power projection capabilities, which do not obviously
support China's stated national security objectives," he said.
While China has taken some steps toward increasing
transparency and openness regarding its defence strategy and
expenditures in recent years, such steps are modest, he noted.
"China's most recent military budget continues a trend
of sustained annual increases, and China's strategic
intentions remain opaque," the Congressman said.
First Published: Tuesday, August 17, 2010, 13:25