A new policy paper out of China indicates the Chinese military is working about the permanent and expanding presence of US armed forces in Asia.
China cites the increasing volatility of the Asian region and argues US-China ties would benefit from a mutual respect for one another’s military interests.
The Chinese arm, formally the China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), indicated in their report a desire to avoid military confrontation with the United States, but expressed worry over US intentions in the region and argued broad priorities needed to be set by Beijing.
The paper expressed a desire to focus on economic power over military might highlighted fears that security concerns tangled with the US, notably on the Korean Peninsula, could threaten their growth and the stability of Asia as a whole.
“Profound changes are taking shape in the Asia-Pacific strategic landscape. Relevant major powers are increasing their strategic investment,” the paper said. “The United States is reinforcing its regional military alliances and increasing its involvement in regional security affairs. Suspicion about China, interference and countering moves against China from the outside are on the increase.”
The US relationship and expansive web of Asian allies in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan do not sit unnoticed by China. Taiwan, a self governed island off the coast of mainland China, remains a hot button issue as the Chinese state continues to claim possession of the territory. Meanwhile the US continues to sell weapons to the island.
Increasing conflict in Afghanistan, Pakistan and new ties with India and increased Korean tensions are cause for concern in Beijing.
“Asia-Pacific security is becoming more intricate and volatile,” the report pointed out. “International military competition remains fierce.”
The report brings to light more evidence that China desires more to become an economic power and competitor than a military force, at this point in time. The main essence of the report is a call for mutual respect and understanding of regional interests in Asia.