[Editor’s note: Below is a translation from an article published on Xinhuanet.com, a website of the Chinese government official news agency, on July 4, 2005, reflecting the messages that Chinese readers get from the government media about the United States.]
Why Is the U.S. "Annual Report on the Military Power of the People’s Republic of China" Having a Difficult Birth?
During the first term of President Bush, a so-called "Annual Report on the Military Power of People’s Republic of China" was published in May every year. At the time of each publication, a big fanfare was created making it a serious matter as if China was really to threat the Asia-Pacific and America’s security. There were several reasons why it occurred: arms dealers were there adding fuels to the trouble, accompanied by the shadow of cold war ideology always and the ever-present worries of the future of U.S. hegemony.
Now it is the second term of Bush’s Presidency. Apparently, the first "Annual Report on the Military Power of the People’s Republic of China" may gain stronger momentum this year. In addition to the above reasons, America’s anti-terrorism and hegemony strategy has started to enter a relatively new phase. While the United States continues "great task of anti-terrorism," it focuses on the promotion of two models. One is the "Libya’s model" which is to "follow the America’s steps" with an attempt of defeating enemy without any battle. The other is to softly promote the "Georgia’s model," i.e. the so-called "velvet revolution." Meanwhile, the United States strengthens the effort to divert and restrain China’s attention and to shorten "the strategic window" during which China has the opportunity to quickly rise to power.
This time, the U.S. "Annual Report on The Military Power of the People’s Republic of China" is produced right against such background. But the "world eagles" in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) only paid attention to strategic coordination with the government and neglected the utilization of necessary tactics. Therefore they fully exposed their evil nature. They said, "China’s military power has caught up with that of the United States in certain aspects," and they even listed China as "regular threat," "upgraded it to the level of top security alert," and "put it in the same list of terrorism." According to a report, the White House National Security Council was "extremely annoyed" by it. The Council requested twice for revision, saying that this report has been "too odd" and too "frightening." Originally, it was prepared to publish this "report" in May. Although the report won’t die, under present international situation its delay in publication speaks for itself.
On the surface, there is a big disagreement on the "Annual Report on the Military Power of the People’s Republic of China" between the White House and the DoD, even of a strategic nature. President Bush no longer states that China is America’s "strategic competitor," but instead has emphasized that the relationship between the two countries is a "constructive cooperation relationship" and is "complicated." If the main theme of DoD’s "Annual Report on the Military Power of the People’s Republic of China" still takes China as a "strategic competitor," even as a "potential enemy," the U.S. government apparently would fall into an embarrassing situation where it finds difficult to make its story consistent. How does the DoD explain to the U.S. media and people? How does the DoD explain to the international community? How does the DoD explain to China? Because of this, the White House needs to find a balance point between the vague "strategic relations" and the clear "tactics" to get out the embarrassment and to have an explaination.
But, that is hard to do. Not long ago, Goss, Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, openly said, "the modernization of China’s military poses a direct threat to the United State." Not only that, for a period of time, the United States has used every means to deter European Union from lifting arms embargo against China, to pressure Israel not to sell unmanned aircraft to China and even to include the Taiwan Straits as the common target of the United States and Japan. From these words and acts of the United States, it is not difficult to tell how the United States views China strategically and what is the difference between the White House and the DoD.
[Editor’s note: Below is a translation from an article published on Xinhuanet.com, a website of the Chinese government official news agency, on July 4, 2005, reflecting how China views the relationship between Japan and the United States.]
Re-Arm Japan: American Sword Points to China
People know that the United States has used every means possible to restrain China and it is also common knowledge that China-Japan relations have entered the "ice period" since the end of last year. To a certain extent, it was because Japan had the United States to support it from behind. However, what is the strategy that the United States and Japan have actually taken to besiege China?
Is it only because the Japanese government did not acknowledge the history of war or Koizumi (Japanese Prime Minister) insisted on worshipping at Yasukuni shrine? Or is it because the United States has repeatedly promoted the theory of a China threat, requested the appreciation of Chinese currency, and made troubles over the Taiwan issue?
Recently several things have occurred, which might inspire people to think more: After the United States announced its strong support of Japan’s "joining the Security Council," Shinzo Abe (Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General), who has declared at Waseda University that "Japan could have large missiles and small atomic bombs," became a welcome candidate for next Prime Minister. After Japanese Emperor Akihito’s worshipping dead soldiers of militarism in Saipan Island, General T. Michael Moseley, who was nominated as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, said that the Pentagon is making a plan of long-distance offensive strike against China. Taking the events above together, are the words such as "force" and "military" standing out most often in your mind?
