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U.S. questions growing Chinese military power

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China’s rapidly growing military strength is shifting the military balance in the region and could be used to force its claims in disputed territories

Doesn't America do the same thing?

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Doesn't America do the same thing?

No, because the US don't have any disputed claims.

The Spratley Islands, in the South China Sea, are claimed by six (?) governments. Though little more than a couple of rocks there's reputed to be oil underneath. China is by far the farthest along in establishing sovereignty and could finish the job with a stronger military.

China's also got unresolved border issues with India.

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Territorial claims no. But what about political claims?

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Territorial claims no. But what about political claims?

US military bases overseas have varying strategic objectives. One can certainly argue whether they are appropriate or not, but I can't think of any which fall under the category of "political claims." Unless you mean propping up leadership we put in power.

The Navy is there to keep shipping lines open, something the Chinese are not yet in a position to do. Their concern is the US is capable of blockading them in a dispute.

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Questioning, being concerned, all good things. Suggesting they have a right to have the same things the Chinese do not but are perhaps developing, not as good.

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but I can't think of any which fall under the category of "political claims." Unless you mean propping up leadership we put in power.

Yes, that included. Just seems that over the past 50 years or so America has used its military in a variety of wars/conflicts/incidents that seem motivated by things other than "self-defence".

I understand its all subjective to a point but sometimes I wonder...why is America the only country allowed to have a strong military???

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Pot calling kettle black.

|The Navy is there to keep shipping lines open,??????? who has blocked ? Till now they couldn't stop Somali pirates and now China and some other countries send ships.

US ARMY navy etc are not for peace but to advance their own benefits through out the world and now when some one else do the same they cry like a kid.

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Where not but if another nation builds up its military power and are a threat to us or could ever possibly be a threat we would then have to build up ours....or well end up like the E.U. unable to even offer a few peacekeepers and helos in africa

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|The Navy is there to keep shipping lines open,??????? who has blocked ? Till now they couldn't stop Somali pirates and now China and some other countries send ships.

Well, ya can't be everywhere at once. The US has beefed up its presence in the Gulf of Guinea owing to civil unrest in Nigeria, a major oil supplier. Keeping the pipelines open is a strategic interest of the US. It works out to the benefit of the rest of the oil-importing world as well. Is this altruism? Certainly not. Would the Chinese like to be in the same position? Of course.

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The US historically preferred military conquest over dilly dallying with territorial claims.

Wouldn't that also be true of the Chinese and Tibet?

Would the Chinese prefer to be strong enough to assert sovereignty through military conquest rather than dilly dallying with territorial claims? You betcha.

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Three words: pot, kettle, black.

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Wouldn't that also be true of the Chinese and Tibet? Would the Chinese prefer to be strong enough to assert sovereignty through military conquest rather than dilly dallying with territorial claims? You betcha.

Hang on. You have stated above that the US does not have any disputed claims. Wrong. They do. I named two of them.

Back to Betzee, and in reply to your above question. What the heck does it matter if China also historically prefers "military conquest to..." Name me one imperialist power that hasn't! For that matter name me one nation, anywhere that historically has not used military power as a prefered means to sorting out a territorial claim.

The big decider is always who holds the greatest amount of power AND the resources to outlast their adversary. Meantime people die. The problem here is that this is supposed to be an era of some sophistication when the political, economic, and social system in place has been developed to the point it can benefit us all. Clearly, this is completely a delusion at best. Here we have an entire globe-ful of nations, SUCH as China, and America, none of which can decouple themselves from the global system in place. Capitalism has at this point reached a zenith in terms of systematic collapse. That is why the US and China, two of the most powerful economies in the world turn toward their militaries. China in Tibet, and the US just about everywhere else.

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medivaltimes: I understand its all subjective to a point but sometimes I wonder...why is America the only country allowed to have a strong military???

Yes, but the US opinion is the only opinion many media outlets, including Japan Today, will print. That attracts people who will undoubtedly want to play the "irony" angle which will in turn increases hits and post counts. Now the boards can be filled by people who have little to no interest in talking about China specifically, for example the "Three words: pot, kettle, black" posts. Since the US's opinion is the focus of the article any comments about the US are on-topic.

So don't blame the US for having an opinion. All nations do. And I suspect that for most nations that are US allies the concerns are probably the same. The media just chooses to focus on the US only. It helps people argue more, and you don't have to know anything about China.

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China has been THE world power on five occassions during history. America is, like it or not, an empire in decline. No superpower lasts forever. Just 60 or so years ago Britain was a superpoer with a hand in a third of the globe. 20 years ago america and the USSR were on level pegging. China, in the next 30 years or so, will be the worlds only super power.

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The problem here is that this is supposed to be an era of some sophistication when the political, economic, and social system in place has been developed to the point it can benefit us all.

