Sun, Feb 28 2010
By Chris Buckley
BEIJING (Reuters) - China should build the world's strongest military and move swiftly to topple the United States as the global "champion," a senior Chinese PLA officer says in a new book reflecting swelling nationalist ambitions.
The call for China to abandon modesty about its global goals and "sprint to become world number one" comes from a People's Liberation Army (PLA) Senior Colonel, Liu Mingfu, who warns that his nation's ascent will alarm Washington, risking war despite Beijing's hopes for a "peaceful rise."
"China's big goal in the 21st century is to become world number one, the top power," Liu writes in his newly published Chinese-language book, "The China Dream."
"If China in the 21st century cannot become world number one, cannot become the top power, then inevitably it will become a straggler that is cast aside," writes Liu, a professor at the elite National Defense University, which trains rising officers.
His 303-page book stands out for its boldness even in a recent chorus of strident Chinese voices demanding a hard shove back against Washington over trade, Tibet, human rights, and arms sales to Taiwan, the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own.
"As long as China seeks to rise to become world number one ... then even if China is even more capitalist than the U.S., the U.S. will still be determined to contain it," writes Liu.
Rivalry between the two powers is a "competition to be the leading country, a conflict over who rises and falls to dominate the world," says Liu. "To save itself, to save the world, China must prepare to become the (world's) helmsman."
"The China Dream" does not represent government policy, which has been far less strident about the nation's goals.