It is only natural that China's defense spending increase with its ever growing economic power.
Building a strong military force while sticking to a defensive military strategy constitutes an important component of China's peaceful development.
China's military might does not serve as an expansionist instrument. It will not be used, unprovoked, to settle international disputes.
This does not mean that China has no right to develop a military capacity which is offensive by nature.
Such capacity can deter any potential adversary should China's national interests be encroached upon.
China has the smallest nuclear arsenal among the five internationally recognized nuclear powers. It is the only country among the five to pledge not to launch a nuclear first-strike.
At the same time, China is committed to the principle that it will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries nor threaten them with the use of nuclear arms.
China adheres to the principles of striking back in self-defense and of limited development of nuclear arms. The country will never embark on a nuclear arms race with any other country.
Some critics are trying to make an issue of China's nuclear arsenal, claiming that China is likely to launch the pre-emptive nuclear strikes. This kind of vocal pre-emptive strike is no less murderous than real military pre-emptive attacks.
China is faced with serious challenges that should never be trifled with. Traditional and non-traditional security threats are increasingly intertwined, making it all the more difficult for the country to safeguard its national security.
Fighting Taiwan "independence" elements and their secessionist activities is becoming increasingly complex and grave. In addition, a handful of countries has strengthened strategic precautions against China, cooking up a "China threat". In China's "near-abroad", the extremely complicated and sensitive questions stemming from history and current realities significantly impact China's security environment.
China's military might is meant to safeguard its own security and stability. It is meant to deter the hostile elements of Cold-War mentality who attempt to threaten China's national interests with force.
China has made peaceful development its national policy and is also pushing for building a world in harmony. This marks the harmonious integration of its domestic and foreign policies on the planes of strategic and philosophical thinking.
In traveling along the road of peaceful development, China is expected to apply its ever stronger political, economic and military power to promote regional and global prosperity and development.
Skepticism, misgivings and fears about China's growing power keep arising. In this atmosphere, sticking to the road of peaceful development becomes all the more important for the country.
Peaceful development is a banner demonstrating China's image to the world. Domestically, peaceful development is a yardstick against which our mentality is gauged and government policies evaluated.
Every country has the right to a military force in keeping with its national interests. However, the crux of the matter is the country's strategic intentions, the policy it pursues and how its military might is used.
As a responsible big country, China is supposed to make greater contributions to safeguarding world peace and stability by developing its own military strength.
As a matter of fact, the country is fulfilling its international obligations. For example, China, among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, contributes the largest contingent of UN peacekeepers to hot-spot countries and regions.
In the course of China's peaceful development, its military strength is being enhanced in keeping with the country's rising international status. It is expected to possess great capability to cope with traditional and non-traditional security threats.
In this way, the country will make still greater contributions to world peace, stability and prosperity.
(China Daily June 11, 2007)