Beijing, Aug 5 (IANS) US troops have been “massively and incessantly” engaged in military exercises in the Asia-Pacific region since the start of the year, and this has sent a “dangerously wrong message” to some countries in the region, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said in a commentary Sunday.
US warships and fighter jets have participated in almost 20 war games in the Asia-Pacific region in the past seven months, including the just concluded 2012 Pacific Rim Joint Military Exercise, it said.
“It seems that the US has developed a fresh yen for waging military exercises with its allies in the Asia-Pacific region,” Xinhua said.
Apart from the drills’ “dazzling intensity”, what was “more alarming” was that some of these exercises have even openly taken China as the imaginary enemy, it said.
Behind America’s “newly-established fondness” of war games in Asia-Pacific is the country’s “paranoia” that a fast growing China would jeopardize its interests and its “self-claimed leadership” in the region.
“The Obama administration, since its first year in office, has demonstrated a fervent desire to deter China by strengthening its military alliances with countries like South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, as well as some other Southeast Asian nations,” Xinhua said.
By setting China as its simulated foe and making a parade of its military prowess in the region, the US “intends to send out a message that no one is allowed to challenge its dominant position in the region”.
The Chinese news agency said that another reason for the rising military involvement of Washington in the region this year was that by trying to play tough against China, “Obama could hopefully woo more voters” in his presidential race.
The US moves would only aggravate regional tensions and plague China-US relations, it predicted.
Moreover, they would “embolden a few regional countries” to take rather “irresponsible attitudes” when handling their maritime disputes with China, and further push the entire Asia-Pacific area to the brink of military conflict.
Xinhua said China has never tried to translate its burgeoning economic power to regional domination, and that Beijing welcomes a constructive and positive US role in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Though it is convenient for the Obama administration to play tough with China for political gains, strong and vibrant relations between China and the US bring far more benefits.”
The US “has to fully understand” that it was impossible to bend China’s will to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the region, it said.