View Full Version : China's Emergence as a Superpower (2015 onwards)

01-11-2015, 10:14 PM
A new thread prompted by two inter-related articles on China's developing military capability by Oriana Skylar Mastro, from Georgetown.

The first opens with:
For over a decade, academics, policymakers, and government officials have been engaged in a relentless debate about Chinese military capabilities and intentions. To some, China is likely an expansionist country (http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/05/16/is-china-the-fastest-rising-power-in-history/) akin to Germany before WWI (http://www.aei.org/publication/doomed-to-repeat-it/). Others argue that China’s assertive behavior in its regional offshore island disputes is simply a manifestation (http://www.amazon.com/China-Superpower-Susan-L-Shirk/dp/0195373197) of the Chinese Communist Party’s focus (http://www.amazon.com/Chinas-Trapped-Transition-Developmental-Autocracy/dp/067402754X) on domestic stability, which precludes any broader global ambitions (http://www.lowyinstitute.org/publications/chinas-foreign-policy-dilemma).

Contrary to the extremes of the current debate, the Chinese military will be neither hollow nor a juggernaut. While the Chinese leadership would prefer to stay focused on internal development and regional issues, I argue in a recent article in The National Interest (http://nationalinterest.org/feature/chinas-military-about-go-global-11882) that facts on the ground will increasingly compel the Party to develop some global operational capabilities.


The National Interest article, which may duplicate the first:http://nationalinterest.org/feature/chinas-military-about-go-global-11882

01-11-2015, 10:21 PM
The previous thread China's Emergence as a Superpower (till 2014)has been closed, it had run since 2006, with 800 posts and 121k views.

There are separate threads - in the Asia-Pacific arena - on China's disputes over islands and waters in the South China Sea, China's view of South Asia and the Indian Ocean, Disputed Islands in East Asia and a very small thread The US Response to China at:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=13942

03-02-2015, 04:26 AM
Despite huge advances, China's military suffers from "serious weaknesses" that could limit its ability "to fight and win future wars," a congressional study released this week suggests.

The 184-page report sponsored by the U.S. Congress-mandated U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission and prepared by the Rand Corporation, says the People's Liberation Army has made rapid progress in a short time.

However, weaknesses in its organizational structure -- including corruption among its ranks -- and in its combat capabilities mean it faces serious challenges.


See also http://www.uscc.gov/

03-02-2015, 12:34 PM
China is close to approving a law that will create a legal framework for sending troops abroad on counterterrorism missions as Beijing seeks to address the vulnerability of the country’s growing global commercial and diplomatic interests.

Article 76 would authorize the military, as well as state and public security personnel, to conduct counterterrorism operations abroad with the approval of the “relevant country.”

05-02-2015, 01:07 AM
Seven Reasons China Will Start a War By 2017

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/04/seven_reasons_china_will_star_a_war_by_2017.html#i xzz3YwHfDmn7

Bill Moore
06-11-2015, 12:06 PM
From SWJ News Roundup today, well worth the read if you're interested in China.


China is building the most extensive global commercial-military empire in history

Yet these profiles of an allegedly grasping and treacherous China tend to consider its ambitions in disconnected pieces. What these pieces add up to is a whole latticework of infrastructure materializing around the world. Combined with the ambitious activities of Chinese companies, they are quickly growing into history’s most extensive global commercial empire.

Bob's World
06-11-2015, 02:53 PM

I ran across and read that yesterday. Very important indeed. The quote that came to mind for me is "I drank your milkshake."

In the movie "There will be Blood" (note, this is my recollection, I saw this movie once, years ago) the Daniel Day Lewis character is developing oil fields in Southern California, but one farmer refuses to negotiate on matters of principle. Finally, the farmer breaks down and goes to Lewis and says "OK, I am ready to negotiate." At which point he is told he is too late, as he had drilled all around his property and no oil was left to sell, he had "drank his milkshake."

The US is like that principled farmer. We think we are holding onto something, where in fact activities all around us are taking away the very thing we think we are preserving. At some point, we too will come to the point where we will say to China, "Ok, lets sit down and talk about how we share responsibilities and work together." To which, China will likely reply that we are too late, that they "drank our milkshake..."

Bill Moore
06-11-2015, 03:15 PM

I ran across and read that yesterday. Very important indeed. The quote that came to mind for me is "I drank your milkshake."

In the movie "There will be Blood" (note, this is my recollection, I saw this movie once, years ago) the Daniel Day Lewis character is developing oil fields in Southern California, but one farmer refuses to negotiate on matters of principle. Finally, the farmer breaks down and goes to Lewis and says "OK, I am ready to negotiate." At which point he is told he is too late, as he had drilled all around his property and no oil was left to sell, he had "drank his milkshake."

The US is like that principled farmer. We think we are holding onto something, where in fact activities all around us are taking away the very thing we think we are preserving. At some point, we too will come to the point where we will say to China, "Ok, lets sit down and talk about how we share responsibilities and work together." To which, China will likely reply that we are too late, that they "drank our milkshake..."

Classic movie, I hated capitalism for an entire day after watching it, but then I saw a Michael Moore documentary, and became a capitalist again. :D

At some point, we too will come to the point where we will say to China, "Ok, lets sit down and talk about how we share responsibilities and work together."

We have been at this point for well over a decade, it isn't due to a lack of effort on our part. I don't think today's leaders in China really want to share, they want to monopolize and dictate. They increasingly believe they have the means to do this. I can't recall what renown world politician said it (he wasn't a U.S. politician), but he argued that East Asia is the future of the world economic engine, and if the U.S. gets marginalized in this region they will no longer be an economic superpower (and everything that comes with that). Terrorism in the Middle East and Africa is important, but it doesn't come close to the level of importance of other strategic interests. We're capable of dealing with both, but we tend to act as though we can only have one priority. If we can't move past transactional national security actions to focusing on longer term strategic interests we are setting ourselves up for failure, failure will manifest self as a crisis, then we'll shift effort with no underlying strategy and start flailing at threats again.

Sharing is a nice concept that mature actors can agree to, but when decision makers (from all concerned countries) rather embrace nationalism, pride, and greed rather than compromise, then a confrontation is perhaps inevitable?

Bob's World
06-11-2015, 04:32 PM
"Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" - fortunately for the US we have a great "fence" between us and China. What is really at risk is US Influence relative to China's. We need to trust more in the fence, and focus on the competition for influence. Currently China is on a global campaign to buy a great deal of influence; meanwhile the US burns influence by the bucket in our odd perspective and response to 9/11 and subsequent political evolutions in the Greater Middle East.

It is well established that "goods follow power" - or as I prefer, "Sovereignty follows power." As power shifts between parties there will be a rebalancing of goods, and sovereign rights and duties commensurate to that shift.

I suspect China does indeed overestimate what they believe their rightful share to be based upon their current power-status. Equally, I suspect the US clings doggedly to far more than is our commensurate share. But where does one hold? How does one shift positions? Where does one give? There are no "right" answers, and any answer will be powerfully attacked by those who believe it to be the wrong answer.

So yes, we have conversations, but I suspect most begin along the lines of "While keeping the division of sovereign rights and duties just as they currently are, lets figure out how to better get along." That is not going to take us anywhere but to war.

06-11-2015, 07:32 PM
I think the situation may be worse than it appears. China pursues positive goals, that is they pursue goals that make them stronger. The USA pursues negative goals, all we do is try to block, which only spends resources with no overall gain for the USA. The company I work for is moving out of China and into Cambodia because China no longer considers them a Strategic asset to the country. Not being forced more just left to whether on the vine so to speak, no direct confrontation, but a very clear indirect message. Our CEO says that is the China way. They pursue opportunities and simply starve problems of needed resources. There is a lesson there I think!

06-16-2015, 10:06 AM
They're playing chess. We're messing with checkers.

How China Is Building the Biggest Commercial-Military Empire in History

June 9, 2015
By Steve LeVine

China’s outsized latticework of global infrastructure is said to be rooted in a fierce competitiveness learned from 19th-century America.


06-17-2015, 02:36 PM
A Chinese billionaire is building one of the world’s largest engineering projects, a canal in Nicaragua that is three times the size of world’s largest, the Panama Canal, and is estimated to cost at least $50 billion. Of the many Chinese infrastructure projects spanning the globe, the new canal seems to make the least commercial sense.


07-24-2015, 03:44 PM
The chart below features in a long NYT article, which interestingly uses Ecuador as its focus:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/26/business/international/chinas-global-ambitions-with-loans-and-strings-attached.html?


08-26-2015, 09:37 PM
Logistics matter and from Australia a short article reviewing what is happening. Rather oddly it concludes (in part) that:
The PLAN in 2015 has an adequate RAS force to support continuous far seas operations.

09-03-2015, 10:00 AM
The Pentagon has confirmed the presence of five Chinese naval vessels in the Bering Sea between Russia and Alaska, which Barack Obama is currently visiting (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/01/barack-obama-in-alaska-global-fight-against-climate-change-starts-here).....This is the first time we have observed PLAN ships in the Bering Sea.” The vessels are in international waters near the Aleutians, a chain of islands that fan out from the Alaskan mainland. The boats comprise three combat ships, an amphibious ship and a replenishment vessel.

