The Soviet Union is Rising in China
By: Slater Bakhtavar
The United States preoccupation with the grave situation in the Middle East has metamorphosed into a grand opportunity for Beijing. Once thought of as the â€œsick man of Asiaâ€ with land confiscated by the British, Dutch, Germans and Japanese, the newly reborn Asian Giant is extending its diplomatic networks and pursuing its military objectives without any real opposition. China maintains its primary focus is isolated to Taiwan, but it has quietly been expanding its aircraft, ship and missile capabilities signaling a direct challenge to United States interests. Outside a couple of trifle warnings about the Chinese military buildup, the United States has done little to safeguard the nation against the Asian Giant. The Chinese have turned hawkish towards the United States, devoting significant resources to both defensive and offensive measures against the worldâ€™s only super power. The Chinese have used the United Statesâ€™ War on Terror to expand their military, intelligence capabilities, and influence. According to a report by the Rand Corporation the Chinese have assembled advanced strategies confrontation with the United States which includes â€œmassive missile attack, computer network sabotage, and radical technological advances to build, a networked military loosely paralleling American initiatives to fuse intelligence and communications.â€
The ostentatious militaristic build-up of the Red Chinese has perplexed even the most astute military experts. The coordinated project has led to “the largest military build-up the world has witnessed since the end of the Cold War,” says Richard Fisher, a China specialist. The expiated pace of this build-up stress experts to contemplate whether China is being full-hearted when it portrays its rise in military power as peaceful. Chinese visits to the United States have been showered with a glowing array of peaceful interludes and promises of maintaining the status quo. As the United States battles Islamic fundamentalists keen on undermining the foundations of democracy, as well as passionately working towards the promotion of democratic reform in the Middle East, China has been feeding on the envy many nations have against the dominance of the worldâ€™s only super power by providing economical, social and militaristic support.
A recent Pentagon report reads â€œthe United States remains the central focus of China’s military, with emphasis on “attacking stealth aircraft, cruise missiles, and helicopters, while defending against precision strikes, electronic warfare, and enemy reconnaissance”. The study notes that “China does not face a direct threat from another nation. Yet it continues to invest heavily in its military, particularly in programs designed to improve power projection. The pace and scope of China’s military build-up are, already, such as to put regional military balances at risk.” Chinaâ€™s defense budget is rising. It is adding an estimated 50 short-range ballistic missiles per year, its Navy is equipped with the latest Russian made destroyer, longer-range intercontinental ballistic missiles are common, and the lethality and accuracy of Chinese missiles are on the rise, amongst other disturbing trends.
In 2007 Chinaâ€™s defense spending will rise eighteen percent, the largest annual rise in spending in recent years, according to a forecast by Beijingâ€™s legislature. The hefty increase means that the Chinese have doubled their military spending since the early 1990â€™s. While China maintains that its yearly military budget is around thirty billion most personnel inside the Pentagon put that number around ninety billion. There has been some concern in the United States over this rapid growth but most experts, including the State Department, believe China is merely trying to contain Taiwan rather than expand its power.
Experts who voice the axiom that Chinas military growth is related to containing and eventually unifying with Taiwan are obsessive compulsive over the near future and suffer from Alzheimerâ€™s when it comes to Chinaâ€™s past. China has already been termed a “credible threat to other modern militaries operating in the region” by the Department of Defense and, while Chinas military growth may primarily be concerned with Taiwan in the short term, evidence shows that China is building its military, intelligence, influence and resources to directly confront the United States. Chinaâ€™s ambition is to replace the United States as the predominant power in the region, the continent, and eventually the entire world. The United States needs to pay more attention to Chinaâ€™s rise to power and prepare for the worst case scenarioâ€¦another Soviet Union.
About the author: Slater Bakhtavar is president and founder of Republican Youth of America, a frequent commentator and respected analyst on foreign policy issues, and an attorney with a post-doctoral degree in International law.