2011-10-12 (China Military News cited from http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2011/10/11/US-China-military-conflict-unlikely/UPI-54721318356852/#ixzz1aZNOGY00″>UPI) — Military confrontation between China and the United States is unlikely, though the same can’t be said for economic or cyberwarfare, analysts say.
The Chinese economy is enjoying modest health when compared with the rest of the world. Gross domestic product for China and its defense budget is expected to overtake the United States soon, making it a true competitor in the international geopolitical arena.
U.S. Rep. Howard McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said in August after reviewing the latest report to Congress on Chinese military developments that there were “significant consequences” for security in the region given Beijing’s ambitions.
Michael Schiffer, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia said that, while China’s expanding military capabilities made it an important partner in peacekeeping and disaster relief operations, “the pace and scope of China’s sustained military investments” was cause for concern.
A report from U.S. think tank Rand Corp. notes, however, that Beijing will likely focus its military efforts on its immediate periphery.
“While the risk of conflict with China cannot be ignored, neither should it be exaggerated,” the report read.
While the U.S. could get dragged into a regional skirmish in defense of allies in Asia, Rand said conflict between Beijing and Washington is more likely in the cyber and economic realms.
“In both cases, U.S. vulnerabilities are such as to make this unattractively costly,” the report cautioned.