Tags: U.S. | Eying | Chinese | Military | Buildup

U.S. Eying Chinese Military Buildup

Tuesday, 15 March 2005 12:00 AM

Nevertheless Rice, who is beginning a six-nation Asian tour, sounded an upbeat note regarding China. She said despite U.S. concerns over China's belligerence towards Taipei and its matching military build-up, Beijing could still "emerge as a constructive force in Asia."

"We don't have any desire to have the alliances or our posture be a posture against China," she added.

In recent years China has upgraded its nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles; bought state-of-the-art warships, fighter planes and submarines from Russia; and begun development of a number of so-called "asymmetrical" weapons, including informational warfare and anti-satellite systems.

And just this week, members of the National People's Congress, a largely ceremonial legislative body, overwhelmingly approved a new law which authorizes force against Taiwan if the island democracy attempts to formally declare independence from the mainland, which considers it just a renegade province.

The law's passage has ratcheted up tensions in the region at a time when the U.S. and its allies are attempting to stunt Chinese efforts to exert more influence throughout Asia.

The Pentagon is in the process of redeploying military assets in the Pacific, Japan and South Korea, to act as a bulwark against perceived Chinese naval and air force advances.

And while most Western analysts believe China is years behind the U.S. in terms of military technology, Beijing clearly has made enough advances in the past to threaten the balance of power between Taiwan and the mainland.

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Nevertheless Rice, who is beginning a six-nation Asian tour, sounded an upbeat note regarding China. She said despite U.S. concerns over China's belligerence towards Taipei and its matching military build-up, Beijing could still "emerge as a constructive force in...
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2005-00-15
Tuesday, 15 March 2005 12:00 AM
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