US Report Warns of China Military Development Overseas
(Source: Deutsche Welle German radio; posted June 7, 2017)
A Pentagon report says Beijing may be looking to build a base in Pakistan. The document also suggests that China may be spending a great deal more on defense than it has admitted.

The US Defense Department released a report saying it had reason to suspect that China could be eyeing Pakistan as a possible location for a foreign military base. The Pentagon said on Tuesday that the world can expect a more military-minded China to continue expanding its defense outposts outside its borders.

"China most likely will seek to establish additional military bases in countries with which it has a longstanding friendly relationship and similar strategic interests, such as Pakistan, and in which there is a precedent for hosting foreign militaries," said the report on China's defense policy, which is issued to Congress every year.

"This initiative, along with regular naval vessel visits to foreign ports, both reflects and amplifies China's growing influence, extending the reach of its armed forces," the report added.

The report also noted that Pakistan is already the biggest market in the Asia-Pacific region for Chinese arms exports.

Beijing built its first overseas military base, in the African nation Djibouti, on the eastern edge of the Indian Ocean. Outside of Washington, the possibility of setting up shop in Pakistan is likely to irk New Delhi as well.

China has cited anti-piracy missions as the reason behind its construction in Djibouti, which was already home to a large US naval base.

The Pentagon's assessment also pointed out that China has substantially built up reefs with extended runways and military facilities in thedisputed waters of the South China Sea.

The Pentagon also said that it estimated China's defense spending to be around $180 billion, significantly higher than its officially stated budget of $140 billion.

'Resolute opposition'

On Wednesday, China's Defense Ministry released a statement calling the report nothing but hype and declaring officials' "resolute opposition" to the Pentagon's findings. The ministry maintained that China had kept its defense expenditures "open and transparent."

"The criticism in the US report is pure conjecture," the ministry claimed in its statement. "We hope the US side can rationally and objectively view China's national defense and military building."

Earlier on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had called the report's findings on bases in Pakistan "conjecture."

Click here for the Pentagon’s report, "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China" (106 PDF pages) on the DoD website.


China Is Firmly Opposed to Pentagon Report On Chinese Military
(Source: China Military Online; posted June 8, 2017)
BEIJING --- China is firmly opposed to the annual US Defense Department report that hyped the “China threat theory”, said Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) on Wednesday.

The annual report “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2017” made irresponsible remarks on China's national defense development and cross-Strait relations and the situation in the Taiwan Strait, Wu said.

“China unswervingly follows a path of peaceful development and a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. Chinese armed forces have actively performed peacekeeping, escort, disaster relief and other overseas military missions in recent years, providing more public safety products and receiving wide praise from the international community,” said Wu.

China does not engage in military expansion and seek the spheres of influence, and China is always a firm force in safeguarding world peace, Wu stressed.

Wu added that China firmly safeguards the national sovereignty and security and the regional peace and stability on issues of the East China Sea and the South China Sea.

Wu pointed out that the US has strengthened the military deployment in the region and has frequently sent aircraft and warships to implement close-in reconnaissance, resulting in regional tensions.

China's defense spending has always been open and transparent and the Chinese military reform, weapons and equipment development as well as cyberspace defense capacity building are justified. Wu said that the US report's accusations are purely speculations.

The US report uses a special chapter to talk about the China-US military relations. Wu said that the development of healthy and stable relations between the two armed forces is favorable for the common interests of both sides and therefore requires the joint efforts of both sides.

“We hope that the US will treat China's national defense and military building objectively, meet each other halfway, earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state and contribute to the development of bilateral military relations,” Wu noted.


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