09-04-2015, 08:24 PM
"U.S. officials were at a loss to explain the Chinese naval movements, which came as President Barack Obama was visiting Alaska and the Arctic region on a three-day trip to address climate change."



A small group of Chinese Navy ships showed up near Alaska earlier this week during President Obama’s visit to the northern state, mostly as a “we’re here” message. But then, as the Chinese People’s Liberation Army marched in a Beijing parade, someone simultaneously put out this completely nuts video of a naval attack on an American fleet, and on an American base that looks suspiciously like the one on the Japanese island of Okinawa.


09-14-2015, 09:54 PM
An offering from RAND, the full title being: The U.S.-China Military Scorecard: Forces, Geography, and the Evolving Balance of Power, 1996-2017: (http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR300/RR392/RAND_RR392.pdf)

Link: http://www.andrewerickson.com/2015/09/the-u-s-china-military-scorecard-forces-geography-and-the-evolving-balance-of-power-1996-2017/

The intro:
Over the past two decades, China’s People’s Liberation Army has transformed itself from a large but antiquated force into a capable, modern military. Its technology and operational proficiency still lag behind those of the United States, but it has rapidly narrowed the gap. Moreover, China enjoys the advantage of proximity in most plausible conflict scenarios, and geographical advantage would likely neutralize many U.S. military strengths. A sound understanding of regional military issues—including forces, geography, and the evolving balance of power—will be essential for establishing appropriate U.S. political and military policies in Asia. This RAND study analyzes the development of respective Chinese and U.S. Military capabilities in ten categories of military operations across two scenarios, one centered on Taiwan and one on the Spratly Islands. The analysis is presented in ten scorecards that assess military capabilities as they have evolved over four snapshot years: 1996, 2003, 2010, and 2017. The results show that China is not close to catching up to the United States in terms of aggregate capabilities, but also that it does not need to catch up to challenge the United States on its immediate periphery. Furthermore, although China’s ability to project power to more distant locations remains limited, its reach is growing, and in the future U.S. military dominance is likely to be challenged at greater distances from China’s coast. To maintain robust defense and deterrence capabilities in an era of fiscal constraints, the United States will need to ensure that its own operational concepts, procurement, and diplomacy anticipate future developments in Chinese military capabilities.

09-25-2015, 06:38 PM
Via FP:
he Congressional Research Service has updated two of its continuing publications on Chinese military developments. The Federation of American Scientists got its hands on the September update of analyst Ronald O'Rourke's "China Naval Modernization (http://link.foreignpolicy.com/click/5212982.30198/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5mYXMub3JnL3NncC9jcnMvcm93L1JMMzMxNT MucGRm/52543f88c16bcfa46f6e463fB390ac322): Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities," and the latest edition of "The Chinese Military (http://link.foreignpolicy.com/click/5212982.30198/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5mYXMub3JnL3NncC9jcnMvcm93L1I0NDE5Ni 5wZGY/52543f88c16bcfa46f6e463fB6f44503e): Overview and Issues for Congress."

The links hopefully work. The, unread reports are 122 and 45 pgs each.

10-01-2015, 07:17 PM
The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?
In 12 of 16 past cases in which a rising power has confronted a ruling power, the result has been bloodshed.

12-02-2015, 03:13 PM
A short BBC News film clip of the Chinese peacekeepers in Juba, South Sudan and an informative commentary:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-34976580

A few selected phrases:
China is here to win hearts and minds....This enhanced role for China beyond the marketplace, is seen by observers such as Jakkie Cilliers from the Institute of Security Studies not as an assertion of its military might but a "normalisation" of China's role in Africa.....But despite the robust language coming out of Beijing we are unlikely to see unilateral action by the most populous nation in the world. Instead China looks set to embed itself deeper into UN operations.

There is a parallel thread China's Expanding Role in Africa:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=2164

12-03-2015, 05:54 PM
IMHO a strange article from WoTR which suggests the Australian-US alliance is threatened by the Chinese ownership of the port facilities @ Darwin:http://warontherocks.com/2015/12/what-are-the-chinese-up-to-in-australia/?

Here is a sample passage:
....Australia is betting Chinese access to the Darwin Port will not strategically endanger the presence and training of Australian Defense Force (ADF) units and their American counterparts. The cost-benefit calculations of welcoming Chinese investment just a few miles from U.S. and ADF forces simply do not add up: Greater risks to national security emerge amid limited economic benefits for the Northern Territory. Speculation about whether Darwin will ultimately transition from a Chinese-managed commercial port to a clandestine hub for Chinese espionage of Australian and U.S. forces, or even more seriously, an impediment to the U.S.–Australian security relationship in use as a Chinese naval logistics facility merit closer examination, given implications for Australian and American security and defense ties.

The author overlooks the wider Sino-US relationship, yes ownership of port facilities is noteworthy, a far greater threat to US security is the PRC's ownership of so many US Treasury bonds.

12-07-2015, 07:35 PM
Good catches, those NYT articles are a fine read. Especially the one about Africa.

The author overlooks the wider Sino-US relationship, yes ownership of port facilities is noteworthy, a far greater threat to US security is the PRC's ownership of so many US Treasury bonds.

To be honest the view that Chinese investment (http://ticdata.treasury.gov/Publish/mfh.txt) into US Treasury bonds is something of a threat is at best overblown. What can they do once they bought them, sell them?

Personally one of the best strategic things happening to the US is the large amount of Chinese money streaming into the country, especially the housing market. While I understand that in some localities this causes problem for US housebuyers overall it provides an economic boost for sellers and builders and might dampen the threat of conflict as increasingly large Chinese assets are put at risk is such case. Even more so if the influx of students continues...

12-07-2015, 08:12 PM
The greatest economic story of the last four decades has been Chinese growth, which has enabled hundreds of millions to escape poverty and to embrace new opportunities. The huge benefits however came with clear costs, of which the air pollution is the most widely known (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-35026363).*

The strategic implications of China's hunger for ressources have been discussed earlier so I want to focus in the next posts on the great Chinese push in renewable energy, electric transport and related factors. Combined it wil reduce or at least dampen some energy imports, although it will hardly change the fact that China needs vast volumes of trade with the rest of the world, especially the west.

Installed Wind capacity (http://www.marketplace.org/2015/12/02/world/china-taps-faraway-frontier-renewable-energy) has become big but transmission is still problematic: (http://www.marketplace.org/2015/12/03/world/trove-coal-pushes-chinas-pollution-westward)

“China is a vast land, and here in Xinjiang, we’re very far away from the rest of the country,” Zhu said. “We need transmission to send this electricity thousands of miles away.”

Zhu points to the south, where Goldwind has just built nearly a hundred top-of-the-line turbines. The fierce wind blows through them, too, but their blades aren’t turning. Goldwind is waiting for China’s electrical grid to catch up.

The government’s building five ultra-high transmission lines in Xinjiang to send this energy to the places that need it, but it will take time. “A huge transmission line takes three to five years to build, but a wind farm only takes a year to build, said former Goldwind CEO Yu Wuming.

And that’s why, said Goldwind’s Zhu Xinxiang, 40 percent of the electricity generated by Dabancheng in the past year went nowhere. The energy could have powered a million homes, preventing air pollution and reducing China’s carbon footprint, but there weren’t transmission lines in place to carry it all

China has invested more then any country in HVDC lines but there is still much work to be done.


China has vastly expended it's wind capacity and is currently likely World leader however the grid problems will hold energy production greatly back which is a big problem from ROI to pollution.

All in all wind generation greatly profits from the technological developments of the last years and the sparsely populated interior regions should increasingly provide the densly populated coastal East with electricity.


Higher gross capacity will in the long run lessen the storage problem and should push prices down.

The two graphics come from the excellent blog of Ramez Naam (http://rameznaam.com/blog/).

*It is important to point out that heavy industries and heating with coal had a devastating impact on Chinese cities already fifty years ago, think early late 19th century Europe.

12-10-2015, 09:19 PM
Forget to post the wind potential of China. Obviously such maps should be just taken as a very rough guide at a more or less current state of technology. Developments as those outlined above increase the capacity per area.


The growth of Wind power can be better illustrated with a graph:


That Solar starts to shares some of the problems (http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/china-idled-9-of-its-solar-capacity-in-h1-2015--nea-reports_100020373/#axzz3txDiP84u) of Wind is a sign of the times:

Around 9% of China’s solar PV capacity was forced to sit idle for the first six months of 2015, NEA reports, with the northwestern regions of Gansu and Xinjiang home to the majority of dormant generators.

As the pace of renewable electricity capacity accelerates, some sections of the Chinese grid have been unable to absorb the new generation adequately, forcing authority bodies to either delay solar PV connection or leave idle those solar farms that cannot be satisfactorily integrated into the grid.

Of course this also happens to some fossil plants but the nature of renewables with a high initial investment and free energy input make such grid problems a lot riskier for the investors.


Growth has been strong indeed (http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2015/10/china-s-solar-pv-sector-achieves-rapid-growth-amid-global-economic-downturn.html):

According to the latest statistics from China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), installed capacity for the country’s PV power generation reached 37.95 GW as of the end of September, with 31.70 GW provided by PV power stations and 6.25 GW coming from distributed PV power projects. For the nine months, the country added 9.9 GW of PV power generation capacity, an increase of 161 percent when compared with the same period of a year earlier. The amount includes 8.32 GW from PV power stations and 1.58 GW from distributed PV power projects.