The world never changes only the tools and the only dependable thing is human greed. Bank on those idea's and you'll get pretty far.

China, in the next 30 years or so, will be the worlds only super power.

Unless, of course, they manage to royaly piss off India, which would set off the U.S, which would set off Russia, and who knows. Maybe zimbabwe will be the worlds only super power left.

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Isn't it ironic that the US questions the expansion of Chinese military power, yet accepts Chinese money to buy $1 trillion in US Treasuries and other forms of US debt securities, which in turn is used to fund the US military?

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"Isn't it ironic that the US questions the expansion of Chinese military power, yet accepts Chinese money to buy $1 trillion in US Treasuries and other forms of US debt securities, which in turn is used to fund the US military?"

I think it's more ironic that we allow, in fact rely, on them to finance our deficits and then criticize their human rights record.

As for their military build-up, it's of much more concern to the smaller nations of SE Asia who have long memories of Chinese historic aggression than that of the United States' involvement in the region. This is even true of the Vietnamese despite the immense devastation of what they refer to as "the American War." Their history, regardless of ideological perspective, underscores the need to resist Chinese domination.

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Hang on. You have stated above that the US does not have any disputed claims. Wrong. They do. I named two of them.

Is the US military involved in defending them? No. That was the distinction I drew in my first post in response to someone who asked, "Doesn't the US do the same thing?"

Moderator: Back on topic please. This thread is about China.

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Isn't it ironic that the US questions the expansion of Chinese military >power, yet accepts Chinese money to buy $1 trillion in US Treasuries and >other forms of US debt securities, which in turn is used to fund the US >military?

No not really since the Chinese have to have a place to put all those dollars. What's ironic is the extent of imports from China that the US buys which permits China go build it's military.

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'No not really since the Chinese have to have a place to put all those dollars. What's ironic is the extent of imports from China that the US buys which permits China go build it's military.'

Did you know that much of the imports from China into the US come from factories set up thru US-China joint ventures? Both sides made plenty of money. Nothing ironic here.

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Isn't it ironic that the US questions the expansion of Chinese military power, yet accepts Chinese money to buy $1 trillion in US Treasuries and other forms of US debt securities, which in turn is used to fund the US military?

China doesn't own $1 Trillion in treasuries. It owns about $780 Billion. Keep in mind that this is about 10% of the total.

Also, all of you really need to better understand the definition of irony as most of the things you call "ironic" are not.

To the topic at hand though, the growing Chinese military isn't really a threat to US supremecy (and won't be for some time) and additionally as the government of China becomes more democratic (pulled along by a more free market based economy) that Military can be used as a tool for good and stability rather than a way to impose their will upon the region.

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"China doesn't own $1 Trillion in treasuries. It owns about $780 Billion. Keep in mind that this is about 10% of the total."

Agreed. That's why I originally stated "and other forms of US debt securities".

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Agreed. That's why I originally stated "and other forms of US debt securities".

What would those "other forms" be? I am not saying you are wrong, I am just not aware of them.

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"What would those "other forms" be? I am not saying you are wrong, I am just not aware of them."

-Long-term US Treasury securities -Long-term US government agency securities -Long-term corporate securities (some of which are asset backed) -Equities (such as stocks) -Short-term debt.

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-Long-term US Treasury securities -Long-term US government agency securities -Long-term corporate securities (some of which are asset backed) -Equities (such as stocks) -Short-term debt.

Stocks aren't "debt securities". Do you have any figures on those other items?

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http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL34314.pdf

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http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL34314.pdf

I don't have time to read throgh some government report. Post the quick and dirty.

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According to the Nov 2008 CRS report for Congress (see link above), China holds approx. $1.3 trillion of US Govt assets as of Sept, 2008.

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Gotcha

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Did you know that much of the imports from China into the US come from >factories set up thru US-China joint ventures? Both sides made plenty of >money. Nothing ironic here.

Sure but I'm not talking abnout such joint ventures. I'm talking about companies like Norinco.

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The US has joint ventures with several Chinese state enterprises. Which means we can surmise that a US entity has a JV with a sub-branch of Norinco, or, Poly Technologies.

For example, CITIC is a state owned conglomerate. Yet one of their branches is Poly Technologies, maker of guided missiles and other forms of military hardware. Yet CITIC (Pacific) has a partnership with Walmart to fan out their chain of stores across China.

Get my drift?

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For example, CITIC is a state owned conglomerate. Yet one of their branches is Poly Technologies, maker of guided missiles and other forms of military hardware.

Poly Technologies, you know your stuff!

