By Li Hongmei, Specially for Sina English
Pentagon released to Congress its annual report Friday assessing the military strategy of China, hyping the point that China continues to press for a long-range modernization of its military forces, much the way they did during the Cold War era towards Soviet Union.
China categorically rejected Pentagon’s wild speculations on its defense policy.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Saturday the report made irresponsible statements about China's legitimate defense development and falsely claimed that the country presented a military threat.
"China is developing its limited military forces only to protect its national independence and sovereignty," Hong said. "No country needs to worry if it harbors no hostility toward China."
This year's report again describes an ambitious, fast-growing Chinese military program aimed at transforming the People's Liberation Army into a modern force. It says its main goals include preparing for possible hostilities with Taiwan.
"We ask the United States to respect facts, change its mindset and stop the wrong act of issuing such annual reports and instead do more to improve the relationship between the U.S. and Chinese militaries and promote trust," Hong was also quoted as saying.
Ironically, the U.S. stated the report is based on “objective data” with rhetoric in a “measured way.” Does that mean the so-called measured way is nothing but employing minced words such as "likely," "indicates" or "likelihood"? This has just testified to the ambiguity of the Pentagon report and exposed its willful accusations against China.
Besides, the Pentagon report is rife with speculative descriptions and even distorts the reality depicting China as a security and economic threat to the United States and, meanwhile, in a bid to incite disturbance in the Chinese neighborhood.
At present, the Philippines, emboldened by the U.S., is entering into a conflict with China over the Huangyan Island. The US is trying to reinforce the Philippines in this dispute. Its main aim is to weaken China’s position in the region, so as to prevent China from becoming the sole leader, and pave the way for its “Return to Asia” strategy.
With its growing influence, China is right now more than a regional leading player. As it is, China is a country which determines the new skyline of the Asian economy. China’s rise is just the eyesore of the U.S., a self-claimed Pacific nation who is anxious to interfere in Asia’s economic, social and political life.
The report said China "periodically acts more assertively in pursuit of its strategic priorities," making an apparent reference to China's firm stance on protecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity in disputes concerning the South China Sea.
In light of good-neighborly relations with the regional countries, China has been aspiring for peaceful development. As to sovereignty and national security, China will stand firm just like the U.S. and any other member of the international community.
What defies reasoning is that the Pentagon report was issued on the heels of Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie's visit to the U.S., during which U.S. military officials loudly promised to seek a "healthy, stable, reliable and continuous" military-to-military relationship with China.
This Pentagon move once again highlighted the U.S.'s lack of credit in dealing with China, which has already been proven by its repeated failures to keep its formal promises regarding arms sales to Taiwan and high-profile meetings with Dalai Lama.
In the final analysis, the Pentagon report proves to be yet another product of the cliché mentality touting confrontation and conflict between leading powers, which embodies nothing but hegemonism.
The specter of Cold War which has been hovering over the U.S. politicians just enshrouds the consensus reached by both leaders to build up a cooperative and win-win strategic partnership.
Sino-U.S. relationship is one of the most important and complicated bilateral relations in today’s world. To push ahead the bilateral ties on a sound track, the U.S. will have to abandon its Cold War mentality, and shake off the shackle of confrontation mindset.
More significant, if the U.S. would do as matched with its international status, it is supposed to do much more to boost ties between countries and militaries, not the other way round.