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U.S.: China military capability grows amid tensions

By Associated Press


WASHINGTON >> China shows growing capability to project military power beyond its shores, the Defense Department said Thursday.

In an annual report to Congress, the Pentagon said China is developing and testing new types of missiles, expanding the reach of its navy and upgrading its air force. China is also investing in military capabilities in cyberspace, space and electronic warfare.

The report said China's military modernization was driven primarily by potential conflict in the Taiwan Strait, but also by its expanding interests and influence abroad, and increased tensions in the East China and South China seas. In November, China conducted its largest naval exercise to date in the Philippine Sea.

China has been engaged in territorial disputes with several of its neighbors, including U.S. allies Japan and the Philippines. China is currently locked in a tense, offshore standoff with the Vietnam.

In a long-standing U.S. criticism of China's military expansion over the past two decades, the Pentagon criticized China's lack of openness about its strategy, which it said has caused concerns in Asia.

"Absent greater transparency from China and a change in its behavior, these concerns will likely intensify as the PLA's military modernization program progresses," the report said, referring to China's People's Liberation Army.

China's government in March announced a 12.2 percent increase in military spending to $132 billion. That followed last year's 10.7 percent increase to $114 billion, giving China the second-highest defense budget for any nation behind the U.S., which spent $600.4 billion on its military last year.

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HanabataDays wrote:
I'll start to be impressed when they don't have to buy their aircraft carriers off of IvansList and then go buy the engine from some other country that is actually capable of building them (and the same goes for jet engines).
on June 5,2014 | 12:06PM
ryan02 wrote:
In hindsight, maybe it would have been better to let Japan take over China (maybe there would have been fewer Chinese deaths than the 30 million killed by China's communists)? But at any rate, here we are in 2014. The question I have is, what has China done that the U.S. itself hasn't done (or is currently doing)? It's like the U.S. telling Russia to stay out of the Ukraine when we're still figuring out how to exit Afghanistan (which we should have also learned from Russia 30 years ago). Humans will never live in peace - there is always a way to justify what "we" do and demonize what "they" do, to justify war.
on June 5,2014 | 12:56PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Isn't the Chinese military spending of $132 billion a lot closer to the $600 billion U.S. spending due to the much lower material and labor costs in China? Also, I seriously doubt that Chinese soldiers make but a fraction of what a U.S. soldier makes and they likely do not give all the many benefits our soldiers get.
on June 5,2014 | 01:28PM
Jerry_D wrote:
People of America ("Mei-gwa-rons"), start brushing up on your Mandarin language ("Poo-toong-kwa") because, despite what you want to believe, the Chinese government's got their act together. They've purposely devalued their currency in order to make their products cheaper to buy, thereby making their export economy pretty much unbeatable (China has the best export-to-import ratio, or trade imbalance, than every other country in the world. By contrast, America has the worst trade imbalance. We spend more money in other countries than we make from them). The ONLY thing that America has over China is technology...but, as we've seen in the case of Japan, technology can easily be learned and mastered. It's estimated by the year 2019 (some say 2016), that China's GDP will exceed our own. It is also believed that China will be the global center of business (not America), and that Mandarin will become the official language of business, replacing English (why do you think there are so many Mandarin Language Institutes all over the world, including at our very own University of Hawaii?). Never underestimate the enemy...and get rid of Obama because he is leading America headfirst into obscurity, and find a true patriot to run America and rid us of these threats, the same way Reagan pretty much got rid of the Soviet Union and won the Cold War.
on June 5,2014 | 01:56PM
kauai wrote:
The U.S. (we/us) better get our act together regarding foreign policy and military response and preparedness, because those times in our history when we slacked off being vigilant, we were surprised rather rudely (e.g. 9/11, 12/7, just to cite two examples).
on June 5,2014 | 02:28PM
Morimoto wrote:
The US brought 9/11 on themselves with their constant interference in other countries internal affairs. China is just doing what countries do naturally, expand their influence and prepare for threats. In this case the US is a bigger threat to China than vice versa.
on June 5,2014 | 03:06PM
kauai wrote:
So, you're saying that violence (e.g. 9/11) is justified as a response? And did we interfere in "internal affairs" that brought 12/7 down on us right here in Hawaii? Also, then, we (U.S.) are doing "naturally" too, expanding our influence and preparing for threats. As long as everyone's on the same page, then we're all doing right (responding to our own interests).
on June 5,2014 | 05:26PM
NiteMarcher wrote:
China is only watching out for themselves--just like we are and everyone else out there. We still out spend every other military in the world.
on June 5,2014 | 02:38PM
mitt_grund wrote:
Yep, the USA is always trying to paint other countries as the villain. 16 aircraft carriers to 1 - no contest. Now if it's a land war, do you really think it will come to that. That's why they want Japan to re-arm, so they can use Japanese troops as cannon fodder, before nuking Beijing. Oh, yes, and the U.S. was counting on Chinese troops, both PLA and Nationalists, to keep Japan occupied as they prepped the two bombs they eventually dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
on June 5,2014 | 03:32PM
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