I don't know of course the specifics of the Chinese dealmaking but I found the return on investment rather interesting:

China Photovoltaic Industry Association chairman Gao Jifan explained that, throughout the whole industry chain, the internal rate of return for development projects at China’s PV power stations has been ranging between 8 percent and 10 percent, significantly higher than the average level for the manufacturing sector overall.

There is no doubt that China could in the long run replace fossil fuel and even nuclear with renewables when it comes to the production of electricity. It's a question of rather simple math and investmentsm into a process which will take time. But what about heating and transport?

12-28-2015, 08:48 PM
Transport has also undergone a massive transformation in the last decades, be it by air or land, car or train, bicycle or electroscooter. And indeed China has led the world in two-wheeled electromobility, with around 200 million electric two-wheelers moving now mostly people through it's cities and villages.

2015 has been the year where China, the world's largest car market, also took the lead (no pun intended) in electric cars with up to 250000 units sold.

01-02-2016, 12:06 AM
BEIJING - China has created three new military units and will update equipment as well as modernising its command structure, state media said on Friday, as part of a major overhaul of the armed forces announced by President Xi Jinping in November.

Xi's push to reform the military coincides with China becoming more assertive in its territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas. China's navy is investing in submarines and aircraft carriers and its air force is developing stealth fighters.

At a ceremony on Thursday, Xi inaugurated a new general command unit for the army, a missile force and a strategic support force for People's Liberation Army (PLA), state news agency Xinhua said.

State television showed Xi handing over a large red flag to Li Zuocheng, the new head of the land command force. Li was previously commander of the key Chengdu military region, which includes restless and strategically vital Tibet.

The missile force is taking over from the Second Artillery Corps to control the country's nuclear arsenal but keeping the same commander, Wei Fenghe.

Xinhua said Xi urged the new unit to "enhance nuclear deterrence and counter-strike capacity, medium- and long-range precision strike ability, as well as strategic check-and-balance capacity to build a strong and modern Rocket Force".

His reforms include establishing a joint operational command structure by 2020 and rejigging existing military regions, as well as cutting troop numbers by 300,000, a surprise announcement he made in September.

In a separate report listing the powerful Central Military Commission's recommendations on the reform process, Xinhua said the troop cuts will focus on non-combat personnel.

Phasing out old equipment and developing new weaponry as well as reducing the number of models operated will be another big feature of the reforms, Xinhua said.

China has been moving rapidly to upgrade its military hardware, but integration of complex systems across a regionalised command structure has been a major challenge.

The troop cuts and broader reform programme have proven controversial, though, and the military's newspaper has published a series of commentaries warning of opposition to the reforms and concern about job losses.

Xi has also made rooting out deeply entrenched corruption in the military a top priority, and dozens of senior officers have been investigated and jailed. —Reuters
- See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/549732/news/world/china-creates-three-new-military-units-in-push-to-modernise-army#sthash.g2Af9tjl.dpuf

01-07-2016, 04:48 PM
China's jittery investors/speculators and the opaque regulators with rather counterproductive, often-changing rules offer a first-class movie.


Great stuff. Overall the service factor seems to do very well, put the index is mostly composed by SOE, among them many manufactores. But then again value and price are two different concepts and not necessarily tied closely together, at any rate not in the Chinese stock market.

Lots of movement in the reserves and the currencies, too...

01-30-2016, 06:15 PM
China's controversial campaign to hunt down alleged white-collar criminals living abroad netted 857 fugitives last year, the country's public security ministry said....Of those repatriated last year, 366 turned themselves in, the ministry said in a statement on its website late Wednesday -- implying that nearly 500 were seized against their will. The wanted individuals were returned from 66 countries and regions, the ministry said, including the United States, Spain and Italy, and over 70 percent had lived outside China for five years or more.
Link:http://www.iphone.afp.com/afpv3/AFP_V3/News/JI/D4/newsmlmmd.urn.newsml.afp.com.20160128.doc.7g9kn.ht m

It would be interesting to know if any of those "visited" by Chinese representatives and not persuaded / seized later were legally extradited. How many nations would decline a request?

Bill Moore
02-06-2016, 07:33 PM

After the Rise: China Enters Uncharted Waters

Although its previously explosive economic growth has slowed, China’s growing geopolitical clout continues to reshape the balance of power, regionally and beyond. From its relations with the U.S. and its aggressive actions in the South China Sea, to its regional foreign policy and economic prospects, China remains a mixed bag of promise, risk and uncertainty.

The article summarizes many challenges that China presents to the regional and global order. I only pasted one of these challenges below.

New Order: China’s Challenge to the Global Financial System

China is an economic titan, but until recently, its impressive rise had not been accompanied by a vision to reshape the global economic order, Daniel McDowell wrote last April. However, with the introduction of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the promotion of the yuan as a global currency, that began to change, as Beijing slowly works to revise foundational elements of the U.S.-led economic order.

02-12-2016, 01:54 PM
Taiwan was once the principal target of China’s hybrid warfare activities. Not any more, says Michael Raska. Members of the European Union have also become the focus of Beijing’s strategic influence operations, especially those countries that are part of China’s 16+1 regional cooperation formula.


TR Dussman
02-21-2016, 05:17 PM
New Tensions in the South China Sea by James Holmes/Reuters/19Feb2016. See:http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/02/19/what-makes-just-16-missiles-such-a-deadly-threat-in-the-south-china-sea/

In a move that should surprise precisely no one, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has positioned surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) on one of its South China Sea islands — namely Woody Island, home to Sansha, the administrative capital for the islands, atolls, and other geographic features Beijing claims in the Paracels and Spratlys. For Beijing this move makes eminent sense on many levels: it constitutes yet another reply to American and Southeast Asian challenges to its claims of “indisputable sovereignty” over most of the South China Sea.

For a 19th-century Prussian take on the situation, think about Carl von Clausewitz’s definition of war. War, opines the West’s master of strategy, is essentially fighting, while fighting in turn is “a trial of moral and physical forces through the medium of the latter.” That is, it’s a test of wills settled through deploying manpower and hardware for battlefield encounters. Whoever prevails by force of arms wins — and breaks the enemy’s resolve to continue the fight in the process. Battlefield victory begets strategic and political success.

A war of words, on the other hand, might be described as a trial of moral and physical forces through the medium of perceived physical force. To prevail in a peacetime showdown, convince the opponent and influential outsiders that you would have won in actual combat. Do that — make believers out of important audiences — and you may reap the rewards of victory without enduring the hazards, costs, and sheer caprice of combat. You may win without fighting — as sane leaders everywhere want to.

The missile deployment represents Beijing’s way of trying to make Asian and Western competitors believers in the PLA’s unbeatable martial prowess. Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense reported spotting two batteries of eight HQ-9 missiles apiece, along with the associated search and fire-control radars. Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the Hawaii-based U.S. Pacific Command, confirmed the report while condemning China’s “militarization” of South China Sea waters and skies — something China’s President Xi Jinping has vowed not to do. Harris’ words corroborate the reporting out of Taipei convincingly.

But what does it all mean? Start with the obvious: this is a weapons system that packs a wallop. The Woody Island deployment spells danger for hostile air forces that venture within a sizable bubble above and around Woody Island. The HQ-9’s maximum range of 200 km, or about 124 miles, traces the outer reaches of that bubble, which encloses some 48,300 square miles of sea area — about the same land area as my former home state of Mississippi — centered on the island. That empowers HQ-9s to bring down aircraft anywhere over the Paracels group — including over Triton Island, where USS Curtis Wilbur staged a “freedom-of-navigation” cruise last month. These lethal “birds” could make short work of the helicopters operated by surface ships like Curtis Wilbur.

That should give American skippers pause before defying Chinese challenges to freedom of the seas — one of which is the freedom to operate aircraft outside coastal states’ territorial seas, namely anywhere more than 12 nautical miles offshore. The HQ-9 is a Frankenmissile. A close cousin to Russia’s S-300 — a missile that keeps American and allied aviators awake nights — it allegedly incorporates technology from U.S. Army Patriot SAMs as well. China reportedly obtained a Patriot from Israel following the first Gulf War, studied it, and used its findings to improve the HQ-9 during the research and development phase. China is the Borg of military affairs: it strives constantly to add foreigners’ technological distinctiveness to its own, making PLA weaponry more lethal than it otherwise might be.

But it would be a mistake to interpret Woody Island’s HQ-9s as a standalone weapons system. Sure, 16 missiles constitutes a potent deterrent to Southeast Asian air forces, which field small numbers of tactical aircraft — many of which are technologically backward. The Vietnam People’s Air Force, to name one such force, boasts an impressive-looking force of 217 Russian-built MiG and Sukhoi fighter aircraft. Of those, however, fully 144 are MiG-21s — Soviet planes that first took to the skies in 1955. These antique warbirds would make easy pickings for HQ-9s. Or, Chinese air defenses could take down a sizable fraction of Vietnam’s more modern, 73-plane inventory should Hanoi hurl them into the fray. The prospect of losing one-fifth of Vietnam’s air force in an afternoon could certainly deter.

