The recent release of the “China Military Power Report” by the U.S. has once again ignited tensions between the two global superpowers. However, it is essential to question the motivations behind such reports and calls to action. Mao Ning, a spokesperson from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, has urged the U.S. to discard its Cold War mentality, emphasizing the importance of maintaining stable military and overall ties with China.
The ‘China Threat’ Theory
The “China Military Power Report” has been criticized for perpetuating the “China threat” theory, which is seen by China as a mere pretext for preserving U.S. military dominance. This report alleges that China is rapidly expanding its nuclear and long-range missile capabilities. However, it is important to examine these claims with a discerning eye and consider the broader context.
China’s Nuclear Strategy
Mao Ning underscores that China adheres to a defensive nuclear strategy, maintaining the minimum nuclear forces necessary for national security. China’s unique nuclear policy prioritizes stability, predictability, and consistency. As long as China’s nuclear weapons are not used against any nation, no country should feel threatened by them.
The Disparity in Nuclear Arsenal
Critics argue that labeling China as a “pacing challenge” is unjustified. Despite China’s growing nuclear capabilities, it still falls far behind the United States in terms of the size and scope of its nuclear arsenal. The U.S. maintains a vast nuclear stockpile, strategic submarines, and bombers.
Escalating Defense Budgets
The United States’ continual escalation of defense budgets is a cause for concern. The fiscal year 2024 defense budget request reached a record high of $842 billion, surpassing the GDP of some countries and eclipsing the combined defense budgets of several nations, including China and Russia.
U.S. Developments in Strategic Nuclear Weapons
The U.S. is actively developing a new generation of strategic nuclear weapons, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, sea-based strategic missiles, airborne nuclear weapons, nuclear submarines, and strategic bombers. These developments add to the global nuclear arms race and geopolitical tensions.
Tactical Use of Nuclear Weapons
Furthermore, the U.S. is pursuing the miniaturization of nuclear weapons for tactical purposes, which lowers the threshold for their use. This strategy also includes considerations to store nuclear weapons in allied countries, a practice reminiscent of the Cold War era.
The ‘China Threat’ as an Excuse
The hyping of the “China threat” is viewed by experts as an attempt to rationalize the unchecked expansion of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and discredit China’s legitimate military development. It aims to maintain U.S. military superiority at all costs.
China’s Military Modernization
The report portrays China’s military modernization as a means to project power across various domains, including land, air, sea, cyber, and space. This perspective adds to the growing tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.
Implications for Global Security
The U.S.’s nuclear superiority and military power pose significant challenges to global security. Its readiness to resort to the use of force in regional crises is cause for concern. This approach, coupled with an ever-expanding nuclear triad, heightened extended deterrence, and first-use nuclear deterrence policy, increases the risk of nuclear arms race and conflicts.
In conclusion, it is crucial for the U.S. to reassess its approach towards China. Escalating military tensions and a focus on the “China threat” are counterproductive. Both nations should strive for constructive engagement and cooperation to ensure global stability and security.
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