China Lashes Out at US Report on Its Military

Beijing accuses Pentagon of 'Cold War thinking'
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2009 8:49 AM CDT
Paramilitary police march in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. China announced plans to boost military spending by 14.9% in 2009, the 19th double-digit percentage increase in defense spending in 20 years.    (AP Photo/Greg Baker)
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(Newser) – A Pentagon report on China's military power that warned of "disruptive" new nuclear, space, and cyber programs has provoked angry criticism from Beijing, who accused the defense department of "Cold War thinking," reports Reuters. The report says that China has been successfully expanding its weapons arsenal, though its ability to wage war remains limited. That led the Chinese foreign ministry to blast the Pentagon for "a gross distortion of the facts."

"Much uncertainty surrounds China's future course, particularly regarding how its expanding military power might be used," said the report, which maintains such secrecy only serves to raise suspicions on both sides. It also estimated that China's military spending, which Beijing says is for defensive purposes only, is double the level of 10 years ago.