Helen Raleigh writes for the Federalist about the latest deception from the communist Chinese government.

At the opening of its annual People’s Congress last Sunday, the Chinese government announced a 7.2 percent increase in its military budget, bringing China’s total military spending this year to $224 billion. China’s actual military expenditures will undoubtedly be much higher. Still, the timing of Beijing’s announcement is interesting because only a week ago, at the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Beijing cast itself as a peacemaker by issuing a 12-point “peace plan.”

But China’s accelerated military buildup is the latest evidence that anyone who counts on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to bring peace to Ukraine is delusional. Beijing’s actions always speak louder than its words. 

We shouldn’t take Beijing’s “peace plan” too seriously for three reasons. First, it lacks details and actionable items. For example, it calls for resolving the humanitarian crisis and protecting the supply chains but offers neither concrete steps nor a timetable. China does not commit to taking any specific actions to foster peace in its plan. 

Second, Beijing repeated the same talking points. It called for “abandoning the Cold War mentality,” which sounds nice on paper, but it has been Beijing’s go-to criticism of Washington on almost everything the U.S. does, from the investigation of the origins of Covid-19 to establishing a security pact with Australia and the United Kingdom.

Additionally, it seems China has already embraced a Cold War mentality. Last February, China’s leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a joint statement, claiming their “relationship has no limit” and opposing the U.S.-led world order and value system. At the CCP’s 20th Congress, Xi warned his comrades that “external attempts to suppress and contain China may escalate at any time.” Last Sunday, when China’s Premier Li Keqiang announced the military budget increase, he called on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to “carry out military operations, boost combat preparedness and enhance military capabilities to accomplish the tasks entrusted to them by the Party and the people.”