Rumsfeld: China growing military power

June 3, 2005 at 9:35 PM
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, Singapore, June 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Friday China is spending much more building up its military than it publicly acknowledges.

Speaking at the "Shangri-La Dialogue" in Singapore -- a conference on Asia/Pacific security issues -- Rumsfeld said China is expanding its missile forces to reach targets in "many areas of the world" rather than just the Asian region for its own defense.

"Since no nation threatens China, one wonders: why this growing investment?" he said, according to a copy of his prepared remarks distributed to reporters.

Rumsfeld notes that China's economy is growing along with its military budget, but says that political freedom within the country has not followed suit.

"With a system that encouraged enterprise and free expression, China would appear more as a friend and a welcome partner," he said.

What the United States military should be doing in relation to China's growing military powers is a central focus of the wide-ranging Quadrennial Defense Review now ongoing in the Pentagon, according to Defense Department officials.

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