- The Washington Times - Friday, February 17, 2006

China attacks QDR

China’s government has been running a series of harsh commentaries criticizing the Pentagon for identifying China as a future military threat in its recently published Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).

The barrage began with the Feb. 7 comments of Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan, who characterized the QDR references to China as “interference” in Chinese internal affairs and the promotion of a new China military threat theory. He also said the report misleads U.S. public opinion.

As a result, Mr. Kong said, China “made solemn representations with the United States” to protest the report.

The QDR contains no specific criticisms of China’s military buildup other than pointing out that Beijing poses the greatest potential challenge to the U.S. military and is rapidly building up its military with little or no transparency or explanation.

The Chinese government-controlled press then began running a series of reports attacking the Pentagon report.

Chinese military analyst Wang Xinjun, of the Academy of Military Sciences, said U.S. opposition to China is based on four elements: to contain China and bolster U.S. military activities in Asia; to use China to strengthen the U.S. alliance with Japan and fragment East Asian regional cooperation; to block China from retaking Taiwan; and to create an enemy that will justify military spending.

The harsh Chinese statements contrast sharply with recent comments from senior U.S. military leaders, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Peter Pace, who have said publicly that they do not regard China as a threat and that the Pentagon wants good relations with the Chinese military.

China’s political and military leaders have dismissed the soft-line comments as U.S. strategic deception designed to fool the Chinese, Pentagon officials told us.

No-nuke submarines

A Navy memorandum says four ballistic-missile submarines being converted to conventional-missile subs will not carry nuclear weapons.

The Feb. 3 memorandum states that “in general, it is U.S. policy not to deploy nuclear weapons aboard surface ships, naval aircraft, attack submarines or guided missile submarines.”

It was the first official reference to the nuclear weapons status of four converted “boomers” — as nuclear-armed ballistic-missile submarines are called. The submarines are being turned into conventionally armed cruise-missile submarines by next year. The nuclear-tipped Trident missiles on the submarines will be replaced with long-range land-attack cruise missiles such as the Tomahawk or advanced versions of it.

The memo from Vice Adm. J.G. Morgan, deputy chief of naval operations for information, plans and strategy, contains an update of the Navy regulation that prohibits all Navy personnel from discussing nuclear weapons on vessels or facilities.

Story Continues →