It doesn’t stop there, however. PLA commanders’ goal is to erect an increasingly dense thicket of defenses against ships, aircraft, and missiles spanning areas China considers its own. Anti-ship missiles stationed along the mainland’s shorelines can already strike throughout the South China Sea. Land-based, missile-armed aircraft are part of the mix, as are missile-armed surface craft and submarines. So is China’s nascent force of aircraft carriers.h Missile batteries deployed to all Chinese-held islands — naturally occurring, like Woody Island, or manufactured, like Mischief Reef — would integrate with such weaponry, creating overlapping fields of fire. In other words, ships or planes entering China’s no-go zone would face multiple threats along multiple axes. Commanders would think twice before hazarding precious assets and crews in Southeast Asia — and might abjure the attempt altogether.

If so, Beijing will have upheld its territorial claims without fighting. By making believers out of prospective foes, it will have vindicated its indisputable sovereignty in the South China Sea. Sovereignty, at its most basic, means physical control of territory and airspace within certain lines inscribed on the map. Physical supremacy in the South China Sea would let Beijing dictate the rules whereby ships and aircraft pass through regional waters and skies. It would also let Beijing reserve the right to close Southeast Asian sea routes to foreign shipping should it see the need — making one of the world’s great nautical thoroughfares a no-go zone.

So enough with the ###-for-tat debate over who militarized what in Southeast Asia. Navies are the guardians of freedom of the sea. When someone lodges unlawful claims, navies flout those claims to keep them from calcifying into international practice and, perhaps, into customary international law. China, therefore, can always claim America was the first to militarize the South China Sea controversy — a controversy that China itself created by challenging freedom of the seas. If Beijing won this point, it’s a trivial one. It’s doubtful anyone will buy the narrative that a hegemonic United States is bullying poor little China.

And on and on the Clausewitzian dialogue by displays of force will go. To reply to China’s HQ-9 challenge, the United States and its Asian allies must demonstrate that they can exercise maritime freedoms despite the worst the PLA can throw at them. They should also ponder how to prove that they could take down Chinese missile sites should the worst come. If they do that, they may make believers of the Chinese and other observers—and bolster their likelihood of deterring future Chinese misconduct.

05-09-2016, 04:24 PM
From an IISS Strategic Comment, it starts with:
Amid the troubles visible in China’s economy, statistical problems and anomalies are rising to the surface, bringing into doubt some bedrock economic indicators. Arguably the most important of these is China’s vaunted trade surplus. A large gap between payments recorded by China’s banks and the value of imports and exports reported by Customs has led several economists to wonder publicly how to measure China’s trade volumes. It is already well established that hundreds of billions of dollars in ‘hot money’ flows through the trade account. It is also well known that banks do not make payments in trade with reference to General Administration of Customs (GAC) documentation, so there is good reason for the numbers to differ. Balance of payments data shows that, in net terms, money is leaving China despite the reported surplus. But few have systematically questioned or examined the trade surplus.It ends with:
Only with last summer’s stock-market debacle did scepticism about the Chinese economy and financial picture become predominant. But even that failed to prepare the world for a full reassessment of China’s economy. Large trade discrepancies are one troubling aspect of the uncertainty surrounding China. They make a currency crisis, once unthinkable, look more likely. In turn, such a crisis could reveal that much of what investors and analysts thought they knew about China’s economy – from its export power to its foreign-exchange reserves, from the health of its banks to the size of its GDP – has been substantially overstated.Link, full text is behind a pay-wall:http://www.iiss.org/en/publications/strategic%20comments/sections/2016-e7c1/china-economy-99a6

05-09-2016, 05:48 PM
China Will Probably Implode - The National Interest (http://nationalinterest.org/feature/china-will-probably-implode-16088?page=show)

05-13-2016, 05:17 PM
China Will Probably Implode - The National Interest (http://nationalinterest.org/feature/china-will-probably-implode-16088?page=show)

Not like that hasn't happened before... (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/china/history-republic-warlords.htm)

06-15-2016, 09:39 PM
A 16 pgs report by ECFR which:
argues that, after decades of hiding behind the rhetoric of non-interference, China has undergone a paradigm shift in its thinking. This is spurred by two motives: the wish to build its reputation as a good global citizen, and the wish to protect its interests on the continent – both investments and the lives of the over 1 million Chinese nationals based there.Link to paper:http://www.ecfr.eu/page/-/Into_Africa_China%E2%80%99s_global_security_shift_ PDF_1135.pdf

06-25-2016, 04:46 PM
Raffaello Pantucci (RUSI) watches Central Asia closely and opens a series of five articles on http://www.eurasianet.org. (http://www.eurasianet.org.)

Opens with:
EurasiaNet is running a series this week looking at the state of relations between China and the five nations of former Soviet Central Asia. China expert Raffaello Pantucci opens the series with a survey of China’s role in the region. China’s rise in Central Asia marks one of the most consequential changes in regional geopolitics since the turn of the century.

11-19-2016, 02:40 PM
A British academic SME on China has this short comment; which opens with:
Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency was followed with amazement and apprehension across East Asia. China in particular was on tenterhooks – and now it needs to figure out what to do.Link:https://theconversation.com/china-grapples-with-the-mixed-blessing-of-a-trump-victory-68625? (https://theconversation.com/china-grapples-with-the-mixed-blessing-of-a-trump-victory-68625?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Weekend%20Conversation%20-%206124&utm_content=The%20Weekend%20Conversation%20-%206124+CID_89598f5c5f329b77db6289f8663ceb7e&utm_source=campaign_monitor_uk&utm_term=China%20grapples%20with%20the%20mixed%20b lessing%20of%20a%20Trump%20victory)

Can the USA co-operate with PRC once President Trump is in office? Trade is more than export/import and buying US Treasury debt.

12-15-2016, 10:23 PM
A 2015 IISS Adelphi paper 'China's Strong Arm: Protecting Citizens and Assets Abroad', which ably explains the many changes in this policy area.

From the IISS website:
China has long adhered to a principle of ‘non-interference’ in other states’ affairs. However, as more of its companies have been investing in projects overseas, and millions of its nationals are travelling abroad, Beijing is finding itself progressively involved in other countries – through the need to protect these interests and citizens.

Fascinating to learn that China does not keep a register of its citizens working and living abroad. It may after the evacuation from Libya, it expected just under 4k and found 36k.

Plus pointing out that the PLA infantry battalion in South Sudan, it's first combat assignment, was deployed in Juba a long way from where a state-owned company operates oilfields.

There is a standard chapter on Pakistan and the Mekong River piracy protection development, but Africa is the main focus. Who knew an estimated 200k Chinese are in Angola?

There is an old thread, closed in 2011, on China protecting its investments abroad.

12-16-2016, 04:38 PM
Reuters: http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN14526J

A Chinese Navy warship has seized an underwater drone deployed by an American oceanographic vessel in international waters in the South China Sea, triggering a formal demarche from the United States and a demand for its return, a U.S. defense official told Reuters on Friday.

The incident -- the first of its kind in recent memory -- took place on Dec. 15 northwest of Subic Bay just as the USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic survey ship, was about to retrieve the unmanned, underwater vehicle (UUV), the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

01-11-2017, 11:18 AM
Via Defence in Depth an insight into China in space and ends with the "up's and down's":
The growing Chinese orbital behemoth, like America’s celestial leviathan, is a fount of economic and technological momentum, as well as a source of simultaneous vulnerability and resilience depending on the space systems relied upon and threated. Although China has continued its space weapons development on a steady course in the past ten years, it has been hard at work launching many more targets of its own into outer space.


01-15-2017, 12:01 AM
The aircraft carrier is the most capable offshore warship ever built. It is considered a symbol of national and naval strength, and thus an indispensable part of China’s dream of building itself into a maritime power.
This made the first open-sea training exercise of China’s sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, quite significant. Its voyage into the western Pacific has been a milestone for the nation’s navy, which has more a history of humiliation than of glory.
It’s the first time the vessel, which was commissioned in 2012, has ventured into distant waters, passing by Taiwan twice on its journey in the South China Sea


China’s first aircraft carrier formation which moved close to Taiwan and conducted drills in the disputed South China Sea has returned to Qingdao port after finishing exercises and testing combat-capability, the Chinese navy has said. Comprised of aircraft carrier Liaoning, a number of destroyers, some J-15 carrier-based fighter jets and helicopters, the fleet sailed through the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the South China sea, it said.
The formation, which set off on Christmas day, passed through the Miyakato, Bashi and Taiwan straits, according to the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Taiwan protectively rushed fighter jests and naval ships.


01-20-2017, 02:44 PM
Initially, it's believed that the Sharp Sword will be used for reconnaissance in areas with dense air defense networks, as well as tailing foreign warships. As the Chinese develops a familiarity with the Sharp Sword, it could be used for combat operations as a "first through the door" weapon against highly defended, high-value targets, as well as an aerial tanker for other drones and carrier aircraft (akin to plans for the U.S. MQ-25). There is even the possibility of carrier version for China's planned next generation of catapult equipped aircraft carriers.


