China top military paper warns US aims to contain rise

Published: January 10, 2012
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China's response to the US military re-focus on Asia should be smart diplomacy, says Chinese military newspaper. PHOTO: FILE

China's response to the US military re-focus on Asia should be smart diplomacy, says Chinese military newspaper. PHOTO: FILE

BEIJING: The United States’ new defence strategy focused on the Asia-Pacific region is directed at containing China’s rise, the People’s Liberation Army’s newspaper said on Tuesday in Beijing’s strongest warning yet against the new Pentagon stance.      

The commentary in the Liberation Army Daily, however, also said China’s sensible response to the US military re-focus on Asia should be “vigilance” and smart diplomacy, not panic.

The United States is “laying out forces across the Asia-Pacific region in advance to contain the rise of China,” said the commentary in the paper by Major General Luo Yuan.

Washington’s assertions that the military re-focus announced last week is not directed at China are “simply making their real intent all the more obvious.”

“Casting our eyes around we can see that the United States has been bolstering its five major military alliances in the Asia-Pacific region, and is adjusting the positioning of its five major military base clusters, while also seeking more entry rights for military bases around China,” wrote Luo.

“Who can believe that you are not directing this at China? Isn’t this the return of a Cold War mentality?”

Luo is well-known for his hawkish views, often published in popular Chinese newspapers and online. But the appearance of his commentary in the Liberation Army Daily, which is heavily vetted as the chief paper of the military, suggests that his latest comments enjoy some level of official endorsement.

On Monday, China’s Ministry of Defence warned the United States to be “careful in its words and actions” after last week announcing the defence rethink that stresses responding to China’s rise by shoring up US alliances and bases across Asia.

The new US strategy promises to boost strength in Asia in an attempt to counter China’s growing ability to check US power in the region, even as US forces draw back elsewhere across the globe.

Under the new strategy, the United States will maintain large bases in Japan and South Korea and deploy US Marines, navy ships and aircraft to Australia’s Northern Territory.

The strategy also calls for countering potential attempts by China and Iran to block US capabilities in areas like the South China Sea and the Strait of Hormuz.

China has sought to balance voicing its wariness about the US moves with its desire for steady relations with Washington, especially as both sides grapple with domestic politics this year, when President Barack Obama faces a re-election fight and China’s ruling Communist Party undergoes a leadership handover.

Luo warned against panic. Instead, Beijing must do a better job at courting friends in the region, charming countries away from the United States’ orbit, he wrote.

“In the face of this adjustment in the US strategic focus, we must possess a sense of peril and maintain a high degree of vigilance, but there is no need to be alarmed about the expected,” wrote Luo.

“We must be adept at maneuvering and use smart diplomacy, and the more friends we can make the better,” he wrote.

“Some countries have been swindled by America, and now are walking alongside the United States out of their own interests, but in essence they don’t fit together,” said Luo. “They share the same bed but have different dreams.”

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Jan 10, 2012 - 2:10PM

    chines will be more advanced in military technologies by 2016 .
    ritght now china crossed the cutting edge stealth jets and space technologies

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  • ibrahimhussain
    Jan 10, 2012 - 2:29PM

    USA &China are 2 powers,friends to support the peoples who looks toward them for peace and for raising ecnomic of the live earth

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Jan 10, 2012 - 3:10PM

    China has unwittingly gave an opening to US by behaving highhandedly with it’s neighbors in South China sea. Being a country that prospers off the dollar economy, China can only warn,advice,complain,throw tantrums etc. at its best.

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  • Jan 10, 2012 - 3:12PM

    world has suffered much since america became sole super power it is high time it is challenged and balanced by some equal power to bring some sanity and detterent for peace in the world.

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  • Usman
    Jan 10, 2012 - 9:32PM

    China has it right, give people incentives to like you.

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  • John B
    Jan 11, 2012 - 12:57AM

    Super power status is not a about military might. It is about bringing people who differ in opinions together for a dinner and make them realize their own objectives without pride or prejudice.

    Last thirty years China had a chance to bring countries together in the SE Asia, including PAK. Instead China antagonized Small SE asian nations, took confrontational attitude with Japan and Vietnam, and muddled Mayanmar Affairs, N. Korea and using PAK as her backyard to confront India and US in a cold war scenario.

    How many people can China invite for a dinner and fun in the region ?

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  • antanu
    Jan 11, 2012 - 1:11AM

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:
    well it can also annex part of tibet and arunachal in india….and no body could do any thing except warning and threatening.

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  • Bipul Rajput
    Jan 11, 2012 - 1:40AM

    @antanu: “… well it can also annex part of tibet and arunachal in india….and no body could do any thing except warning and threatening. ..
    You over-estimate your Chinese masters. They attack Arunachal, India fights.
    The Chinese also have a habit of raising a hue and cry over the slightest of provocations and at the same time counsel others to exercise great restraint when they themselves are the provocateurs.
    Having said that, the Chinese have legitimate interests in South China Sea and no body can, should or will deny them what is theirs. Recommend

  • Mast Maula
    Jan 11, 2012 - 2:30AM

    @antanu: I wonder why they haven’t tried that then ?

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  • Mast Maula
    Jan 11, 2012 - 2:32AM

    @zahid khan: China will be far advanced in technology than any western country. what makes the western country different is their progress not only in technology but also in human record. China will have to cross that hurdle to make happy its 1.4 billion population to contain these advancements.

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Jan 11, 2012 - 11:11AM

    @antanu:

    The point still remains that whatever USA does in South China Sea, China can only watch as a spectator.

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  • Tony C.
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:02AM

    @John B:
    Dear John,
    I hope the U.S. does not invite me for dinner.

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