Beijing, China. The United States operates in a constant culture of crisis, and needs threats to thrive. Recently America’s defense establishment has yet again labeled China as the bad guy, in efforts to extort more money from Congress.

The US Department of Defense’s 2017 report on military and security developments involving China carries some of the all-too-familiar biased interpretations of Chinese actions and intentions.

America portrays Chinese moves regarding its South China Sea territories and approach to related disputes as “coercion”, for instance, it ignores Beijing’s endeavors to ease tensions, and its latest consensuses with the Philippines and Vietnam on dispute management and bilateral consultations.

It of course does not mention America’s very real coercion of North Korea. Currently threatened with no less than 3 US Navy aircraft carrier strike groups and the full might of America’s nuclear arsenal. You do not see the USA pushing South Africa, Pakistan or Israel around as they do North Korea.

Washington’s accusation that China supports its modernization via “cyber theft, targeted foreign direct investment, and exploitation of the access of private Chinese nationals” to foreign technologies is also included as usual.

The Department of Defense openly identifies China as one of the US’ “potential adversaries”-along with Russia, Iran and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea-in its “Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request”, the report appears genuine about the nonaggressive nature of Chinese military progress.

The drafters of the report conclude “China’s leaders remain focused on developing the capabilities to deter or defeat adversary power projection and counter third-party intervention-including by the United States-during a crisis or conflict.” In other words, China’s leaders are preoccupied with defense.

Americans are obsessed with perception but never once consider the message their own actions convey. Locked in wars of resource rape and occupation in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, the US has forces globally in 160 plus countries, yet is obsessed with Russia, China and North Korea. Perhaps it is time Americans ask, “What message does our military aggression send other nations?”

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