01-20-2017, 05:53 PM
On Jack Ma (http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/18/chinese-billionaire-jack-ma-says-the-us-wasted-trillions-on-warfare-instead-of-investing-in-infrastructure.html)

It's not that other countries steal jobs from you guys…It's your strategy. Distribute the money and things in a proper way.

Does Jack mean for America’s leading 10,000 families? Is Trump not promulgating an approach to international trade that is self-interested rather than principled?

The American multinational companies made millions and millions of dollars from globalization…The past 30 years, IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, they've made tens of millions — the profits they've made are much more than the four Chinese banks put together. ... But where did the money go?

It went to shareholders, Jack. Where does Alibaba’s money go. To the poor serfs of western China? Hardly.

You're supposed to spend money on your own people…Not everybody can pass Harvard, like me…As a business person, I want the world to share the prosperity together.

No, Jack. You’re worried about the gravy train ending for China. Already, China is outsourcing to Ethiopia, Vietnam and Malaysia. We’ll see how long the CPC has the “mandate of heaven” when only millionaires and billionaires are left…

On Xi (http://www.economist.com/news/china/21715035-does-he-really-want-be-global-leader-xi-jinping-portrays-china-rock-stability)

No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war…[China]…will keep its door wide open and not close it

It’s almost as if Xi is defending the status quo that he wants so desperately to revise…How curious.

[The Paris Agreement is] a responsibility we must assume for future generations

Well, look no further than the smog of Beijing to see how the CPC handles its responsibility. Given that China has deprived itself of future generations, this remark is laughable.

02-26-2017, 07:24 PM
In recent years, China has moved aggressively to increase its power projection capabilities through the rapid modernization of its navy. Military spending has soared, with Beijing’s defense budget expected to reach $233 billion by 2020, more than all Western European countries combined, and double the figure from 2010, according to Jane’s Defense Weekly. In 2016, the United States spent more than $622 billion on the military, Jane’s said.
These days, Chinese naval vessels, including nuclear submarines, roam much of the globe, from contested waters of the Yellow Sea to Sri Lanka and San Diego.
China’s decision to establish an overseas military installation comes as little surprise to those who have watched Beijing steadily jettison a decades-old principle of noninterference in the affairs of other countries.


03-03-2017, 08:53 PM
RUSI hosted this recent conference: 'RUSI International Sea Powers Conference: A European Net Assessment of the PLA(N)' and the Abstract is breathless:https://rusi.org/conference/rusi-international-sea-powers-conference-european-net-assessment-plan

There is a video (42 mins, skip the first 5mins)with two speakers:
Vice Admiral Umio Otsuka, President, Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Command and Staff College, and Dr Peter Roberts, Director, Military Sciences, RUSI on the growth and strategic capabilities of the Chinese Navy.There's also a month old RUSI commentary by Dr Roberts:https://rusi.org/commentary/china%E2%80%99s-500-ship-navy-suddenly-appears-horizon

03-04-2017, 01:06 PM
China says it will increase military spending by about 7% this year, just days after Donald Trump outlined a boost to the US defence budget.
The scheduled announcement was made ahead of the annual National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing.
China has been modernising its armed forces recently as its economy expands.
China's announced defence budget remains smaller than that of the US. But many China observers argue the real figure could be much higher.


03-21-2017, 03:51 PM
Not watching the region or China that closely I missed the significance of China watching, if not following Singapore's way ahead. This article explains and adds it is not all "happy":http://nationalinterest.org/feature/singapores-success-continues-inspire-china-19822

04-03-2017, 01:23 PM
Chinese Navy's indigenous Aircraft Carrier on schedule for April 23 launch

05-12-2017, 06:04 PM
China's Spending $500 Billion to Reshape the World in Its Image

China is one of the few countries in the world today with money to spend, and Xi Jinping is ready to write some checks. China’s president will host almost 30 world leaders in Beijing on Sunday at the first Belt and Road Forum, the centerpiece of a soft-power push backed by hundreds of billions of dollars for infrastructure projects. More than 100 countries on five continents have signed up, showing the demand for global economic cooperation despite rising protectionism in the U.S. and Europe


05-15-2017, 12:55 PM
OVER the weekend Xi Jinping welcomed 28 heads of state and government to Beijing for a coming-out party, which continues today, to celebrate the “belt and road” initiative, his most ambitious foreign policy. Launched in 2013 as “one belt, one road”, it involves China underwriting billions of dollars of infrastructure investment in countries along the old Silk Road linking it with Europe. The ambition is immense. China is spending roughly $150bn a year in the 68 countries that have signed up to the scheme. The summit meeting (called a forum) has attracted the largest number of foreign dignitaries to Beijing since the Olympic Games in 2008. Yet few European leaders are showing up. For the most part they have ignored the implications of China’s initiative. What are those implications and is the West right to be sanguine?

http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2017/05/economist-explains-11?fsrc=scn%2Ffb%2Fte%2Fbl%2Fed%2Fwhatischinasbelt androadinitiative

05-15-2017, 01:33 PM
On Sunday, China began laying out its grand vision to the world for reviving the ancient Silk Road, attempting to issue in a new era where camel caravans have been replaced by cargo trains and treasure galleons replaced by freighters laden with socks and gadgets, all emanating from the Middle Kingdom.
In a 45-minute address opening the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a glossy overview of the historically-inspired "One Belt, One Road" initiative he launched back in 2013 to expand trade links between Asia, Europe, Africa and beyond. In his speech, Xi called the initiative the "project of the century" which promises to usher forth a new "golden age" of globalization.
"The glory of the ancient silk routes shows that geographical distance is not insurmountable. If we take the first courageous step towards each other, we can embark on a path leading to friendship, shared development, peace, harmony and a better future," Xi proclaimed.
In this ambitious trillion-dollar effort spanning countries and continents, Xi vowed during his speech that China would provide $125 billion of funding, $9 billion of which will go as aid to developing countries that join the global scheme.


06-28-2017, 12:16 PM
BEIJING (AP) -- China's increasingly powerful navy launched its most advanced domestically produced destroyer on Wednesday, at a time of rising competition with other naval powers such as the United States, Japan and India.
The first 10,000-ton Type 055 entered the water at Shanghai's Jiangnan Shipyard on Wednesday morning, the navy said in a statement.
It said the ship is equipped with the latest air, missile, ship and submarine defense systems. China is believed to be planning to produce four of the ships.


07-12-2017, 05:01 PM
China began construction of a logistics base in strategically located Djibouti last year that will resupply naval vessels taking part in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia, in particular.

This will be China’s first overseas naval base, although Beijing officially terms it a logistics facility.

Xinhua said in a short report late on Tuesday the ships had departed from Zhanjiang in southern China “to set up a support base in Djibouti”.

08-23-2017, 12:06 PM
Hat tip to WoTR for having an Indian analyst, from India, contribute this wide-ranging review of the impact of the PRC's base - being built - in Djibouti:
Beijing’s new base in Djibouti marks the start of a longer-term enterprise aimed at embedding China into the geopolitics of the Indian Ocean.There is a curious part on how should India react, even advocating a naval response in the Western Pacific.

There are African aspects to the base, background maybe found on this thread:China's Expanding Role in Africa (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/China's Expanding Role in Africa)

09-07-2017, 11:47 AM
BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s air force has carried out exercises near the Korean peninsula, practicing to defend against a “surprise attack” coming over the sea, Chinese state media said.
The exercises came days after North Korea’s sixth, and most powerful, nuclear test fueled global concern that the isolated nation plans more weapons tests, possibly of a long-range missile.
An anti-aircraft defense battalion held the exercises early on Tuesday, near the Bohai Sea, the innermost gulf of the Yellow Sea that separates China from the Korean peninsula, an official military website said.
Troops traveled to the site from central China before immediately beginning drills to fend off the “surprise attack” simulating real battle, it said.


10-06-2017, 01:24 AM
U.S. Intelligence Sees China's Military Expanding Bases Globally

China’s first overseas military base in the small African country of Djibouti is “probably the first of many” the country intends to build around the world, which could bring its interests into conflict with the U.S., according to American intelligence officials. “China has the fastest-modernizing military in the world next to the United States,” according to insights provided Thursday by U.S. intelligence officials, who asked not to be identified discussing the information.


10-13-2017, 10:31 AM
The title is from a short quote by the late Singaporean leader Lee Kwan Yew of China’s rise, in full it was:
It is not possible to pretend that this is just another big player. This is the biggest player in the history of the world.Now who said this?:
Taking the long view, we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations, there to nurture its fantasies, cherish its hates and threaten its neighbours.The BBC's China Editor has a profile of President Xi Jinping’s, where she concludes:
Xi’s China has so far married great wealth with great repression. If he continues to cage his tigers, clean up his comrades and silence discordant voices, the existential questions may be for others. Not since Chairman Mao has China’s dream of greatness rested so heavily on one man.Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/Thoughts_Chairman_Xi

10-20-2017, 08:14 AM
BEIJING has outlined plans to become the world’s biggest superpower within the next 30 years.
Opening a five-yearly national congress, Chinese President Xi Jinping set out his time frame for the country to become a “global leader” with international influence.
In his 3 ½ hour speech, Mr Xi urged a reinvigorated Communist Party to take a stronger role in society and economic development to better address the nation’s “grim” challenges.
Speaking in the massive Great Hall of the People near Tiananmen Square, Mr Xi laid out his vision of a ruling party that served as the vanguard for everything from defending national security to providing moral guidance.
He also called for the party not only to safeguard China’s sovereignty but also to revitalise Chinese culture, oppose “erroneous” ideology and promote religion that is “Chinese in orientation”.

