Friday 17 Aug 2018 | 13:43 | SYDNEY
Friday 17 Aug 2018 | 13:43 | SYDNEY

More on that State Department China report


Sam Roggeveen


3 October 2008 10:45

Maybe my news sense is wrong, but I am surprised that, other than a couple of Asian newspapers, no media outlets outlets have yet picked up on the leaked State Department draft report on China's military growth that I linked to yesterday. Granted, it has been written by an advisory board so could easily be buried by Secretary Rice. But the sheer ambition of the report merits attention. Some noteworthy judgments and recommendations:

  • China's ambitions are to 'dominate' the Asia Pacific and be a global power, and to further those ambitions, it needs Taiwan.
  • The US should explore offensive space capabilities to counter growing Chinese vulnerabilities.
  • The US should develop missile defences that will make it invulnerable to Chinese nuclear missiles.
  • The US has allowed its nuclear deterrent against China to deteriorate.
  • The US must invest in military systems that will signal the futility of any Chinese effort to get ahead of the US — 'much the way SDI did against the Soviet Union'.

That last point is especially poignant, given that the report starts by saying that China is not the Soviet Union, and that the US-China relationship 'differs fundamentally' from US-USSR one. Yet the body of the report reeks of Cold War-style strategic and military rivalry.