Thursday, November 17, 2005

Chinese military buildup

Americans typically look at China's military buildup and become alarmed. This should not be the case. Looking at the numbers and looking at history will help us understand why it's sensible for China to have a strong military.

Let's take a look at the numbers. With 1.3 billion people and a million-man army, that's less than one-tenth of one percent of the population in the armed forces. China recently stated her intentions for peaceful development. Why do we have trouble believing this? If you want stability and peace, you will need a deterrent against external forces which threaten that stability.

There are also historical reasons behind the Chinese government's desire for a strong military--reasons which Americans may not understand. America has never suffered an invasion on the scale China has suffered time and again. China's long history, punctuated by foreign invasions from the likes of the Mongols, Manchurians, and most recently the Japanese, has taught the Chinese people the lesson that a strong national defense is necessary for the safety of China's people. The Chinese government would be irresponsible if it didn't build up the military.

Chill out, America.

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