Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
GOP Lawmaker Accuses Obama of Hesitancy in Confronting China
A House Republican has accused the Obama administration of not sufficiently addressing the challenge posed by China's growing military clout, the Washington Times reported on Wednesday (see GSN, June 1).
Beijing in recent years has ramped up its military spending, pouring funds into new nuclear-weapon delivery vehicles, offensive cyber systems, and other armaments such as antiship ballistic missiles that could challenge the United States' longstanding naval supremacy in the Pacific.
Congressional China Caucus co-head Randy Forbes (R-Va.) in a Tuesday commentary for the Center for International and Strategic Studies' Pacific Forum asserted the White House has shown a "frightening reluctance" to spotlight the growing military threat represented by China.
"This needs to end," Forbes wrote. 'U.S. officials must come to accept that while there are plenty of opportunities for cooperation with (China), there are also elements of our relationship that are and will remain competitive."
"This is not to say that conflict between our countries is inevitable. But if U.S. leaders are expected to marshal the diplomatic and military resources necessary to engage in this long-term competition, they must first be willing to speak more candidly about Beijing’s growing capabilities and strategic intentions," he said (Bill Gertz, Washington Times, June 6).
U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey on Wednesday said the Obama administration's decision to refocus U.S. military forces in the Asia-Pacific zone has been warmly received by regional allies. The U.S. military's "pivot" toward Asia is widely seen as a response to China even as the Defense Department maintains it is not aimed at any one nation.
Dempsey said friendly regional nations are nervous the pivot toward Asia could be viewed as a provocation by China. "They're worried about the possibility that our rebalancing to the Pacific will become confrontational with China," the Army general was quoted as saying in a Pentagon press release.
"They want us to take measures, bilaterally and multilaterally, to be as inclusive as we can with China. And by the way, we are eager to do that," he continued.
The top U.S. military official said Washington and Beijing concur on a significant number of matters, though not all. "I think we need to be very clear about where that line is drawn, because we stand for certain principles that they may not agree with, and we will continue to stand for those principles and promote our values."
"I think our partners here just want to make sure that they're part of that conversation, because they live in this neighborhood," Dempsey added (U.S. Defense Department release, June 6).
This article provides an overview of China’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.