06 March 2008

Another case of pots and kettles

The United States has taken umbrage at China's buildup in its defence forces. China revealed a 17.6 per cent increase in its military budget this year, continuing the trend of double-digit increases over the past two decades. This is discouraging indeed -- if there's one thing the world doesn't need more of it's weapons. But then the Americans are hardly the ones to lecture. They currently outspend the Chinese six to one, and in fact spend almost as much on defence as the rest of the world, including China, combined. Their military spending has doubled since George W. Bush was elected. This pot shouldn't be calling any kettle black.

Particularly ironic is the Americans' concern abut China's rapid development of hi-tech tactics and weaponry. These are the same people who are building a "star wars" anti-missile system that includes launching pads suspiciously close to Russia.

Rather than setting an example for peace the Americans are setting the pace for war. They have military bases around the world, whereas the Chinese military are confined to China. Furthermore, the U.S. demonstrates a willingness to use force to guarantee access to resources, its current establishment of massive military bases in Iraq -- at the center of the world's largest supply of conventional oil -- being a prime example. The Chinese, by contrast, seek to ensure secure oil access by the use of diplomacy and aid.

So far, at least. But if we don't curb our use of oil, a depleting resource in ever-greater demand, nations may be driven to fight over it. The United States is obviously preparing for that eventuality. We can't blame China for simply responding to the threat.

No comments:

Post a Comment