04:16 GMT +323 September 2019
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    Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) march during a rehearsal for a military parade in Beijing

    Washington Still Unable to Reconcile Itself to China's Rapid Rise

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    Washington should deal with China from a position of strength and not from a position of parity or weakness, American expert and author Roger Cliff insists, adding that by maintaining a military advantage over China the US is protecting its national interests.

    Washington still cannot reconcile itself to China's rapid rise, waging a covert information war against Beijing and accusing it of cyber espionage and beefing up its military presence in the South China Sea; curiously, the White House has not bothered to present any evidence to confirm the allegations.

    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.

    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."

    However, the expert claimed that in contrast with the People's Liberation Army, the US military has a "flexible organizational structure and culture that encourage initiative, creativity, and risk-taking at all levels," stressing that it is the key to the American army success.

    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?


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    military spending, military buildup, equality, Beijing Victory Parade, People's Liberation Army, Pentagon, South China Sea, China, United States
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