US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld urged China yesterday to explain its increased military spending to the world, saying it was in its interest to demystify actions that others find worrying.
Speaking at an international security conference in Singa-pore, Rumsfeld said China had every right to decide how to invest its resources but the rest of the world also needed to understand Beijing's intentions.
"The only issue on transparency is that China would benefit by demystifying the reasons why they are investing what they are investing in, in my view," he said.
A Pentagon report last month said China was spending two to three times more on military buildup than the US$35 billion a year it has publicly declared.
The report concluded that while Taiwan appears to be the near-term focus of China's military spending, the buildup poses a potential threat to the US over the longer term.
Rumsfeld did not put emphasis on the US view of China as a potential threat or future military rival either in his speech or in a question-and-answer session with defense and security officials and experts attending the so-called Shangri-la Dialogue.
He said he thought China's first choice was a peaceful reunification of Taiwan with China.
But, he argued that as China's stake in the global economy grows, it will face pressure to explain its behavior to the outside world.
"In life you can't have it both ways," Rumsfeld said.
"You can't be successful economically and engage the rest of the world, and have people milling around your country and selling things and buying things and engaging in exchanges, and have them at the same time worried or wondering about some mystery that they see as to a behavior that is unsettling," he said.
"If the rest of the world looks at China and sees a behavior pattern that is mysterious and potentially threatening, it tends to affect the willingness to invest," he said.
On other issues, Rumsfeld expressed concern about China and Russia's role in forming the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a group of central Asian nations that last year called for US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
also see story:
Rumsfeld fears alienating Muslims
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also
‘BASELESS ACCUSATIONS’: Ker Chien-ming said it was not possible to drop Chen Chu’s nomination, while KMT lawmakers accused their DPP rivals of ‘homicidal behavior’ The Legislative Yuan is to vote on President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominations for the Control Yuan on July 17 after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators regained access to the legislative chamber yesterday after it was occupied by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers for about 19 hours. The Legislative Yuan had been scheduled to meet yesterday morning to discuss its planned extraordinary session, but more than 20 KMT lawmakers on Sunday afternoon broke into the main chamber and occupied the legislative speaker’s podium to protest Tsai’s nomination of former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊) to be Control Yuan president. The KMT caucus