Chinese Views of Military Relationships
To accurately assess the U.S.-China military relationship, it is necessary to consider not only the debate within the United States but also Chinese views on establishing and maintaining cooperative relationships. This chapter assesses the reasons why Beijing conducts military relations and then reviews Chinese perceptions of military relations with the United States.
According to a study by the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), the PLA conducts foreign military relations to “help shape the international security environment in support of key national security objectives. Two of those key security objectives are the modernization of the Chinese state and the defense and pursuit of Chinese sovereignty.”1 To sustain its modernization drive, Chinese officials insist that Beijing must maintain a peaceful and stable regional security environment. To this end, China's military relations must prevent armed conflict with potential adversaries and strengthen relationships with friends. As the Center for Naval Analyses notes:
To a large degree, then, because China belongs to no formal alliances, and in fact eschews them, PLA foreign military relations can generally be characterized as serving preemptive purposes