Obama Presidency: China Continues Huge Military Build Up
by Jim Kouri, CPP
While the news media and politicians in the United States continue their focus on domestic issues such as bailouts for failing corporations, there are enormous changes occurring in communist China. For the most part, the news media and pundits have ignored events in China for over a decade, except during the Summer Olympic Games when most members of the mainstream media gushed over the Chinese.
Even when President Bill Clinton allowed dual-purpose technology transfers to the Chinese, few realized the significance of those transfers, and little was reported in the US media. Some of that US technology, for example, helped the Chinese government in perfecting the accuracy of their Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).
Now as Americans await the inauguration of President Barack Obama, many political leaders are still ignoring the fact that China is planning to increase its military spending by up to 15% in the new year. Of course, an official from China's parliament quickly told US and European Union military analysts that much of the increase would be used to cover fuel and salaries and that China was a "peace-loving nation".
Jiang Enzhu, a member of parliament, told the British Broadcasting Company that the US spent a greater proportion of its economy on defense and that China had "no intention of vigorously developing armaments".
However, American intelligence sources have at various times accused China of understating its military budget and weapons programs.
It's been widely accepted that China's armed forces are the biggest in the world and has undergone double-digit increases in military spending since the early 1990s. The increases have caused fear by their immediate neighbors Japan and Taiwan. The US has also expressed concerns over the spending on the 2.5 million strong military. Washington has several times accused China of understating its military budget.
But the Chinese government claims its spending is in line with military budgets in other governments. China's defense budget has climbed in recent years along with the success of its economy.
China also claims its military spending is insignificant when compared with the United States. According to Pentagon figures the US had a base military budget of $400 billion in last year.
Japan is also developing new torpedos to boost the defense of its islands, including some claimed by China. The Japanese fear the Chinese may try to take over the disputed islands.
Part of the efforts to strengthen its ability to defend remote islands against Chinese attack entails the Japanese sending some ground troops to San Diego, California for advanced training with the US Marines, the Nihon Keizai newspaper said.
The troops took part in reconnaissance training such as learning how to land on potentially-occupied remote islands and gather information, the paper said.
The aim is to strengthen Japan's ability to defend remote southern isles such as the disputed islands known as the Diaoyus in China and the Senkakus in Japan, the newspaper said.
Wang Xinjun, a military analyst, told the Chinese media that the US is playing up China's military power in order to contain China's military development. He says that the Pentagon seeks to strengthen US forces in the Asia Pacific area, in order to offset China's influence in the region.
Meanwhile, the left-wing in the US believe this is a means by which the Pentagon may garner more funding for military weapons and technology. As usual, the liberal-left in the US sees no threat to national security, preferring to hamper any military spending as they did during the Cold War.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.