“We’re concerned about China,” he told them, and it is a concern the Pentagon intends to address, Mr. Panetta added – despite the strong push to cut the defense budget during a period of economic crisis.
On this point, he has support even among lawmakers on the other side of the political aisle. China “is strategically positioning itself to militarily and economically challenge US influence and capabilities in the Asia-Pacific,” Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R) of Virginia, chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, warned Wednesday.
In a statement following the release of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s annual report to Congress, Representative Forbes said that the report “makes it abundantly clear that China is actively seeking to exploit the United States’ military vulnerabilities.”
It doesn’t help, Forbes added, that “Congress is busy dismantling the United States military with arbitrary cuts that could total a trillion dollars.”