[PTI] Washington, Feb 27: China is likely to remain concerned about potential unrest or terrorist acts in Xinjiang and Tibet regions leading to renewed human rights abuses, a top American offical told lawmakers here on Thursday who expressed concern over massive Chinese military modernisation.
Testifying before a Congressional committee on emerging global threats, James R Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, said though China will continue to pursue an active foreign policy, Chinese leaders will focus primarily on addressing domestic concerns.
“The Chinese Communist Party leadership under President Xi Jinping announced an ambitious agenda of legal reforms in late 2014 that built on its previous agenda of ambitious economic reforms all aimed at improving government efficiency and accountability and strengthening the control of the Communist Party,” he said.
“The difficulty of implementing these reforms and bureaucratic resistance to them create the possibility of rising internal frictions as the agenda moves forward. Beijing will also remain concerned about the potential for domestic unrest or terrorist acts in Xinjiang and Tibet, which might lead to renewed human rights abuses,” Clapper said.
Following months of pro-democracy protests in late 2014, Chinese leaders will monitor closely political developments in Hong Kong for signs of instability, he said.
Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, expressed concern over the massive Chinese military build up.
“In Asia, stability and security of a vital and economically significant region is threatened by North Korea’s continued aggression, buildup of its nuclear arsenal and development of long-range ballistic missiles.
“A far greater challenge is China’s dramatic growth and modernisation of its own military capabilities, which appear designed to restrict the US military’s ability to operate in the Western Pacific,” he said.
Testifying before the same committee, Lt Gen Vincent Stewart, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said the Chinese army is building a modern military capable of defending China’s “core interests” of preserving its political system, protecting territorial integrity and sovereignty and ensuring sustainable economic and social development.