Will China's Military Rise Shift the Global Balance of Power?

The Christian Science Monitor, November 25, 2005 | Go to article overview

Will China's Military Rise Shift the Global Balance of Power?


Here is a sampling of responses by readers to the Nov. 17 and 18 articles, "Chinese build a high-tech army within an army" and "US more cautious than wary as China's reach grows":

It is totally unreasonable to expect any country to live under someone else's gun if they can avoid doing so. No country with the wealth and technological capability to arm itself would ever refrain from doing so. China is no exception. The point is how to avoid nations going to war. That requires statesmanship.

In the case of Taiwan, the US should draw a line between protecting Taiwan's democracy and promoting its independence. The US should protect Taiwan militarily against unprovoked attack and also reject its independence movement diplomatically. Taipei's moves toward independence should be firmly, but peaceably, rebuffed. This would significantly lower tensions.Wai L. Chui, Dallas

Where would we be without China? If China had not accelerated its economic reforms in the 1990s, then many more US companies wouldn't have survived. In the US, people moan about Chinese imports, but all want a piece of the Chinese market.

China isn't interested in growth by war. China, unlike the West, has always looked toward long-term plans and stability, even if there is a short-term price to pay. Why on earth would China jeopardize its economic growth by attacking anyone with its increased military capability?

The Taiwan issue is a no-brainer. Taiwan is strongly economically tied to China, so military provocation from either side is improbable.

As for the US, it can't fight history. The country can't remain the sole superpower forever. America has squandered much of its political capital in the past decade, as its frequent military interventions around the world have not been appreciated. And the Iraq war is the straw that broke America's back as far as favorable world opinion is concerned. Alexis P. Gerratt, Brussels

China's modernizing and expanding military could be used both positively and negatively. China could just be constructing a great- power military that is primarily used for defense.

This move could be comparable to similar actions of the US and the Soviet Union because both expanded their militaries significantly during the cold war, but neither one ever came into conflict with the other.

Positive activities of China's military could include participation in UN-backed peacekeeping missions. A negative activity of the military is of course aggression.

It is no secret that many believe there is an imminent military threat posed by a growing China. China could decide to carry out aggression against its neighbors if it feels its security and sovereignty are being threatened. But would China actually make its military an instrument to be used negatively at the expense of its booming economy? A rational actor would say no.

Then again, China is a Communist nation with deep interests in its own sovereignty and security.

China will likely pursue any course of action necessary to fulfill its foreign policy objectives - and if the objective is to protect its sovereignty and security,

Chinese military aggression is not unthinkable.Peter Fanning, Denver

The information in this series makes the US open-trade policy with Red China more dangerous than ever. …

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