The New York Times
China’s state-run news media warned Washington on Friday not to “recklessly practice militarism” or engage in “war mongering,” a day after the Obama administration outlined a new military strategy with an increased focus on China.
The sharply worded commentary, published by the official Xinhua News Agency, also urged the United States to play a constructive role in the region.
President Barack Obama introduced a new defense strategy Thursday, aimed at creating a leaner, more dynamic U.S. fighting force with an enlarged presence in Asia and the Pacific.
Although the administration is seeking to trim hundreds of billions of dollars from the Pentagon budget, the president and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta have said the United States will shift resources to the region because of its growing economic and military significance.
The United States had signaled its intention to bolster its military presence in Asia last month, and analysts say that has heightened concerns here that Washington is trying to counter China’s rise.
Relations between the United States and China have often been strained over military issues, including the U.S. decision to continue to sell weapons to Taiwan, which Beijing views as a breakaway province.
China has rapidly expanded its military in the past year, and plans to spend aggressively in the hopes of creating a military that can match the country’s growing economic might. Last week, China announced ambitious plans to expand its space program and put a person on the moon in the next five years.
That move comes as the U.S. space program is slimming down.
China has also been begun releasing information about its own advanced weapons and technology, including its first aircraft carrier and a stealth fighter jet.
A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry could not be reached for comment late Friday.
The Xinhua commentary, published under the byline Yu Zhixiao, does not represent China’s official position on the Obama administration’s new defense strategy. But because Xinhua is the official propaganda arm of the Communist Party, its editorials often mirror Beijing’s positions.
The commentary seemed to echo earlier statements by Chinese military officials.
“The U.S. role, if fulfilled with a positive attitude and free from a Cold War-style zero-sum mentality, will not only be conducive to regional stability and prosperity, but be good for China, which needs a peaceful environment to continue its economic development,” the commentary said.
“However, while boosting its military presence in the Asia-Pacific, the United States should abstain from flexing its muscles, as this won’t help solve regional disputes.”
The New York Times