US falsely accuses China's military non-transparency

Updated: 2012-05-19 12:57


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WASHINGTON - The Pentagon on Friday falsely accused China's military expenditure of being non-transparent and said the country was responsible for cyberspace intrusions against US computers.

According to the US Defense Department's annual report on China's military development, named Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China, it is hard to come up with an "actual PLA (People's Liberation Army) military expenditure" because of "poor accounting transparency and China's still incomplete transition from a command economy."

It also said China's published military budget does not include "several major categories of expenditure, such as foreign procurement."

On cyberspace security, the report alleged, without producing concrete proof, that China poses "a growing and persistent threat" to US economic security as it has "the world's most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage."

Moreover, it said that China "is likely to remain an aggressive and capable collector of sensitive US economic information and technologies, particularly in cyberspace."

The report also said China offers little "transparency or explanation" while conducting its increasingly complex space operations.

However, the report did recognize that the overriding goals of China's foreign and security policies for the first two decades of the 21st century are to continue seeking peaceful development, with an emphasis on "positive relations with neighbors and constructive engagement in international affairs."

China places a priority on fostering a positive external environment to provide it with strategic space to focus on economic growth and development, the report said, as demonstrated by the country's efforts to maintain peace and stability along its borders, expand its diplomatic influence to facilitate access to foreign markets and resources and avoid direct confrontation with the United States.

It also noted that, with expanding economic and diplomatic interests due to China's rapid economic growth, the PLA has taken on "new historic missions" by participating in various operations and playing leadership roles in United Nations peace operations in 2011, including humanitarian aid, combating piracy, counter-terrorism and disaster relief operations.

Neglecting China's enormous efforts and investment in its scientific and technological developments, the report claimed that China continues to modernize its military by incorporating Western, mostly US, dual-use technologies. But it failed to mention that the United States has imposed a tight ban on its high-tech exports to China in the past decades.

On US-China military ties, the Pentagon report pointed out that the two sides seek to build a "healthy, stable, reliable and continuous" military-to-military relationship, as part of the consensus reached by Chinese President Hu Jintao and his US counterpart Barack Obama during Hu's visit to the United States in January 2011.

Despite the US announcement of a major arms sales deal to Taiwan in September 2011, the working-level contacts and high-level dialogues were maintained. The United States remains committed to its engagement with China in the Asia-Pacific region and to building a "stronger military-to-military relationship with China," though putting it on a firm foundation remains a challenge, the report said.

The Pentagon also vowed in the report to continue monitoring China's military strategy and force development while continuing "adapting its forces, posture, and operational concepts" in the Asia-Pacific area.

The Pentagon has been issuing an annual report on China's military to the Congress since 2000, continuing a Cold War-style practice that the United States once adopted toward the former Soviet Union in an attempt to put pressure on its archrival.

China has repeatedly condemned the US issuance of such reports as interference in China's internal affairs, while making it clear China's intention to seek peaceful development and develop its military will not pose any threat to other countries.