China has indirectly, yet publicly, told the United States that increased American inter-action with other partners in Asia is a growing concern for Beijing in calculating security strategy. The communist giant’s latest ‘white paper’ is dated last year, and sets out its broad military priorities.
A Chinese defence ministry spokesman said: “The main purpose is to show the world that China’s military is becoming more open. It has developed rapidly over the past few years, attracting some criticism over its weapons development. But while some people say the Chinese military lacks transparency, I have to emphasize that China is still increasing its transparency.”
Against a backdrop of wrangling with Washington over North Korea and Taiwan, earlier this month China unveiled a 12.7 percent rise in its 2011 defence budget, and it has not said where it is putting that money. Many experts believe its real military spending is far higher than the government reports.