tensions in Asia over the growing might of the Chinese military are easy to see
and understand. China is using its booming economy to fund the development of
new weapons programs. China wants the world to believe that it is merely being
sure it can defend the sovereignty of its nation while others fear that China
will use the military might to take resources and possibly attack other nations
in the area.
With tension growing, Chinese Defense Minister General Liang Guanglie said at
the 10th Shangri-La Dialog in Singapore that the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA)
behind the U.S. Military. Guanglie said, "I would call the gap
big. [The PLA] main battle equipment of our services ... is mainly
second-generation weapons." He continued saying, "For example, the
army is still being motorized, not mechanized."
Liang acknowledged that the modernization of the Chinese military has drawn
attention and concern from around the world. Liang says that China has a right
to protect is "core interests" such as protecting its sovereignty.
Liang also explained at the conference that relations between the Chinese and
U.S. military were improving. This year's Shangri-La dialog was in face the
strongest turn out for the Chinese after years of ignoring the conference.
In addition to Liang there were a number of other Chinese officials at the
conference including Rear Adm. Guan Youfei, deputy chief, Foreign Affairs
Office, Ministry of National Defense; Senior Col. Ou Yangwei, director, Center
for Defense Mobilization Studies, National Defense University; Major Gen. Song
Dan, deputy director general, General Office, Central Military Commission; Lt.
Gen. Wei Fenghe, deputy chief of general staff, PLA; and Xiao Jianguo,
director, Department of Ocean Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As much as Liang wants the world to believe China has a massive gap between its
military and the U.S. military (and other armed forces of the world), the
country is investing heavily in next-generation weapons. A the most high
profile new weapons program is the Chinese
J-20 stealth fighter. The J-20 completed its second flight in April and has
been captured on video as it has been tested. Some speculate that China
obtained the stealth technology that is used in the J-20 from a U.S. F-117
stealth fighter that was downed in 1999 in Serbia. China is known to have had
agents crisscross the area where the fighter crashed buying up the wreckage
from local farmers.
The Chinese military is also believed by many around the world to be carrying
out very sophisticated and successful hacks against military and corporate
networks. Many digital attacks have been traced back to parts of China where
the government is known to have a strong military presence. The Gmail
hack that was revealed earlier this month is believed to have been
perpetrated by China, though Chinese officials have denied any involvement.
China is also allegedly the source of the hacking attacks that compromised
networks at Lockheed Martin using stolen
RSA SecurID dongles. Those hacks are believed to have targeted Lockheed
Martin military projects.