China "only strengthening" its military "to prevent Taiwan from declaring independence"--Whew!
In an article in msn.com today, experts mentioned Chinese advancements in cyber-warfare, and the possibility that they might hinder us in helping Taiwan, in the event of war between Taiwan and the mainland:
James Mulvenon, a specialist on the Chinese military at the National Defense University in Washington, says China has been strengthening its ability to attack enemy computer systems as part of preparations for potential U.S. involvement in any future clash with Taiwan.
“In the event of a military conflict between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan, the PRC believes that disrupting U.S. computer systems and networks could potentially delay U.S. intervention, and the PLA could then cause pain sufficient enough to force Taipei to surrender before the U.S. has a chance to arrive,” Mulvenon said.
Further, that--oh, thank God!--their recent military spending spike is "only" for "defensive purposes" such as "preventing Taiwan from declaring independence." Oh, "only" that? So, if we just forget that the US are treaty-bound to come to Taiwan's aid in that eventuality, there'll be no problem.
Meanwhile, Professor Chu Shulong of China's Tsinghua University stressed that his country’s concerns over Taiwan are what are motivating China's military development, as opposed to any possible aggression toward the U.S. Taiwan and China are engaged in a complicated war of words in which each claims to represent the true Chinese government.
“China is a developing country in which as it develops, it will strengthen its military for only defensive purposes — mostly to prevent Taiwan from declaring independence, not to target the United States,” added Chu, sometimes a harsh critic of Beijing's military policy.
Dr. Jin Canrong, a professor at Renmin University of China, says Beijing's foremost concern is economic development and that conflict with the U.S. “will only hinder China’s development in the long run.”
Long-term threat to U.S.?
The U.S., though, argues that the lack of transparency in China’s robust military build-up poses a credible long-term threat to the U.S.
Last month's Pentagon’s report said China’s military budget for 2006 is likely much more than the $35 billion it claims. The Defense Intelligence Agency estimates that China’s military spending will amount to between $70 billion and $105 billion in 2006.
The article led with mention that we're letting China observe our massive wargames off of Guam, and hoping that China will reciprocate by letting us observe theirs (so far, only Russia has been allowed to, recently). I think this is an awful idea. We may not be able to prevent them spying, but why give them a ringside seat?