Putting Cheney's Worries in Context

Friday, February 23, 2007

Putting Cheney's Worries in Context

Earlier today, halfway around the globe, Vice President Dick Cheney told an audience he was deeply worried about China. Cheney said:
China has played an especially important role in the six-party [talks with North Korea] . . .

. . . 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."
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.

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.

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