US author Roger Cliff, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, points to the fact that Beijing's military power is growing. The expert emphasized that in 2014 China spent more on defense than Russia, Britain, and France combined and that the recent military parade in Beijing has demonstrated that the "once a peasant army" of the Chinese armed forces is now equipped with new sophisticated weapons.
"China's growing military power is a concern for the United States… Given that China's military budget continues to grow rapidly year after year, whereas US military spending has been shrinking since 2010, how can the United States maintain its strength in Asia and deter China from aggression or adventurism?" Cliff asked in his article for the National Interest.
The author fails to admit though that China is unlikely to reach the level of the US military spending in the foreseeable future.
So far, Cliff believes that the Pentagon should do whatever it takes to maintain its technological edge over China.
GOP Candidates had us thinking the military was having bake sales to stay viable. pic.twitter.com/6U4Bzc27KL— Randy Prine (@randyprine) 17 сентября 2015
Cliff is banging the war drum over the fact that "the Chinese military is being provided with increasingly modern equipment," while its officers "are increasingly being recruited from the graduates of China's civilian universities."
According to Cliff, Beijing is neither an enemy nor a friend of Washington.
"The two world powers have interests that sometimes are in accord but conflict in key areas that are not negotiable for either country," he noted.
The expert does not consider China an "equal partner" of the United States. Furthermore, he insists that Washington should deal with Beijing from a position of strength, not parity.
"War with China is not inevitable, but it is always better to deal from a position of strength than from a position of parity or weakness. Maintaining our military advantage over China is the key to protecting our interests in peacetime as well as war," Cliff underscored.
The question remains open whether Roger Cliff's attitude towards Sino-American relations is truly constructive. What fruit would such a coercive policy bear?