Keeping pace with Chinas growing arsenal top priority for Obama: Washington Times

December 23rd, 2008 - 6:39 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Washington, Dec 23 (ANI): Chinas Communist Party leadership has been accumulating weapons at a startling rate which would be one of the top priorities for the Obama Administration to establish policy regarding military buildup, a leading US daily has said.

The Washington Times cited report by International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) that China has been accumulating weapons at a startling rate - one far exceeding what American intelligence analysts deem necessary for Chinas security.

The report calls for the United States to modernize its weapons and keep pace with the growing challenge in the region. This is the first deficiency the Obama Administration must address, the paper said.

President-elect Barack Obama will have to make hard decisions about where to put resources, John J. Tkacik, senior fellow in Asian studies at the Heritage Foundation, said.

The Obama Administration has to decide whether the United States wants to remain the pre-eminent power in Asia or whether we will acquiesce in China’’s preeminence, he added.

Chinese officials claim that the buildup is defensive and insist that Beijings intentions are peaceful.

But Chinas neighbors are not convinced. Taiwan has concluded a 6.5 billion dollars arms deal with the United States and still wants more arms, including F-16 fighter jets.

Japan, too, is alarmed at Chinas insistent claims on its territory in the South China Sea. India is also on alert. In the past year alone, there have been about 180 separate Chinese military incursions into Indias border areas, according to Tkacik.

The Chinese government is shrouding in mystery the extent of the buildup. According to a Pentagon report released in March, denial and deception are cornerstones of Chinas arms program: The lack of transparency in China’’s military and security affairs poses risks to stability by increasing the potential for misunderstanding and miscalculation.

It is imperative that US government agencies resolve their longstanding differences over China policy, and forge a coherent, unified approach, the Washington Times said.

The best course of action would be to heed the warnings about the buildup and to retain a high state of military readiness.

However, given the limited resources available, Obama must also strengthen US alliances with India, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and Mongolia as part of a containment strategy.

Investments in updating our weapons systems and bolstering our alliances will pay dividends in keeping China at bay, the paper said. (ANI)

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