Sich duckender Tiger oder Papier-Drache?

Als ein hochrangiger Verteidigungsexperte kürzlich vor einem US-Kongressausschuss über Chinas militärische Fähigkeiten aussagte, ging er ausführlich auf das ungewöhnlich starke Waffen-Beschaffungsprogramm ein, das die Volksbefreiungsarmee (PLA) betreibt. Er verwies dabei besonders auf die wachsende Anzahl der Kurz-, Mittel- und Langstrecken-Raketen der PLA. Doch der Fachmann kam zu dem Schluss, dass trotz der alarmierenden Anzahl an Raketen diese keine "Aufrüstung" darstellten.

Von dieser Schlussfolgerung verwirrt, begannen die Abgeordneten unerbittlich mit einer Frage weiter zu bohren: Wenn schon die vorhandenen Raketen der PLA keine "Aufrüstung" darstellten, ab welcher Anzahl von Raketen würde das dann der Fall sein? Das Unvermögen, diese Frage eindeutig zu beantworten, sorgte für Unmut und ärgerte sowohl den Fachmann als auch den Ausschuss.

Diese Episode veranschaulicht ein grundlegendes und unbefriedigendes Problem: Je mehr wir wissen, was in China vor sich geht, desto unsicherer sind wir, ob China wirklich zu einer Bedrohung geworden ist. Wie wir wissen, hat China seinen Verteidigungshaushalt - unter anderem - für ein umfangreiches Waffen-Entwicklungsprogramm verdoppelt und noch einmal verdoppelt; Dazu gehört auch die Modernisierung seiner nuklearen Abschreckungs- und Zweitschlags-Kapazität. Doch können wir noch nicht entscheiden, ob diese Aufrüstung bedrohlich ist.

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