The US Department of Defence has declared that China “is certainly an adversary of the United States,” highlighting China’s military developments and also addressing the arch adversary government approach to competition.
Pentagon, in a report to Congress, which detailed China’s growing military, economic power, examined the trends in Chinese military development.
It, however, added that “China is not an enemy.
Congress mandated the report entitled: ‘Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China’.
Pentagon said: “China’s economic development is fueling extraordinary changes in relationships it maintains around the world.
“On the face of it, China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative sounds benign – it looks to build infrastructure for developing countries and Chinese neighbours.
“Chinese leaders have funded serious projects as far away as Africa under the initiative.
“They have built roads in Pakistan and made major inroads in Malaysia. China has a major stake in Sri Lanka. Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Laos and Djibouti also are involved.
“The Chinese government seeks to overturn the established international order that has kept the peace in the region since World War II and allowed Asian countries to develop.
“But ‘One Belt, One Road’ money and projects come with strings. The “one road” leads to China, and nations are susceptible to Chinese influence on many levels – political, military, and especially, economic.’’
Pentagon said China in 2017 used its economic clout in South Korea as a bludgeon to get Seoul to not allow the United States to deploy the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system in the country as a counterweight to North Korea’s nuclear missile programme.
“The Chinese government informally lowered the boom on South Korea economically to influence the THAAD decision,” it said.
According to the Pentagon, South Korean cars and other exports were embargoed.
It also said that about a quarter of all goods South Korea exports go to China, adding that this had an immediate effect on the economy.
In addition, tourism suffered as nearly half of all entries to South Korea were from China, and South Korean retail stores in China were crippled, the report said.
“The South Korean government decided to allow the THAAD to deploy, but China’s economic muscle movement had to be noted in other global capitals,” it said.