Conn Hallinan, of Foreign Policy in Focus, reports that the militant neoconservative wing of the Bush administration is pushing an extremely aggressive policy toward China. Despite the fact that;
… while China is modernizing its military, it is 20 years behind the U.S., and that “the balance between the United States and China, both globally and in Asia, is likely to remain decisively in America’s favor beyond the next 20 years.”
China’s military budget is less than one tenth that of the U.S. and it does not have a massive arms industry, preferring to purchase submarines, destroyers, aircraft, and high performance anti-aircraft missiles from Russia and Israel. In spite of Rumsfeld’s grim forecast, the Chinese navy is designed for defending its territorial waters, not projecting force elsewhere. While the U.S. has a dozen aircraft carriers, China has one, and an old obsolete Soviet one at that.
The neocon strategy, which is described as “well under way” is to”ring China with US military bases”;
Besides its traditional bases in Japan and South Korea, Guam has become, according to Pacific Commander Admiral William Fargo, a “power projection hub,” that will play an increasing role in Asia, with “geo-strategic importance.” The island already hosts B-52s, fighter planes, nuclear attack submarines, and the high altitude spy drone, the Global Hawk. Since Guam is a U.S. colony acquired during the Spanish American war, the military does not need permission for the buildup, as it would in Japan or Korea.
The U.S. is also attempting to build bases in Southeast and South Asia. While Indonesian authorities deny the story, the Singapore Times reports that the U.S. is presently negotiating to open a naval base on Sulawesi Island. It is also strengthening military ties to Thailand, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, and Malaya.