Senior analyst in defence strategy and capability at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Dr Malcolm Davis, told news.com.au Mr Xi’s message was loud and clear.
Dr Davis said Beijing wanted to replace the US as the world’s dominant superpower, an idea many people have dismissed as absurd as recently as a few years ago.*
“China just doesn’t want to be a just regional superpower, it wants to be the superpower,” he said.
Dr Davis said Beijing wanted to challenge US supremacy and reshape the region according to China’s interests and economic development.
However, he acknowledged China faced several domestic challenges which stood in the way of its long-term goal, including suppression of democracy and freedom of speech.
Dr Davis also said Beijing faced a huge demographic problem with an increasing ageing population and declining birthrate.
This, in turn, would further impact on economic growth.

* Unless you'd been following along at SWJ.

10-25-2017, 01:06 PM
Get Ready for an Imperial China
Investors need to wake up to a leader with a very different vision for China

See also http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-41746245

12-11-2017, 06:17 PM
An IISS event last month with Professor Graham Allison talking about his new book (published May 2017) and entitled 'China and the United States: destined for war?'. There is a recording to listen to (68 mins).

The book is 'Destined for War: Can America and China Escape the Thucydides Trap?' and on Amazon USA as a 'best seller', where the summary ends with:
explains why Thucydides’s Trap is the best lens for understanding U.S.-China relations in the twenty-first century. Through uncanny historical parallels and war scenarios, he shows how close we are to the unthinkable. Yet, stressing that war is not inevitable, Allison also reveals how clashing powers have kept the peace in the past — and what painful steps the United States and China must take to avoid disaster today.Link with 150 reviews and mainly 5*:https://www.amazon.com/Destined-War-America-Escape-Thucydidess/dp/0544935276/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1513016040&sr=1-1&keywords=Destined+for+War%3A+Can+America+and+China +Escape+the+Thucydides+Trap%3F

Bill Moore
12-14-2017, 09:10 AM
Of course we would like to avoid the trap, but the trend line remains negative.


Li Kexin, a minister of the Chinese Embassy, warned that the day a US warship visits Kaohsiung will be the day the People’s Liberation Army reclaims Taiwan, when asked to comment on a law passed by the US Congress that authorizes port calls by the US Navy to the island.

Taipei-based Liberty Times, however, said that symbolic posturing aside, Chinese warplanes were unlikely to make further provocations, such as by flying far inland above major Taiwanese cities.

That assessment soon drew a backlash on the mainland, with Beijing’s mouthpiece Global Times prodding the PLA to conduct direct flyovers of towns and cities on the island, even above Taipei.

Heck, why we're all getting the nationalistic feeling revved up and huffing and puffing, I recommend parking 7th Fleet in Taiwan's ports and daring China to do something about it.

12-29-2017, 12:07 PM
According to a U.S. government source who described recent intelligence assessments on the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) on the condition of anonymity, China recently conducted two tests of a new missile known as the DF-17.
The first test took place on November 1 and the second test took place on November 15. The November 1 test was the first Chinese ballistic missile test to take place after the conclusion of the first plenum of the Communist Party of China’s 19th Party Congress in October.

Parts of the U.S. intelligence community assess that the DF-17 is a medium-range system, with a range capability between 1,800 and 2,500 kilometers. The missile is expected to be capable of delivering both nuclear and conventional payloads and may be capable of being configured to deliver a maneuverable reentry vehicle instead of an HGV.
Most of the missile’s flight time during the November 1 flight test was powered by the HGV during the glide phase, the source said. The missile successfully made impact at a site in Xinjiang Province, outside Qiemo, “within meters” of the intended target, the source added.

The DF-17, per current U.S. intelligence assessments, is expected to reach initial operating capability around 2020.
“Although hypersonic glide vehicles and missiles flying non-ballistic trajectories were first proposed as far back as World War II, technological advances are only now making these systems practicable,” Vice Admiral James Syring, director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, remarked in June, during a testimony before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee.

Hypersonic gliders, by virtue of their low-altitude flight, present challenges to existing radar sensor technology enabling missile defenses. By flying at a low altitude instead of reentering from a much higher apogee on a ballistic trajectory, adversary radars would detect HGVs with less time for an interception to take place before the payload can reach its target.
HGVs, however, are considerably slower in the final stages of their flight than most reentry vehicles on a ballistic trajectory. This may leave them vulnerable to interception by advanced terminal point defense systems.
In a report detailing new ballistic and cruise missile threats to the U.S. released this year, the U.S. National Air and Space Intelligence Center observed that “Hypersonic glide vehicles delivered by ballistic missile boosters are an emerging threat that will pose new challenges to missile defense systems.”


See also

01-01-2018, 07:21 AM

01-05-2018, 11:07 AM
Beijing has stepped up pressure on Taiwan and relations have become increasingly frosty since Tsai took office in May last year, as she refuses to acknowledge Taiwan is part of "one China".
China views self-ruling Taiwan as part of its territory, to be reunified at some point.
Tsai warned that China's frequent air and naval drills showed that "its intentions for military expansion in the region are getting more and more obvious".
According to Taiwan's defence ministry, Chinese warplanes conducted 25 drills around Taiwan between August 2016 and mid-December this year.
The latest known drill took place on December 20 when several Chinese planes, including fighters and bombers, passed through the Bashi Channel south of Taiwan to the Pacific and back.
Earlier this year, China sent its only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, through the Taiwan Strait during a drill as a show of strength, but it did not enter Taiwanese waters.


01-10-2018, 12:33 PM
Roughly 33 percent of the PLAAF and PLANAF’s combat aircraft are old second-generation fighters of limited combat value against peer opponents, save perhaps in swarming attacks. Another 28 percent include strategic bombers and more capable but dated third-generation designs. Finally, 38 percent are fourth-generation fighters that can theoretically hold their own against peers like the F-15 and F-16. Stealth fighters account for 1 percent. However, the technical capabilities of aircraft are just half the story; at least as important are training, organizational doctrine and supporting assets ranging from satellite recon to air-refueling tankers, ground-based radars and airborne command posts.


01-12-2018, 03:47 PM
An AP article that starts with Pakistan and goes much further afield, e.g. Tanzania.

01-13-2018, 07:31 AM
Chinese authorities have demolished a well-known Christian megachurch, inflaming long-standing tensions between religious groups and the Communist Party.
Witnesses and overseas activists said the paramilitary People's Armed Police used dynamite and excavators to destroy the Golden Lampstand Church, which has a congregation of more than 50,000, in the city of Linfen in Shaanxi province.
ChinaAid, a US-based Christian advocacy group, said local authorities planted explosives in an underground worship hall to demolish the building following, constructed with nearly $2.6m (£1.9m) in contributions from local worshippers in one of China's poorest regions.


Bill Moore
01-13-2018, 07:29 PM
This is the second church they destroyed in recent days. Behavior that is one step removed from ISIS, but at least they're not killing Christians in large numbers yet. This is a sign of communist party weakness, but weak often means dangerous. Xi also told the military recently not to be afraid to die for China. You can follow the bread crumbs to the logical conclusion, or ignore them like Chamberlain ignored Hitler.

01-29-2018, 11:59 AM
BEIJING — American and European companies involved in joint ventures with state-owned Chinese firms have been asked in recent months to give internal Communist Party cells an explicit role in decision-making, executives and business groups say.
It is, they say, a worrying demand that threatens to put politics before profits, and the interests of the party above all other considerations. It suggests that foreign companies are no longer exempt from President Xi Jinping’s overarching vision of complete control.
“The creeping intrusion by the party apparatus into the boardrooms of foreign-invested enterprises has not yet manifested itself on a large scale, but things are certainly going down that path,” said James Zimmerman, a managing partner of the law firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton and former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, who is instructing clients to “push back.”
The party’s demand would give its cells a formal role in approving management decisions, such as investment plans or personnel changes. And that is ringing alarm bells.


01-29-2018, 12:48 PM
Almost amusing, even if other nations also seek to learn, this Chinese gift may harm how African nations see China:
In 2012, the Chinese government “graciously offered” African States a gift and constructed the African Union’s HQ in Addis Ababa. The act of soft diplomacy proved to be a rather self-serving maneuver to spy on the activities and discussions being conducted by leaders of the exclusive continental group.Link:https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/01/239343/african-union-china-spies-addis-ababa/

A BBC report that cites Kuang Weilin, the Chinese ambassador to the AU:
Certainly, it will create problems for China-Africa relation.

01-31-2018, 09:51 PM
A short article that concludes:
While there may be more material drivers behind China’s increased involvement in peacekeeping in Africa, these two national narratives – that of the responsible great power and the leader of the developing world – have shaped how China develops its role within peacekeeping, creating limitations to China’s actions. These narratives will therefore shape China’s role in peacekeeping in Africa in the future.


