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News > World

China Unveils New Military Strategy Amid Regional Tensions

  • The USS John McCain destroyer was deployed to Asia-Pacific region in 2013.

    The USS John McCain destroyer was deployed to Asia-Pacific region in 2013. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 May 2015

Beijing will shift its focus on protecting its oceans. China’s maintains its policy agains preemptive measures and focuses only on defense.

The Chinese government released Tuesday its new military strategy white paper, updating the last document of its kind released in 2013.

The new strategy increases focus on China's territorial seas an on the country's naval force, shifting its focus towards a combination of “offshore waters defense and open seas protection.”

The document also increases China's focus on information warfare and cybersecurity, a current trend in armed forces worldwide.

However, the new strategy maintains the Chinese policy of avoiding preemptive measures, which implies the country will not attack any other nation if its not attacked first.

RELATED: US and Japan Seal Military Alliance in the Pacific

“Some countries adopt preemptive strategies, emphasizing preventive intervention and taking the initiative in attack. Ours is totally different,” explained Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun at a press conference where the document was revealed.

The new strategy comes as tensions have amounted over territorial disputes in the South China Sea, contested by the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia. China also holds a dispute with Japan over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

China's release of the document also coincides with the increasing role of the United States military in the region. Last week, the Chinese government denounced spying operations by the U.S. over the South China Sea.

On Monday, Japan confirmed it will participate in joint maritime military exercises with the United States and Australia, further increasing tensions.

The exercise dubbed “Talisman Sabre” will begin in mid-July and will include over 30,000 U.S. and Australian personnel. 

Last week, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden announced that 60 percent of the U.S. Navy would be deployed to the Asia Pacific by 2020, a long-term strategy of the Obama administration to direct attention toward the region.

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