A Re-armed Japan Has Become a Reality
In fact, the progress for the United States to re-arm Japan has begun ever since the first Gulf War. The progress has speeded up after Bush became the master of the White House. Now it has entered the phase of a major breakthrough. Firmly supporting Japan to "join the Security Council" is the last step for the United States to have Japan become a "normal country." After that, Japan could play a role of "the U.K. in the Far East."
Japan’s adoption of the "International Peace Cooperation Bill" in 1992 marked the beginning of re-arming Japan, meaning that Japan can send troops to join United Nations peace-keeping operations.
Afterwards, the United States has urged Japan several times to amend its Peace Charter adopted after World War II, which would legally abolish those articles restricting use of force for self-defense and prohibiting overseas troops deployment and export of military technology. Japanese government willingly accepted American "interference with its internal affairs." As of today, Japan has introduced 21 laws related to security, nine of which were introduced in 2004 and were the most important. Its military expenditure has been increasing several years in a row and in 2004, has ranked number four in the world and number one in Asia. Also its troops were deployed to Iraq. Moreover, its joining the U.S. missile defense system is like putting on "the bulletproof vest" for the development of high-tech military strength.
After Bush and Koizumi took power, there has been more tacit understanding on the military cooperation between Japan and the United States. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has been urging to arm Japan by increasing military sales to make Japan be "the U.K. in the Far East." During his visit to Tokyo in August last year, former U.S. Secretary of State Powell boldly proposed an "upgraded version": If Japan wants to be a permanent member of the Security Council, the first thing to do is to abolish the Peace Charter.
In February this year, the U.S. government almost had made clear its attempt to re-arm Japan. U.S. Secretary of State Rice signed a new military security agreement with Japan in Washington D.C., which for the first time clearly picked Taiwan as the "common strategy target." It meant that Japan is ready to prepare for war—ending the pacifism policy that it has upheld for more than half a century.
China Is Now Put in the Center of Surveillance Radar
It is to say that China, not Taiwan, is taken as the "common strategy target." During her visit to Tokyo in last March, Rice emphasized that the purpose of "allowing Japan to act" was to resist the rise of China and make Japan a protection umbrella for American policies in Asia. She said that both the United States and Japan "have already chosen the common values and positions," which is to "indicate, push and convince China." She even implied that the strategic confrontation between China and Japan was helpful to the world economic health. And during his trip to Europe, Bush put a lot of pressure on the European Union, leading to the European Union decision not to lift arms embargo against China.
Now the United States is even more anxious than Japan for Japan to "join the Security Council." America’s purpose is to let Japan indirectly, but not directly, abandon its Peace Charter. It would be similar to the situation in the Kosovo war, where Germany sent troops to combat in the war and, as a result, broke the ban that the German military would not leave its country.
Certainly, there must be visible explanations to the public why Japan is being re-armed. This is why the United States made the "North Korea nuclear threat" and the "China threat" hot issues. In February, the United States rejected North Korea’s request for a "no-hostility guarantee" for the nuclear talk. In March, the United States appointed Bolton, who was welcomed by Japan but disliked by North Korea, as U.N. Ambassador. The United States purposefully enraged North Korea and thus caused the six-party talk to end without any progress. This way, North Korea would then become a threat to Japan.
Another "threat" comes from China. The United States took China’s "Anti-Secession Law" as a signal that China will use armed forces against Taiwan and purposefully created tensions across the Taiwan Straits. During his visit to Singapore, Rumsfeld criticized that China’s military expenditure is the highest in Asia, which could be interpreted as Japan should have higher military expenditure.
[Editor’s note: The article below is translated from an article published on Xinhuanet.com, a website of the Chinese government official news agency, on May 15, 2005, reflecting how China looks at the attitude of Iran toward the United States.]
Why Iran Is Not Afraid of the United States
According to news reports, Iran’s nuclear expert Nasseri, currently in Vienna, is going to hand in an official letter to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a written notice to officially announce that Iran is going to resume its uranium enrichment program. The action appears to show the total failure of the nuclear talk with Iran that was initiated by Germany, France, and Britain last October. No doubt this is bad news for the three powerful European countries, which have worried that Iran would make nuclear weapons with nuclear materials. It is more disturbing that the United States, the "international police," has warned Iran again and again that if its talk with the European Union fails, it might face "other actions." Therefore, the situation in the Middle East may further intensify.
