Vice President Cheney said in a speech in Sydney Austrailia February 23rd that, “Last month's anti-satellite test, China's continued fast-paced military buildup are less constructive and are not consistent with China's stated goal of a peaceful rise.'' The location of this speech is not trivial either, as the Chinese have begun demonstrable efforts to strengthen their leadership in bilateral and multilateral ties with their Asian neighbors and in ASEAN.
Pardon me Mr. Vice President, with all due respect, its called deterrence. Deterrence is a key element to maintaining peace, and thereby to a peaceful rise. A state’s capacity to remove an object from within the airspace over its sovereign territory is simply a vertical extension of its national security. A state demonstrating this capacity for the flock of spy satellites perched to keep an eye on that state is simply manifested deterrence.
If the Chinese had dropped 5 JDAM’s into a US Embassy in Europe, or had been conducting spy operations all over the US airspace and coast line, perhaps I could be convinced the Chinese had aggressive rather than defensive motivations. However I can’t help but notice that it is the United States and our dwindling allies that are conducting the warcapades around the world.
Mr. Vice President, I don’t mean to imply that you’re not a reliable source of intelligence data or analysis, but I think I’ll wait until China begins to develop some power projection capabilities that could reach beyond greater China before concluding that China’s rise is anything but peaceful.