With China getting more aggressive with its economic and military plans, the U.S. recently passed a new defense act that singled out the Asian country as a competitor to the United States. This has reportedly sent the Chinese government into a frenzy, angry at being declared a threat to the U.S.
The Defense Act
The US$716 billion new defense policy was signed by U.S. President Donald Trump and authorizes the country’s military spending.
The policy also calls for a stronger Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which is an organization tasked with reviewing investment proposals from other countries and determining their risk to U.S. national security.
This seems to have unnerved the Chinese, since the government was reportedly planning long-term investments in the U.S. that would give it a strategic military and economic hold over the United States. But with the new defense act passed by Trump, investments from China will be scrutinized more closely, possibly denying many Chinese from investing in the U.S.
“The U.S. side should objectively and fairly treat Chinese investors, and avoid CFIUS becoming an obstacle to investment cooperation between Chinese and U.S. firms,” Reuters quotes a Chinese ministry statement.
The legislation also called for viewing competition with China as a top priority for the US in the long term. This will also include improving the defensive abilities of Taiwan, which China grudgingly wants for itself. In fact, China has been furiously protesting the President of Taiwan’s US trip this month.
And though the Chinese replied to the act by saying that they would not let Taiwan “split from China,” the foreign ministry of Taiwan actually thanked the U.S. for supporting their country and said that they will “continue to actively coordinate with the U.S. government to stably deepen the security partnership between Taiwan and the United States on a mutually beneficial basis,” as per a report by Business Insider.
China targeting the U.S.
After the act was passed, China immediately asked the U.S. to abandon its “cold war mentality” and view Beijing’s military in a rational and objective manner. However, if one were to truly look at China’s military programs and advances in a rational light, it is very clear that the Chinese are the ones who are being more aggressive and threatening global peace.
China’s militaristic attitude toward Taiwan and the South China Sea is very well known. In addition, the country reportedly has developed plans to attack the United States and even started training its military for this purpose. A recent report from the Pentagon titled Annual Report on Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China echoed the same sentiment.
“Over the last three years, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has rapidly expanded its overwater bomber operating areas, gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against U.S. and allied targets,” CNN quotes the Pentagon report.
The report also went on to single out China’s global infrastructure projects like the Belt and Road Initiative, also known as One Belt, One Road (OBOR), as a tool to further Chinese control over other weaker nations. China is also reportedly developing counter space capabilities.
Given such large-scale military planning by the Chinese government, it is no wonder that the U.S. singled out Beijing as one of its main competitors and highlighted the need to develop plans to counter the growing influence of China.