US admiral: Engage with China militarily

Admiral William Fallon told the Senate Armed Services Committee that US-Chinese military competition was not a foregone conclusion.

“There is a tremendous potential for good here in this relationship between the two countries,” he said. “We have many, many common interests.”

China announced over the weekend that its military budget will increase by 14.7 percent this year to US$35 billion.

The whole thing. reported that the US Navy was transferring six Los Angeles Class attack subs from the Atlantic to the Pacific theatres over the next four years, bringing the order of battle in the Pacific up to 31 SSNs and reducing the Atlantic fleet to 21 boats. India is also recently announced that it was increasing it’s defense budget substantially. India, given it’s democratic nature and western roots is viewed by many China fear mongers as a natural bullwark (aka Western ally) against a rising Chinese military presence in the Pacific.

With Taiwan making another bold move towards independence last week, there’s been quite a bit of stir lately regarding military capabilities in the Pacific.

While I wouldn’t take it to court, the street buzz over here is that Taiwan, if it continues it’s pro-independence stance, will make a move to formally declare independence a week, or several days before the Opening Ceremonies in Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics, providing itself with just enough room to prepare to eat 800+ ballistic missiles.

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said yesterday that China now has more than 800 missiles targeting Taiwan, and is increasing that arsenal at a faster pace of 75 to 100 per year.
The news came as Beijing defended its recent announcement of another double-digit increase — 14.7 percent — in this year’s military budget.

“China was producing around 50 Dong Feng [DF] series ballistic missiles annually, but … our intelligence has found it is now increasing by 75 to 100 ballistic missiles annually,” said Lieutentant Colonel Chen Chang-hwa (陳章華), an intelligence analyst specializing in the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) missile development, at a press conference held by the ministry yesterday.

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