Facing such pressure from the United States, Iran’s attitude is as strong as usual. Why is it so?
First, Iran has tangible military power and is not afraid of the United States. Since the first Gulf War, Iran has been developing its own military forces and has a most formidable missile storage and an armed force second to none in the Middle East. At present, it has a total of 518,000 soldiers, including 350,000 in the army. The army is highly equipped. Besides tanks, the Iranian army has nearly 100 armored reconnaissance vehicles, over 1,000 armed infantry vehicles and armored transport vehicles, and several thousand different artillery divisors. In addition, the Iranian air force has 30,000 soldiers, over 300 fighters including third-generation fighters such as the advanced F14 and MIG 29. Moreover, Iranians value martial power. Iran has large military reserves. The standing reserve has 350,000 people. It may reach one million during wartime.
More importantly, Iran definitely has the ability to counter-attack the United States. The Iranian missile "Meteor 3" can reach 1,300 kilometers in distance. If this missile is deployed in the western area of Iran, nearly the entire Middle East and Persian Gulf region is within its range. Moreover, the upgraded "Meteor 3" can reach 2,000 kilometers, and the Middle of Europe is within its reach. Although these missiles are unable to reach U.S. territory, they can attack U.S. military bases in the Persian Gulf region and Israel’s strategic targets. In addition, Iran has over 60 C-type Scuds with a range of 550 kilometers, which can attack U.S. military bases in the Afghan areas. Military commentators generally believe that, one should not compare Iranian military power with Iraq or Afghanistan.
In addition to its military power, which is stronger than Iraq’s, Iran also has been preparing for war for a long time. For example, its highest spiritual leader Khamenei repeatedly asks the armed forces to prepare to fight at any moment in order to actively strike back at any provocation by the enemy and to protect the country well. Khamenei even stressed he would put on military uniform, pick up weapons, and prepare to die in battle if the United States invades his country.
The Iranian military has stated its strategy. If the United States attacks the Iranian nuclear facilities, Iran will launch missiles in counter-attack. If the United States implements the action of "beheaded " to Iran, Iran will take the tactic of luring the enemy deep into its territory and taking advantage of the vast and complicated Iranian territory to attack the invaders. At the same time, Iran will block the Hormuz Channel with munitions and shut down the supply of petroleum overseas, which will spread war flames to the entire region and put the United States in a defensive position both militarily and diplomatically.
Next, besides the "hard work" of preparing resistance in case of a U.S. invasion, Iran has not neglected its "soft work"—conducting positive propaganda through its nuclear facilities. For instance, in March of this year, Iranian President Khatami once accompanied several dozen news reporters from different countries to visit two facilities deemed "the secret facility" by the western world, the Natanz uranium enrichment plant located 250 kilometers away from the Iranian capital of Tehran and a uranium conversion plant near Isfahan. The purpose was to clear the rumor that the Natanz nuclear facility has been secretly in production and to win sympathy of the international communities.
In addition to the above "soft" and "hard" tactics, Iran takes opportunity of the rising international energy price and plays the "petroleum card," seeking help from other countries against the U.S. and Europe. Earlier, the Iranian government indicated that it would provide a natural gas supply to India for the next 25 years, totaling about US$40 billion; at the same time, India was allowed to carry on petroleum exploration inside Iran. As the biggest petroleum customer in Asia, last year, Japan was allowed to increase its import of petroleum from Iran. It has been verified that the proven petroleum reserve in Iran is about 10 percent of the world reserve and the proven gas reserve is the second in the world. The rich petroleum and gas reserve complicates any attempts of the Bush Administration to isolate Iran. Analysts believe that Iran has constructed a protection wall for itself using petroleum contracts, and that the "petroleum weapon" has touched the weak point of Europe and the U.S.
In fact, the above Iranian strategies are indeed effective. CNN and the world’s leading market information company TNS published a survey on the "Iranian nuclear issue" in April. Sixty percent of participants in Britain, France, and Germany did not believe that Iran posed a nuclear threat to Europe. Among those who believed Iran was a threat, 59 percent insisted that the best way to solve the problem was through diplomacy. Only three percent advocated the use of military force. Analysts believe the survey result has clearly shown that the majority of Europeans does not agree with the American view that Iran is a threat to global security. It indicates Europe would deal with "Iranian nuclear issue" in a totally different way from that of the U.S., and that it would be hard to keep Europe synchronized with the United States. All these will make it difficult for the U.S. to take any military actions against Iran.