A top U.S. military official, General Joseph Dunford, said on Tuesday that China is going to be the U.S.'s supposed “greatest threat” in several years, surpassing Russia, CNN reported.
“I think China probably poses the greatest threat to our nation by about 2025,” General Dunford said while speaking to a U.S. Senate committee, highlighting the “economic situation.”
He said that while Russia remains the strongest “threat,” China's rapid growth has the “potential to degrade core U.S. military technological advantages.”
“China is focused on limiting our ability to project power and weakening our alliances in the Pacific,” Dunford said.
China has been a key actor in the ongoing tensions in the Korean Peninsula, with its leadership consistently calling for calmness, peace, and dialogue as the U.S.'s rhetoric becomes increasingly war-like and bellicose.
Dunford believes it is necessary to increase the annual U.S. defense budget, already the world's largest by several orders of magnitude, by “somewhere between 3 percent and 7 percent” in order to keep a “competitive advantage,” over China and Russia.
While the top U.S. General spoke of military and economic competition, Chinese Premier Li Kequiang said on Monday that the U.S. and China have many more shared interests than differences, and called for continued cooperation in economic matters.
“A sound and stable China-U.S. relationship serves the interests of the two countries and meets the aspirations of the international community,” Xinhua quoted Li as saying while meeting wit U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
The U.S.'s future relations with China appear to be a point of debate within the U.S. political establishment, with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger saying on Tuesday at Colombia University that peace between the U.S. and China is “imperative” for the coming century.
“It would be imperative that we work together,” Kissinger said at Colombia. “As I said before, we do not have this choice.
Kissinger expressed his own personal amazement at the rapid progress made in China in recent decades. “If somebody had shown me in 1971,” the former Secretary of State said, “a picture of what Beijing and other cities look like today, I would have considered that a fantasy.”