Bill Moore
02-10-2018, 08:17 PM

China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Five Years Later

This is balanced statement, with numerous implications. Much more in the article than what I'm focused on below.

Politically, China is already benefitting from the BRI with individual countries and globally. Traditional partners like Pakistan, where BRI-related investments total roughly $62 billion, have become even closer. Chinese infrastructure loans have helped persuade some countries, including the Philippines and Cambodia, to reevaluate military or diplomatic ties with the United States. China is also forging ties with countries further west, particularly those in Central and Eastern Europe. China’s “16+1” framework brings together a diverse set of countries in the region, many of whom have little in common other than their interest in doing business with China. These and other developments suggest the BRI is producing political dividends.

Most SWJ readers understand the nexus of economic and security interests, but perhaps don't have visibility on the global scale of this challenge to U.S. and allied interests.

Even more important to U.S. economic interests is the BRI’s longer-term impact on major global systems. Since World War II, the United States has played a leading role in creating, expanding, and defending open trade and financial systems. The United States has done this not merely out of goodwill, but also out of self-interest.

A BRI that succeeds on China’s terms could revise these systems to reflect Chinese interests. Changes would be seen in supply chains for goods, from manufactured products to energy and other resources. China’s currency would become more widely used. Chinese technical standards, for everything from high-speed railway systems to wireless networks, would become more widely adopted, as would Chinese preferences for environmental and social safeguards. Collectively, these changes would push the United States away from its current position in the global economy and move China toward the center.

A BRI that fails also has implications for U.S. economic interests.

The following assertion calls into question our ability to predict the future, and how fast things can change. Although we arguably did create a vacuum both economically and militarily.

It is sobering to recall the U.S. position in Asia at the beginning of this century. In 2000, a bipartisan commission at the Harvard Kennedy School examined U.S. national interests and noted, “No country in East Asia, including China, appears capable of seriously challenging US leadership any time soon unless America, through neglect or indifference, were to create a vacuum.”24 Today, the U.S. position in Asia is considerably weaker.

Finally the recommendation.

The BRI has all the marks of a difficult foreign policy challenge. It is a slow-moving development that will unfold in decades rather than days. It is functionally and geographically vast, spanning the responsibilities of many U.S. agencies. It requires grappling with both economics and security issues. It will be tempting to delay action and difficult to coordinate an effective response. Ultimately, the best U.S. response to the BRI is not a response at all, but a compelling U.S. economic vision, resourced strategically and sustained over time.

02-18-2018, 01:27 AM
BEIJING — The Chinese New Year began with the traditional lighting of firecrackers on Friday, but the country's military has been working on incendiaries on an entirely different scale.
Over the past year, the nation that invented gunpowder has been rolling out an array of high-tech weapons that some experts say could threaten the global superiority of the United States.
"The U.S. no longer possesses clear military-technical dominance, and China is rapidly emerging as a would-be superpower in science and technology," said Elsa B. Kania, an adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank.
The Chinese People's Liberation Army "might even cut ahead of the U.S. in new frontiers of military power," she added.

Article touches on five categories.
1. An electromagnetic railgun
2. High-tech warships
3. Familiar fighter jets
4. A hypersonic glide vehicle
5. Artificial Intelligence

02-23-2018, 04:32 PM
Imagine all the fun Beijing's operatives can have staging out of this place.

One of the symbols of New York luxury is now in the hands of Beijing.
The Chinese government has taken control of Anbang Insurance Group, a Beijing-based conglomerate that has aggressively acquired overseas companies and properties including the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The move highlights the complexities the US faces as more and more Chinese companies—often with opaque ownership structures—attempt to purchase stateside companies. An ostensibly private holding can, seemingly overnight, change status.


02-27-2018, 10:11 AM
A prominent Chinese lawyer, Li Baiguang died Monday in the Chinese city of Nanjing under "mysterious" circumstances, according to Bob Fu, a US-based activist and Christian pastor who has known the lawyer for over 10 years.
Li was admitted to the No. 81 Military Hospital with a minor stomach ache, but had been otherwise healthy, Fu said, citing a relative of Li's. He was declared dead hours later from liver complications, according to the activist.



04-05-2018, 01:49 AM
China's military leadership has pledged its support to Russia as tensions between Moscow and the West further deteriorate into diplomatic isolation, economic sanctions and dueling defense drills.

In his first visit to Russia, newly appointed Chinese Defense Minister Wei Feng attended the seventh Moscow International Security Conference accompanied by a delegation of other high-level military officials. Emphasizing that his trip was coordinated directly with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Wei said that he had two major messages for Russia at a time when both nations were attempting to modernize their armed forces and strengthen their hands in global affairs in spite of U.S. fears.


Bill Moore
04-07-2018, 06:23 PM

China Has Big Plans to Win the Next War It Fights

Numerous Chinese military publications indicate that the PLA sees war as no longer a contest between adversarial units, arms, services, or even specific weapons platforms, but rather a contest among numerous adversarial operational systems. This is referred to in PLA literature as systems confrontation and is considered the “basic operational mode of joint campaigns under informatized conditions.” “Informatized,” according to a recent U.S. Department of Defense report, is the PLA term for “real-time data-networked command.”

Not entirely new, but it is of interest that the Chinese are increasingly adapting the Western way of war, a way of war I doubt they are culturally inclined to excel at. Their systems of systems of approach appears logical if they're focused on preventing an adversary from projecting decisive force, so they get points in the science aspect of this strategy. Whether their commanders are capable of executing the art of war (Sun Tzu will roll over in his grave) in a fluid and chaotic situation remains questionable. From an offensive perspective, this strategy has its limitations. After the aggressor destroys an adversary's systems (as depicted in the article), the adversary can (e.g. Iraq) result to a more primitive form of warfare where high end technological advantages in cyber, space, air, etc., will prove less useful and certainly not decisive. Scientific theorists tend to under estimate an adversary's will to resist because they assume everyone conducts risk calculus using the same logic.

China may have big plans to win, but big plans can and do fail big also.

04-07-2018, 07:59 PM
China Has Big Plans to Win the Next War It Fights

Not entirely new....China may have big plans to win, but big plans can and do fail big also.


Sometimes I enjoy RAND's product, this one failed my simple test. It is more alarmist than predictive. Plus as you neatly say 'Not entirely new'. From my faraway armchair I do wonder how the PLA can successfully adapt to win.

How many national armies do not have such plans and assumptions? The PLA is no different, although I would wager it is a far more conformist culture than most Western militaries in peacetime and possibly when at war or engaged in combat operations.

Yes the PLA may have studied waging war etc. Aided no doubt by the relatively large numbers studying openly abroad: a couple each year @ Oxford University CCW, a good number at Australian military colleges and a large number doing their PhD in the USA. How many wars or combat operations have the PLA been engaged in since Korea? Assisting North Vietnam, a border war with Vietnam, border clashes with the USSR, some UN ops and sometimes "hot".

04-10-2018, 10:53 AM
This Sydney Morning Herald article's full title is: China eyes Vanuatu military base in plan with global ramifications.

It opens with:
China has approached Vanuatu about building a permanent military presence in the South Pacific in a globally significant move that could see the rising superpower sail warships on Australia’s doorstep. Fairfax Media can reveal there have been preliminary discussions between the Chinese and Vanuatu governments about a military build-up in the island nation. While no formal proposals have been put to Vanuatu's government, senior security officials believe Beijing’s plans could culminate in a full military base.

Both governments deny this.

The map of 'Bases and potential bases: China, US and India' is well different and spot the US base that is missing?

Backwards Observer
04-15-2018, 11:33 PM
The Vanuatu Daily Post's article's full title is: Want To Lead In The Pacific? Try Listening First

The Chinese Bases folderol is just the latest chorus in a litany of Australian indifference to Pacific voices. Every time some tendentious prat opens their mouth and starts telling the Pacific that what’s good for Australia is obviously good for us, the entire region sighs.

That jolt you just felt was a collective eye roll that nearly tipped the island.

Can we get something clear? If you want us to listen to you, you’ve got to listen to us.


Backwards Observer
04-18-2018, 06:39 AM
From the ASPI Strategist

An international system is only effective if it’s seen as fair to the vast majority, including those who disagree with our point of view.
Not BS - https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/rules-based-global-order-alert-alarmed/

China has become the most formidable challenge to Asia’s regional order, and to Australia’s stake in that order, since the days of Japanese imperialism. (i.e. since the days of european colonialism)

BS - https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/will-australia-defend-rules-based-order-asia/

Backwards Observer
04-20-2018, 01:11 AM
Australia ideal testing ground for China's influence - Global Times

China may not like being lectured by Australia about politics, human rights or anything else. But Chinese policymakers need to recognize that there are equally strong opinions about key aspects of "Australian values" that will generate significant blowback if consciously or accidentally threatened.

Is one of these "Australian Values" white supremacy? Just asking 'cos I heard more racist nonsense in two weeks in Australia than in eighteen years in the US. Don't think it was malicious, sure was noticeable. Here's an explanation I got from someone, "when we call a chinky, "a chinky", it's not being racist, it's just what we call 'em."

