In a recent opinion article, Mr. Chen Pokong, a political commentator for Radio Free Asia, believed that the main purpose of Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) expansion of its military force is to reinforce and protect its power instead of national defense. As CCP could not frankly admit that, it finds many good excuses for its military expansion, such as opposing Taiwan’s independence, terrorism or hegemony. Please read the translation of the full text of the article below: 
Whenever the international community questioned the motivation for the CCP’s military expansion, the CCP maintained that the buildup was required for national defense. On some occasions, it also indicated that military expansion was an effort against Taiwan independence.
Nevertheless, the U.S. as well as many western countries and many among China’s neighbors maintained that the CCP’s military expansion was far beyond preparations for national defense. Keating, the U.S. Pacific Commander who recently visited China, has also pointed out this issue. Regarding the CCP’s amassment of military strength, based on what the CCP has indicated, one might consider that this burgeoning military was in development for waging some form of “Taiwan Strait War.” However, the size of China’s military force registers far beyond that which would be required for such a clash.
During the past twenty years the CCP has constantly expanded its military power, while overall military expenses have increased in double digits annually, reaching one hundred billion yuan each year. Under an outside estimate, the CCP’s actual military expense has been two to three times more than the published figure. Each year during the CCP’s “two conferences,” the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the CCP publishes its annual fiscal budget. The military budget has always topped the list among all categories.
For example, in March 2007 when the “two conferences” were held, Chinese authorities placed special emphasis on rhetoric centered around “people’s lives.” Still, the military expenses remained paramount among the key budgets, with military expenditures totaling 350.921 billion yuan this fiscal year, an increase of 52.99 billion, or 17.8%. This allotment comprised 7.5% of the country’s annual budget, and military expenses exceeded the “Three Nong” expenditures.  These expenses concerned 800 million farmers when farmers were considered the largest “people’s lives” problem. Total expenses for technology, education, health and culture were less than half of that spent for the Chinese military.
When viewed in light of the issue of Taiwan’s independence, the CCP evidences an intriguing mindset. On the one hand, if the Taiwanese government were to go so far as to actually assert its independence, the CCP would be in a position of losing face. All these years, the CCP has projected its voice very loudly against Taiwan independence both within its nation and abroad. On the other hand, if Taiwan maintained a level of quiet about its independence, the CCP would not know what to do. It would no longer have an excuse to keep up the rate of military expansion. However, it would not feel safe if the military expansion were stopped. In fact, the CCP has placed its stakes on the issue of Taiwan’s independence always being there in the long run. So, when the CCP talks about striking out against Taiwan independence, it is half-true at best. There is an unspoken dependence on the existence of Taiwan’s clamour.
From the issue of Tibet, we catch the CCP’s trick. The Dalai Lama publicly announced that he had given up on the idea of Tibetan independence stating that, moreover, he would like to concede that Tibet is a part of China, but he did so in the hopes that Tibet would be autonomous to a great extent. He even used the CCP’s term, “One Country Two Systems,” in hopes of solving the Tibetan issue. However, the CCP not only didn’t appreciate the offer but also continued to “criticize” the Dalai Lama, forcing Tibet to remain labeled as a region striving for independence. Internationally, people all know about the Dalai Lama’s view on Tibet, which is no demand for independence, but only a demand for autonomy. Only the Chinese people wrongly continue to think that the Dalai Lama is still demanding Tibetan independence.
The purpose of the CCP’s distorted propaganda has been to delay peace talks with the Dalai Lama. In the meantime, it seeks to transform Tibetan culture behind the Dalai Lama’s back so that it can completely control Tibet. The CCP shuns the responsibility for the peace talk failures and has persuaded people to consider that it was the fault of the Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan government. Thus the CCP has rid itself of the pressure of the constant demands for peace talks from the international communities.
Coming back to the Taiwan issue the situation is about the same. With the excuse of striving against Taiwan’s independence, the CCP has developed and accumulated a lot of military power. It also can hold high the flags of nationalism and patriotism in front of the Chinese people, which are now precisely the CCP’s raison d’etre while facing the collapse of spiritual belief in China.
Moreover, while the CCP plays at smoke and mirrors in the name of opposing Taiwan’s independence, it has effectively blocked Chinese people from viewing the democracy in Taiwan. It has thus avoided the direct influence and impact of Taiwan democracy. Not to mention that the CCP’s media had already demonized Taiwan’s democracy and regularly disparages and smears the democracy in Taiwan by comparing it with its own Cultural Revolution.
With the coming election in Taiwan this year, the CCP does not necessarily hope for Ma Ying-jeou’s victory as many have predicted. With its complicated mentality, the CCP does not yearn for the “Taiwan independence” issue to cool down, neither does it wish for the conflict to disappear. Between the two sides of the Strait, if the topic of “democracy and dictatorship” replaced that of “unification and independence” it would be a big disaster for the CCP.
Let’s predict what would happen if Ma Ying-jeou were to be elected. He promotes “no unification, no independence, no force.” Once in office, the CCP would still transform his image, rendering Ma as one who is seeking a different form of independence for Taiwan. The CCP would criticize him. Or if Hsieh Chang-ting won?–he promotes “conciliation and paragenesis.” Irrespective, the CCP would give him the fixed tag of “Taiwan independence” and suppress him in the long run.
I still need to repeat my previous reminders: the CCP started to increase military expenditures and expand its military force on a grand scale in 1989, after the June 4th incident. When the CCP expands its military force at will its main purpose is to reinforce and protect its power. The Chinese military is for controlling its people, but not for defense. The CCP could not frankly admit that. Thus, it finds many good excuses for its military expansion, such as opposing Taiwan’s independence, terrorism or hegemony.
 Radio Free Asia, January 30, 2008
 The “Three Nong” are Nong Cui – countryside, Nong Min – farmers and Nong Ye – agriculture.