Pentagon QDR sees China as greatest potential rival
The Financial Times takes a look at the Quadrennial Defense Review's view on China.
Defeating terror networks and preventing the spread of unconventional weapons remain top military priorities. But the QDR also states that “shaping the choices of countries at strategic crossroads” – including China, Russia and India - is just as important to US security. It devotes by far the most detailed discussion to China, saying it is the power most likely to “field disruptive military technologies that could over time offset traditional US military advantages”.
Although the Pentagon made similar warnings in its annual report on the Chinese military last year, the prominent mention in the QDR - essentially a statement to Congress of how it will structure the US military to meet international threats - underscores the Bush administration view that China represents its biggest long-term conventional military rival.
The report is careful to state that US policy remains focused on encouraging China to work with other Asian countries as partners to develop regional security structures and deal with common threats, such as terrorism, proliferation and piracy.
“US policy seeks to encourage China to choose a path of peaceful economic growth and political liberalisation, rather than military threat and intimidation,” the review states.
The 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (PDF) can be read in its entirety here.