‘US playing up China threat to avoid budget cuts’

Last Updated: Saturday, April 7, 2012 - 17:19

Beijing: Chinese think tanks have rejected a
US Congressional report on the Communist nation`s weapon`s
development, describing it as a trick to offset the Pentagon`s
shrinking budget and help prevent further cuts by
"exaggerating" the so-called China threat.

China`s weapons development still lags far behind that of
the US, and that this study may have been compiled to offset
the Pentagon`s shrinking budget and help prevent further cuts,
Li Daguang, a professor at the PLA National Defence
University, told the Global Times.

The US defence budget is around USD 613 billion for the
fiscal year 2013 that is to begin in October, far outstripping
China`s planned military spending of USD 106.4 billion for
this year, he said.

US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC)
which prepared the report is a right-wing, conservative
organisation holding biased views towards China and has been
hostile since its establishment, Li said.

"It represents the interest group of large American
defence enterprises, so it tends to exaggerate the so-called
China threat to help such enterprises secure military
contracts," Li said.

"Over the past three decades, no single US report has
underestimated China`s military development. Generally
speaking, they have been overstating China`s strength, which
has served to fan fears of the `China threat`," Shi Yinhong, a
professor of international relations and director of the
Centre on American Studies at Renmin University of China said.

USCC report said the US has underestimated the growth of
China`s military as policymakers have taken public statements
at face value or failed to understand Beijing`s thinking.

The report prepared by Wang Jisi, dean of the School of
International Studies at Peking University, and Kenneth
Lieberthal, director of the John L Thornton China Center at
the Brookings Institution US had a mixed record on predicting
China`s new weaponry, including largely missing the emergence
of more advanced submarines.

The study found "identifiable cases of miscalculation"
with China developing anti-ship ballistic missiles and stealth
fighter-jets earlier than analysis had predicted.

"US analysts and policymakers should expect to see
continued advancements in the ability of China to produce
modern weapons platforms, and an attendant increase in the
operational capabilities of the People`s Liberation Army
(PLA)," it said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, April 7, 2012 - 17:07

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