China a Military Threat? No Wonder China is Nervous as Obama Pivots

http://www.globalresearch.ca/no-wonder-china-is-nervous-as-obama-pivots/5312523

By F. William Engdahl, November 21, 2012
Posted on Global Research

To read the mainstream Western media, one would conclude that China has become an economic giant now intent on flexing its military muscle and making a massive arms buildup to do so. China’s designated new President, Xi Jinping, has just won both the top Communist party post from predecessor Hu Jintao as well as the head of the powerful Central Military Commission, giving Xi a full takeover of party and armed forces.

A recent BBC analysis, in an article titled “China extending military reach,” is typical of Western media coverage of China’s military program: “China‘s first aircraft carrier will begin sea trials later this year. Late last year, the first pictures were leaked of the prototype of Beijing‘s new “stealth” fighter. And US military experts believe that China has begun to deploy the world’s first long-range ballistic missile capable of hitting a moving ship at sea.[1]

In Japan, nationalist politicians like politically ambitious Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara and Toru Hashimoto, the mayor of Osaka, are gaining popularity with anti-China rhetoric and by claiming Japan must develop capacities to oppose Chinese military ascendency. In May the authoritative New York Times ran an alarming story to the effect that China announced a “double-digit increase” in military spending. In the actual text of the article they report an 11% increase over the previous budget, far less than even the rate of inflation.

However, when we examine in detail the actual redeployment and military moves of US Armed Forces in the Asia region following President Obama’s announcement of a new “Asia Pivot” refocus of US military capacities from Western Europe to the Asia region, it becomes clear China is re-acting, in order to attempt to deal with quite real threats to its future sovereignty rather than acting in an aggressive posture.

The mere fact that a standing President, Obama, during nationally televised Presidential debates labeled China as an “adversary” is indicative of the US military posture change. The depth and nature of the US pivot to China is crystal clear when one takes a closer look at the recent developments in an Asian US Missile Defense deployment, clearly aimed at China and no other.

China officially spent barely 10% of what the US does on its defense, some $90 billion, or if certain defense-related arms import and other costs are included, perhaps $111 billion a year. Even if the Chinese authorities do not publish complete data on such sensitive areas, it’s clear China spends a mere fraction of the USA and is starting from a military-technology base far behind the USA.

The US defense budget is not just by far the world’s largest. It dominates everyone else, completely independent of any perceived threat. In the nineteenth century, the British Royal Navy built the size of its fleet according to the fleets of Britain’s two most powerful potential enemies; America’s defense budget strategists declare it will be “doomsday” if the United States builds its navy to anything less than five times that of China and Russia combined.[2]

If we include the spending by Russia, China’s strongest ally within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, their combined total annual defense spending is barely $142 billion. The world’s ten top defense spending nations in addition to the USA as largest, and China as second largest, include the UK, France, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Indiaand Brazil. In 2011 the military spending of the United States totaled a staggering 46% of total spending by the world’s 171 governments and territories, almost half the entire world. [3]

Clearly, for all its rhetoric about peace-keeping missions and “democracy” promotion, the Pentagon is pursuing what its planners refer to as “Full Spectrum Dominance,” the total control of all global air, land, ocean, space, outer-space and now cyberspace.[4] It is clearly determined to use its military might to secure global domination or hegemony. No other interpretation is possible.

China today, because of its dynamic economic growth and its determination to pursue sovereign Chinese national interests, merely because China exists, is becoming the Pentagon new “enemy image,” or adversary, now replacing the no longer useful “enemy image” of Islam used after September 2001 by the Bush-Cheney Administration to justify the Pentagon’s global power pursuit.

After almost two decades of neglect of its interests in East Asia, in 2011, the Obama Administration announced that the US would make “a strategic pivot” in its foreign policy to focus its military and political attention on the Asia-Pacific, particularly Southeast Asia, that is, China. Continue reading

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