I had a Chinese classmate in the 1980s whose well-connected hubby worked at Poly Technologies. It was known as a place where the sons and daughters of the PLA top brass were earning big salaries and traveling abroad when most Chinese still worked for the state or as private entrepreneurs (peddlers). Such opportunities were out of reach for the masses.

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SUPERLIB - That's all nice but you didn't answer my question.

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bet that China will soon include the Ryukyu islands as a part of the Chinese empire, why they were a tributary member until invaded by the Japanese, Think you will soon hear about the special Ryukyu Islands autonomous zone, give into this or face invasion!

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Let's put this criticism in perspective.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, world military spending in 2007 breaks down thus:

"The USA is responsible for 45 per cent of the world total, distantly followed by the UK, China, France, and Japan each with 4 to 5 per cent of the world share."

http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending

Yes, it is indeed a case of the teapot calling the kettle black.

I have a feeling this criticism is really coming from special interest groups that are eager to conjure up the next bogey man. They are building up their latest "enemy", endowing the enemy with all of this power and mystique, while downplaying the US's capabilities. This creates a scenario where despite a threat being really unlikely, it becomes in the minds of the US government to be existential and causes the US to spend ever more on defense.

Additionally, all of this nonsense about China being a "super power" is misleading. China may be an emerging economic super power, but militarily, they have a ways to go before they can carry that mantle. From a geopolitical perspective, the only one true super power in the world is and will be for the foreseeable future, the United States. This is because in order to be a true super power, a nation must first be secure at home, thus allowing it (if it chooses to do so) to project power overseas. With Canada to the North and Mexico to the South, the US is really in an ideal position to focus it's might overseas. Contrast this with China which shares a border with a host of nations, not many of whom can be termed "friends".

Secondly, Projecting powering requires naval and air supremacy. This is where the aircraft carriers come in. Last I checked, the US had a boatload of aircraft carriers (10+). China has 0 or close to 0 (I don't think the rusting Soviet made Varyag counts). China is only a regional power and will remain so until they build some carriers. It is therefore, in the US strategic interests if China does not get along with her neighbours, i.e. Russia, India etc.

Finally, the amount of defense spending cited in those figures is not an aberration; that is, it isn't a one time thing. The US consistently spends the most on defense. It has been that way for years now. It would take China a number of years to match the US's current capabilities, assuming of course that US defense spending stagnates.

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Blaze524 Your world is almost yesterday.

Not only China, but India, Russia, and Israel have the means to project military might.

The US has military dominance for just as long as it can continue to fund its own military R&D. Everything it has now will be obtained tomorrow by most of those powers. It is a matter of sustaining the dominance by being able to fund it. At the moment, China clearly has more reserves of wealth than does the US and given time will be able to take a technological lead over the US once the point has been reached where the value of the dollar collapses.

All that 'neato' military hardware you talk about, the aircraft carrier etc, can fall into rusting heaps when they can no longer be maintained. It was only a couple of decades ago that the USSR collapsed, and with it began the rapid deterioration of its military hardware. Yesterday Russia, tomorrow the US. So it goes on. You are living in yesterday still.

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Taniwha:

US supremacy and hegemony, though arguably waning, is not dead. The US is still responsible for 49% (2008 figures) of the world's defense spending. This figure alone indicates that the US is in a constant state of accumulating new technology and replacing its old, obsolete hardware.

You state that the USSR's collapse contributed to the deterioration of its military hardware. Duh. This isn't really surprising. But the comparison isn't valid, because the US hasn't collapsed, yet. The irony of the economic crisis is that during periods of uncertainty, the US greenback is deemed a 'safe' investment.

Hence, the US will find the means to maintain its military spending (read: borrowing to buy guns) partly because it seems to be woven into America's fabric to have a strong military, but the other reason is that defense spending is responsible for a ton of jobs. And we all know how important those votes are.

Projection of power requires the ability to bring your soldiers and aircraft to any region of the globe. China still lacks this capability. The technology that China seems to be researching involve mainly submarines - including the rumoured Jin Class sub that is supposedly docked at Hainan Island - and is meant to combat these carriers. The recent incident in which the USS Impeccable was harassed by those fishing boats seems to support this theory. This is also what China means when they say their military expenditures are for "defense purposes."

I focus on the carriers because it is the symbol of American wealth and power and while many nations may have a competent air force, the overwhelming majority do not have the ability to transport their aircraft across the globe to carry out missions. Simply put, there aren't many nations that even have 1 carrier; the US in comparison has 12 carriers in service, 2 more than the rest of the world combined.

I'm not fawning at US technology, rather I am pointing out the inherent hypocrisy of a nation that is responsible for virtually half of the planet's military expenditures when it "questions growing Chinese military power".

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Blaze 524 Yes, you made a good point. My points were also good, just irrelevant as reply to your post... ha ha. Game to you.

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