Published on March 10th, 2009
PAPERS & STUDIES
China’s decision in mid-December 2008 to dispatch a small People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) task force of two destroyers to police against Somalia’s pirates has been greeted as a hopeful sign that China may use its growing naval capabilities positively; one Chinese commentator said it “shows the world that China is a large responsible nation.” Nevertheless, China struck a nationalist tone to its participation, refusing to join the American-led multinational naval Task Force 151, though engaging in an uneven information exchange with the U.S. side. A less benign demonstration was a far less noted December 9, 2008 incident in the East China Sea, in which two Chinese Marine Surveillance Agency ships apparently made use of the PLA’s increasingly capable space and electronic information capabilities, to calculate the precise moment when Japanese Coast Guard ships would not be present to thwart China’s latest effort to assert its sovereignty over the disputed Senkaku Islands.
China to boost military spending
Some of the extra money is to go towards soldiers' pay, officials say
China says it will increase military spending by a "modest" 14.9% this year to 480.6bn yuan ($70.2bn; £50bn).