China has played an especially important role in the six-party [talks with North Korea] . . .These words were delivered, of course, by someone who played an instrumental role in the U.S. decision to invade a country that posed no imminent threat to us. But I digress.
. . . Other actions by the Chinese government send a different message. Last month's anti-satellite test, and China's continued fast-paced military buildup are less constructive and are not consistent with China's stated goal of a "peaceful rise."
Cheney is right. China has rapidly increased its military spending in recent years. In 2006, it was estimated that China spent $36 billion on the military.
For fiscal year 2006, the U.S. spent $441 billion on military weapons, equipment, personnel and research. In other words, we spent $12.25 for every $1 the Chinese government spent.
I'm no fan of the Beijing regime, which continues to violate the fundamental human rights of its people. But, as far as military spending is concerned, a little context is in order.