This April china has released its Defence White paper outlining developments in the armed forces (link below). Within this publication China outlines new challenges to its security stating “terrorism, separatism and extremism are on the rise” and defines Japan as “making trouble” over the “Diaoyu Islands” whilst Taiwan separatist forces are seen as “the biggest threat to the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations”. The paper also justifies the increase in military spending by explaining the developments which have occurred in the armed forces. This is the first time china has ever released actual figures on the amount of servicemen in the army, navy and air force which make up the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The paper attempts to over emphasis China’s peaceful development of the military for purposes of border security, emergence rescue and disaster relief, as well as for supporting national, economic and social development through education, training and scientific research.
Within this publication China outlines its defensive policy stating it “does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries” and “will never seek hegemony or behave in a hegemonic manner”. For other countries however, particularly those surrounding China, this has confirmed fears over the increasing strength of China’s military and readiness to attack if assaulted.