Peace-loving China poses no threat to US

Updated: 2015-03-16 08:13

By Shen Dingli(China Daily)

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Peace-loving China poses no threat to US

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with US President Barack Obama at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound on Tuesday night in central Beijing after the APEC meeting. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Heritage Foundation, in its recent report, "Assessing America's Ability to Provide for the Common Defense", has used a new index system to gauge the level of threat the United States faces in different parts of the world and to determine its preparedness for common defense with its allies.

In Asia, the report says, despite the moderate overall security environment, there exist three threats, primarily constituted by terrorism (Afghanistan and Pakistan), China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. It also says that all these threats "are ranked behaviorally as aggressive".

China is assessed to be threatening because its rising capability continues to "present the US with the most comprehensive security challenge in the region". In the context of rising capability, China's growing defense budget is helping it modernize its military.

If the logic that its rising defense spending indicates China poses a threat to the US, the simplistic argument applies to the US, too. Going by this logic, the US, whose military budget is equal to the combined total of the next 14 countries' budgets, poses the greatest threat to the world.

A threat involves both capability and intention. A country without sufficient capability hardly poses a significant threat to another; neither does one without an aggressive intent. With this in mind, a proper comparison between China and the US is necessary.

Though China has the second largest defense budget globally, the US spends about four times that of China on defense. While blaming China for lack of transparency, the US has always appropriated extra defense resources beyond the Pentagon's request. In aggregate terms, the US' defense expenditure has been tens of times more than China over the past decades. So China has more than enough reason to try and catch up with the US when more resources become available.

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