By Wei Yu
To encourage Congress to authorize the largest defense budget ever, the Pentagon just released its annual report on China, which dangerously misrepresents the country’s defense strategy. Such deliberate lies about China to drum up justification for more US war spending need to be urgently addressed.
Let’s debunk these lies.
On Nuclear Weapons: The Pentagon reports that China possesses around 400 nuclear warheads with no clear plan on how to use them. If this estimation of China’s arsenal is correct, it’s still trivial compared to the US’s almost 6,000 warheads. China is the only nuclear power with an unconditional “no first use” policy, and has been clear that it only intends to use its nuclear power for assurance and defense. Meanwhile, the United States is the only country to have used nuclear weapons in war and has also flirted with escalating tensions into a nuclear war with Russia this year. Who is preparing for war?
On Global Military Presence: The Pentagon reports that since China established its first overseas military base in Djibouti, it has ambitions to expand its military presence globally. At the same time, the United States has more than 750 military bases in around 80 countries. This includes more than 250 bases in the Asia-Pacific encircling China with 375,000 personnel in the Indo-Pacific Command, while China has no military presence in the Western Hemisphere. Who is preparing for war?
On International Order: The Pentagon reports that China may challenge the US in the international arena. It is true that China is taking the lead internationally in economic development, in technological innovation, and in fighting climate change. Other countries around the world are happy for its support in growing their capacities to be independent of United States hegemony in their regions. China builds relationships through economic cooperation and good diplomacy. In contrast, the United States asserts its global dominance through direct or proxy war, occupation, crippling sanctions, and regime-changing coups. The international order that the United States seeks to maintain is rooted in violence and destruction. Let's invest in peace, not war!
While the United States is desperately pursuing its outdated policy of enforcing global hegemony, the rest of the world is already moving towards a multilateral sphere, which ensures the greatest chance for peace. Escalating tension with China was a mistake, and building a colossal military budget is doubling down on this mistake. We must be vigilant about the warmongering lies about China.
“China is not our enemy” is not a hollow slogan but a firm ground that peacemakers stand on.
Ways to Take Action:
- Tell your Senators to stop funding war with China and vote NO on NDAA 2023!
- Tell your Senators to oppose the provocative Taiwan Policy Act! Giving Taiwan billions for arms sales can only escalate, not prevent war!
- Tell Congress to investigate the harm done by the U.S. military in Guam! The U.S. military needs to stop destroying people’s lives and homes in the Asia-Pacific to prepare for a war with China!
- Follow the CODEPINK China Is Not Our Enemy campaign site for more actions & follow us on Twitter for more live updates!
Wei Yu is CODEPINK's China Is Not Our Enemy campaign coordinator.