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China Military Build-up Risks Triggering 'Tragic Miscalculation'

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

James Cleverly, the foreign minister of the United Kingdom, has called on China to be more transparent about the causes of what he called the largest military build-up in peacetime history and warned that secrecy might result in a "tragic miscalculation" if it happens.

According to Cleverly, Britain is upfront about wanting to strengthen cooperation with friends in the Indo-Pacific and that China needs to be transparent about its goals.

In his words: I urge China to be equally open about the doctrine and intent behind its military expansion, because transparency is surely in everyone's interests and secrecy can only increase the risk of tragic miscalculation. The West faces a challenge from China's more assertive behaviour and charge the communist superpower with directing the biggest military build-up in peacetime history as it threatens Taiwan.

After meeting with Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy on a stopover in the US, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen undertook a series of war exercises this month. China has not ruled out using force to secure unification. Beijing sees Tsai, who was initially elected in 2016, as a "separatist" who wants "independence". She contends that the future of Taiwan should be left up to the people.

Perhaps that's why many countries, particularly Britain, the United States, and their allies, are concerned about China's growing military aggression. China has been quickly increasing its military capabilities in recent years, investing in cutting-edge weaponry, modernising its armed forces, and bolstering its naval and air forces.

Concerns about a potential military conflict or an arms race in the region have been aroused by the secrecy surrounding China's military build-up and its goals behind it. Lack of openness could result in misunderstandings, erroneous interpretations, and incorrect calculations, which could escalate tensions to the point of armed conflict.

A military conflict or an arms race could have an impact on global security and stability in addition to China and its immediate neighbours. Some of the most important sea lanes in the world, including the South China Sea, which is essential for global trade and business, are located in the Asia-Pacific region. The stability and prosperity of the world economy could be severely harmed by any disturbance to these water lanes.

Concerns regarding China's assertive foreign policy, territorial claims, and human rights violations have also been voiced in light of the country's military build-up. Britain, which has compared the treatment of the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang region to a modern-day gulag archipelago, has been among the many countries that have harshly criticised the Chinese government for its actions.

China's military build-up and the potential threats it poses to regional and global security cannot be ignored by the international community. It is crucial to engage China in positive discourse and to support openness and transparency in China's military expansion. At the same time, it's critical to hold China responsible for any transgressions of international law, abuses of human rights, or belligerent actions.

This is not about anti-China games and meddling in its internal affairs. For the sake of international peace and stability, the Asia-Pacific region is essential, and any military conflict or weapons race could have serious repercussions for the entire planet.

In order to address the issues raised by China's military build-up and ensure that the area is peaceful and stable, the international community must cooperate. This includes opening up new channels of dialogue and communication with Beijing to adopt a policy of "peaceful coexistence" with the breakaway island of Taiwan.


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