April 17, 2013

NTDTV: China Blames US for Tensions in the Asia Pacific

This article originally appeared on NTDTV on April 16, 2013.

It was a thinly veiled attack on the United States. China’s Defense Ministry Spokesman Yang Yujun said today (April 16) that “some countries”, were making tensions in the Asia Pacific worse. And he wasn’t talking about North Korea.

The criticism of the US comes as the Chinese regime released a defense white paper. For the first time, it spelled out the size and strength of China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Clearly unnerved by the US military’s shift to the Asia-Pacific region, China says the US has emboldened many of its neighbors, like Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The Chinese regime has been locked in sovereignty disputes with these countries, and when the smaller neighbors also rely on China for things like trade, the competing claims are a source of frustration.

With the US’s increasing presence, the Philippines in particular have been more aggressive in defending its borders. Last week it arrested several Chinese fishermen found illegally fishing in Philippine waters.

The US has also been supplying Taiwan with military hardware for years. The Chinese regime considers Taiwan a breakaway province. It has vowed to claim the island by force if necessary.

And of course, there’s North Korea. As Pyongyang turns it’s threatening gaze towards South Korea, Japan, and the United States, Yang Yujun says US military drills in the region has only made tensions worse.

As the US shifts its focus to the Asia Pacific, the Chinese regime has been boosting its military spending, and trying to modernize its naval fleets. But the regime says the build-up is only for peaceful purposes and national defense.