The USA and China have exchanged harsh statements with one another. The frictions between the two giants occurred after the publication of the Pentagon's report about China's growing military power. In the report, the United States accused the People's Republic of China of providing insufficient transparency of its defense system, lowering the numbers of the defense budget and increasing the offensive potential.
The US experts were especially concerned about the fact of China's development of the anti-ship ballistic missile designed to strike surface vessels. The range of the missile makes up 1,500 kilometers . The missile is being built on the base of the DongFeng-21 medium-range ballistic missile.
This is not the only concern of the US authorities, though. The Pentagon also worries about the creation of the Chinese aircraft carrying fleet. The nation's first aircraft carrier is likely to be launched until the end of the year. It goes about the underdeveloped Varyag vessel, which China purchased from Ukraine in 1998.
The Pentagon is also concerned about China's successful activities in the creation of other types of weapons, strategic aviation and in the development of electronic warfare systems.
Furthermore, America is unhappy about the strengthening of the Chinese military presence in the Gulf of Aden. It seems that the Pentagon should be glad about China's assistance in the struggle against Somali pirates. However, US marines feel somehow uncomfortable next to their Chinese colleagues.
As it turns out, China's military presence in the Gulf of Aden means that Asia's largest nation is capable of conducting distant operations. It is worthy of note that the Pentagon's previous report said that China would be able to conduct distant military operations not before 2020. What a miscalculation!
The USA believes that the strengthening of China's military power will give the nation an opportunity to become more influential during regional disputes, including the ones with Japan and Taiwan, and expand its territorial waters contrary to international norms. In addition, the United States is concerned about the establishment of China's monopoly access to primary resources (energy resources, first and foremost) in the South China Sea.
The authors of the report concluded that all of the above-mentioned circumstances may question the USA's military predominance both in Asia and in the western part of the Pacific Ocean.
Chinese officials showed a quick reaction to the report. On August 17, China expressed its protest in connection with the republication of the report. Spokespeople for the nation's defense department stated that such a biased report could in no way contribute to the development of military relations between the two countries. China urged the United States to take a non-biased approach to the country's military construction and stop taking actions which put obstacles on the development of bilateral military ties between the two countries.
The relations between the United States and China worsened considerably after Obama's administration approved the plans to sell weapons to Taiwan in the sum of $6.4 billion.
As for aircraft carriers, China has been harboring these plans for years. Now, as it seems, the nation has started creating its own fleet of aircraft carriers. Japanese newspapers wrote that with reference to US intelligence that China was planning to launch six aircraft carrying vessels before 2020. The 40,000-70,000 tonnage vessels will be equipped with nuclear reactors or regular fuel engine units.
Such a huge industrial giant as China can certainly implement its program of building aircraft carriers - there are no doubts about that. Until recently, foreign military experts believed that it would be quite a problematic goal for China to achieve since the nation had no deck-based aviation. However, the country solved the problem very quickly.
In July, Canada's Kanwa Defense Review journal published an article about the testing of J-15 deck-based fighter jets that looked exactly like Russia's Su-33. Some experts say that China ripped off Sukhoi's renowned jet. Nevertheless, the serial production of J-15 aircraft is to be launched already in 2013.
Why does China need its own aircraft carriers? The aircraft-carrying fleet will emphasize the nation's status of a superpower and demonstrate its readiness to defend strategic interests thousands of miles away.
In general, China's armed forces and its defense complex have increased its potential enormously during the recent ten years. However, even if China builds its own fleet of six aircraft carriers by 2020, it will lag considerably behind the US navy.
Why is the USA so afraid of the Chinese dragon? The US defense budget is three times as much as the Chinese one. Sergey Luzyanin, deputy director of the Institute for the Far East, told Pravda.Ru that China spent $150 billion on defense in 2009, which was a lot more than before.
"The USA spent $500 billion on defense in 2009. Therefore, I would not say that China poses a military threat to the United States. The Pentagon made its concerns public in the endeavor to receive more funding for the defense complex. One may recollect Chimerica, the US-Chinese idea of redivision of the world, which appeared in the heads of the US political elite. As experience shows, China treats such offers very carefully, expecting a catch on the part of Uncle Sam. The USA practically wanted China to get involved in the conflict situations, where the States was incapable of establishing its rule," the specialist said.