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by Eric Hammer | FTMDaily Contributing Writer
TEL AVIV, Mar 8 – In a move which is making a number of countries in the region nervous, the People’s Republic of China announced recently that it was increasing military spending by 12.7% this year. “We regard the modernization of China’s military power and its growing and intense activities as concerns,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano was quoted as saying by The Diplomat, a political blog.
Indeed, China’s moves are making some people lose sleep, especially when other analysts predict that the People Republic of China could well be ready to conquer Taiwan in a few years if their buildup continues unchecked.
Roger Cliff, a respected analyst quoted in The Newser, said he believes that not only could China take Taiwan by the year 2020 but that they could easily overwhelm American forces stationed in the area with sheer numbers if not technological superiority.
Speaking of technological superiority, China recently tested their first stealth aircraft, the J-20 and is to date the only country other than the United States to independently develop such an aircraft. They are also in the process of building their first aircraft carriers and expect to deploy a number of them by the end of the decade.
Attempting to allay fears, the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece newspaper, The People’s Daily released a statement saying that “the increase in China’s defense budget should give no one cause for criticism.” According to that newspaper, the military buildup in the world’s most populous country is being undertaken to counter threats from rogue nations in the Middle East, some of which share a border with the country.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration, still gun shy about foreign policy, has been reluctant to criticize the Chinese military buildup. The American military has however been attempting to increase military ties with the People’s Army in an effort to blunt any chance of the country becoming belligerent toward American interests in the region. The theory is that by working closely with their Chinese counterparts, they can prevent them from turning against America at a later date.
It also worth noting that neither China nor the United States would see any real benefit from an increase in tensions in the Pacific region. The Chinese economy is largely export driven, selling cheap products to the United States and other Western nations while Washington is increasingly reliant on Chinese largesse to fund its ever growing deficit.
In fact, the Chinese are the single largest foreign bondholders of American debt, holding over $2 trillion of U.S. government bonds, money that could theoretically disappear along with their biggest export market if they were to go to war in a head to head battle with the United States or her allies. In turn, the American government could find itself short of cash at a crucial moment if it were to end up in a shooting match with China.
Still, most analysts agree that while China does not pose a threat today, it’s important to keep a very close watch on the current military buildup, especially given that allies located nearby, such as South Korea and Japan are reliant on American military aid and support to ward of what they fear could become a newly belligerent Chinese giant.
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