中国国防費膨張 平和を脅かす露骨な軍拡路線

The Yomiuri Shimbun March 06, 2014
China’s blatant military buildup threatens peace in Asia-Pacific region
中国国防費膨張 平和を脅かす露骨な軍拡路線(3月6日付・読売社説)

In a bid for hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region, the administration of Chinese President Xi Jinping is rapidly proceeding with its military buildup. These moves are certain to reinforce the opinion that China may pose a great threat to other countries.

The 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) began in Beijing on Wednesday, at which the Chinese government announced that its national defense spending for this year will total about 808.2 billion yuan (about ¥13 trillion), up 12.2 percent from last year.

This will mark the fourth consecutive year of a year-on-year double-digit increase, and bring China’s defense expenditures to nearly three times those of Japan.

This is the first NPC to be held under the leadership of Xi and Premier Li Keqiang. It also can be said that the administration has bluntly indicated its intention of pursuing military buildup.

China’s national defense budget has become ever more opaque, as military spending by local governments, which had been included in the nation’s total military spending until last year, was excluded from this year’s outlay.

The prevailing view is that actual defense spending, including expenditures on related research and development, will be double the amount made public.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has indicated that Japan will urge China to enhance transparency in its military spending, saying that China’s military expenditures “have become a cause for concern for the international community.” Such a stance is quite reasonable.

In a government work report, which is equivalent to a policy speech in Japan, Li emphasized that China would “make great effort in the building of a maritime power.” He also said China would “place war preparations on a regular footing and enhance border, coastal and air defenses.”

Aggression may be prolonged

Such remarks can be interpreted as Beijing’s intention to expand its claimed national interests in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.

Japan must be prepared for the possibility that China’s attempts to change the status quo through the use of force, such as China’s entry into Japan’s territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands, may last for an extended period. At the same time, it will become necessary for both countries to have a dialogue to avoid accidental clashes between vessels or aircraft.

Li said: “China will maintain the postwar international order at all costs. We will never let the course of history turn back.”

If this remark was made to criticize Japan in light of the recent visit to Yasukuni Shrine by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, it is widely off the mark. Rather it is China that has been rocking the postwar international order by taking such actions as its unilateral announcement of an air-defense identification zone in the East China Sea.

Li’s report has also brought to the fore the country’s thorny management of its domestic affairs. In the report, the administration set the nation’s economic growth target for this year at 7.5 percent, unchanged for three years in a row. This demonstrates the administration’s stance of maintaining stable growth amid spreading concern over the nation’s future economic prospects.

With regards to corruption, toward which the people harbor strong antipathy, Li said, “We would never pardon any corrupt elements.” As countermeasures to air pollution, he unveiled numerical targets for such measures as scrapping coal boilers. However, the degree to which the administration can achieve tangible results in such areas remains to be seen.

Social unrest is spreading, as demonstrated by the mass murder incident in Yunnan Province recently. Li indicated that the administration would further intensify public security measures.

Tightening domestic security measures may lead to the administration’s taking a hard-line stance toward foreign countries in an attempt to divert public frustration. Japan, for its part, has to keep a close watch on such moves.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 6, 2014)
(2014年3月6日02時01分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク


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