China Defends Military Buildup
Peter Spiege reports in the LA Times, from Singapore:
A senior Chinese general insisted Saturday that Beijing’s military buildup was solely for self-defense, as he sought to assure a gathering of Asian defense officials that China was not seeking to dominate the region.
Lt. Gen. Ma Xiaotian, the People’s Liberation Army deputy chief of the general staff, pointedly said that any instability in Asia was being caused by countries seeking to expand regional military alliances and develop missile-defense systems — a clear reference to U.S. aims in the Pacific.
Gates warns of Asia arms race “It is imperative China’s armed forces keep up with this tide of world military development,” Ma said. “China’s growing economy and fiscal revenue make the defense budget increase both a logical and imperative reality.”