China's policymakers need to realize that it's not even necessary for claims about interference to be true, or any different in intent from the sorts of thing that every other country does for that matter, for them to create significant blowback.


it seems of little use to talk to anyone, not just the countries mentioned in this article, that counts a disregard for the truth as a value


[anecdote] When I was working in Australia a guy came in and after the briefest exchange seemed to take an instant dislike to me. If I was the only one in the shop he'd generally leave and come back when there was someone else he could deal with. A while later I was out having a smoke and he drove up in his ute. There was a White Pride Worldwide sticker with the celtic cross on his bumper. I figured okay I'm half-chinese so it's an invasion thing.
A few weeks later White Pride guy is in the shop and this chinese guy walks in. White Pride guy sees him, breaks into a big smile and they hang around laughing and joking for about fifteen minutes then go get a sandwich. I asked the other guy in the shop, "What's up with White Pride guy?" He goes, "I't's your accent (eighteen years in the States). He thinks you're a septic (septic tank - yank). He doesn't like Americans."

Bill Moore
04-21-2018, 06:55 PM
I haven't read this yet, not sure when I'll get to it, but it comes highly recommended.


Silent Invasion: China's Influence in Australia

Respected academic Clive Hamilton realised something big was happening when, in 2016, it was revealed that wealthy Chinese businessmen linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had become the largest donors to both major Australian political parties. Hamilton began to investigate the Chinese government's influence in Australia. What he found shocked him.

From politics to culture, real estate to agriculture, universities to unions, and even in primary schools, he uncovered compelling evidence of the CCP's infiltration of Australia. It is no exaggeration to say the CCP and Australian democracy are on a collision course, with the CCP determined to win, while Australia looks the other way.

Thoroughly researched and powerfully argued, SILENT INVASION is a sobering examination of the mounting threats to democratic freedoms Australians have for too long taken for granted. Yes, China is important to Australia's economic prosperity; but, Hamilton asks, how much is sovereignty as a nation worth?

'Anyone keen to understand how China draws other countries into its sphere of influence should start with Silent Invasion. This is an important book for the future of Australia. But tug on the threads of China's influence networks in Australia and its global network of influence operations starts to unravel.' –Professor John Fitzgerald, author of Big White Lie: Chinese Australians in White Australia

China pressured the Australian government and the publishing company not publish this book, but they lost that battle. At least the free world won one gray zone battle. No surprise for those who follow China's foreign policy that their claim about non-interference in internal affairs is a bunch of nonsense. Of course this is a form of statecraft that many nations practice to include the U.S., but what makes China different is that they are a totalitarian state with the economic capacity (new) and political willingness (not new) to use economic leverage to coerce countries to conform to their policies. This more often than not creates a zero sum gain for China relative to those coerced, despite China's claim of their desire for a win-win outcome. The truly sad part of this story is China is capable in so many ways of contributing the world in a positive manner to create those win-win agreements that increase global stability and prosperity for all concerned, yet they choose not to. One can't help but think they will eventually stumble over their own contradictions.

Backwards Observer
04-21-2018, 10:59 PM
China pressured the Australian government and the publishing company not publish this book, but they lost that battle.

You have a source for this assertion?

One of the concerns raised last week inside the committee about publishing the book was the appropriateness of granting it the parliamentary power of qualified privileged – which prevents the authors of submissions from being sued, and protects others such as journalists who re-publish the contents of the book.

Three committee members were understood to have been concerned that tabling the manuscript would enable a commercial publisher who otherwise wouldn’t print the book to do so.


Hamilton did not agree to heavy edits to the book to mitigate the potential for legal repercussion, which ultimately lead to the breakdown of the publishing deal. But he emphasised Allen & Unwin were not to blame and he held no ill-will towards the publishing giant.

An email from the publisher to Hamilton read that the most serious of the legal threats “was the very high chance of a vexatious defamation action against Allen & Unwin, and possibly against you personally as well”.


Is acting on legal advice about potential lawsuits the same thing as direct pressure from China? Maybe you have access to sources that detail direct pressure from the PRC. If they can't stop the publication of a book, not sure how this speaks to their massive influence.

If the Australian government is serious about standing tall for their stake in the rules-based order in Asia, they should cease all trade with the PRC, reintroduce conscription, drastically increase the size of their military and develop or acquire a nuclear deterrent. Until then all their rhetorical posturing is being underwritten by American blood and subsidised by PRC treasure.

I don't think the PRC is ready for her close-up. As far as the US, it's like what the hell happened to you people.

Bill Moore
04-22-2018, 12:43 AM

'China influence' book proves divisive in Australia debate

"China plans to dominate the world, and has been using Australia and New Zealand as a testing ground for its tactics to assert its ascendancy in the West," writes Prof Hamilton, a lecturer in public ethics at Charles Sturt University.

He says such a suggestion would have been "fantastic" in the past, but now "so much evidence has accumulated that the conclusion seems irresistible".

China and Russia, like other powers have practiced this type of statecraft for decades, but with social media and now economic power they can take it to a new level.

Last year, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation warned in a report that ethnic communities in Australia were "the subject of covert influence operations" aimed at shutting down criticism. It did not name China specifically.

Borrowing the Russia thug methodology?

The book has "international resonance", according to Prof Rory Medcalf, Head of the National Security College at the Australian National University.

"It is a book about how a multicultural democracy struggles when a foreign power exploits the open nature of its system," said Prof Medcalf, whose work is also quoted in the book.


He refers to classified Chinese Government reports which instruct Chinese officials to infiltrate overseas churches that have Chinese congregations. "They instruct cadres to monitor, infiltrate and 'sinify' overseas Chinese churches by actively promoting the CCP's concepts of Chineseness and 'spiritual love'."

In 2014, he notes, the website of the Canberra Chinese Methodist Church included a statement which linked the rise of the CCP to God's will: "The awe-inspiring righteousness of Xi Jinping, the President of the People's Republic of China, and the rise of a great nation that is modern China are part of God's plan, predestination and blessing."

Again, the Soviets did this throughout the developing world during the Cold War. They even modified some Bibles in Latin America. Churches influence people's opinions, if you can influence the church you may have an exponential impact on opinion making.

China propaganda if you will, has an effective counter argument. This is all racial, Australia is trying to blame it problems on the Chinese, etc. They know that makes Westerners back up and think of a way to side step that accusation. Most interesting, the Chinese offered no counter arguments are the actual asserts in the book. I would rate their gray zone / Sun Tzu strategy of winning without fighting as significantly more sophisticated than Russia's. Although when I listened the BBC video "Does China have Influence in Australia," the Chinese kids they interviewed sounded quite naïve, and focused their comments on the world map being wrong. Of course the South China Sea and Taiwan are sovereign China territory. Amazing, and well if Australia's college kids are anything like ours they'll swallow it hook, line, and sinker.

Backwards Observer
04-22-2018, 01:31 AM
Australian strategic orientation is firmly in the US orbit. Trust for the PRC outside of the Australian business community is in the negative. Every weekend a group of elderly Falun Gong supporters sits quietly on the corner in the local chinatown passing out anti-communist pamphlets. Across the street from them is The Epoch Times office. Mainland tourists walk by without seeming to bat an eyelid.

Do you feel that alarmism, exaggeration and distortion make the narrative appear stronger or weaker to exisiting and potential security partners in the Asian rules-based order? Or is it an inadvertent indication that a counter to the PRC's rise lacks a coherent strategy short of war.

Backwards Observer
04-22-2018, 03:23 AM
Here's where Australia was in 2015:

In the global game of power in Asia, America is winning hands down - despite China's attempts to exploit US failings.


Now you're telling me they're afraid of their own people

and well if Australia's college kids are anything like ours they'll swallow it hook, line, and sinker.

knock yerselves out

Bill Moore
04-22-2018, 08:36 PM
From the link you posted.

The world would be a safer place if Kerry had learned as fast as Clinton did. Or if Obama had been as tough, consistent and focused with his follow through.

China would not be building "a great wall of sand" in the South China Sea, as the US Pacific Commander colourfully put it last week, if John Kerry had continued Clinton's powerful regional diplomacy and Obama had not lost interest.

In my opinion John Kerry is an idiot and traitor starting with his unfounded comments on the Vietnam War that he could not back up with any facts. Recently this clown went to the Middle East in an unofficial capacity and told the Palestinians to oppose any peace deal that the Trump administration was working on. That seems to be working out great for everyone now. He has a long history of child like behavior not aligned with U.S. values that defy commonsense. Notably absent from this article which is three years old is Bush Junior's decision to invade Iraq, which in the informed opinion of many was the greatest strategic mis-step in U.S. history, and the subsequent commitment allowed both Russia and China to increase their hegemonic behavior largely unopposed.

Obama's was elected because he opposed Bush's failed foreign policy. Unfortunately, he did little better. Obama was so naïve he confused "don't to stupid sh**" as a foreign policy, and he didn't have the wisdom or courage to confront challenges when he should have. What we have now is too early to tell, partly due to the deep political divide in our system that impedes implementation of strategy.

Backwards Observer comments:

Australian strategic orientation is firmly in the US orbit. Trust for the PRC outside of the Australian business community is in the negative. Every weekend a group of elderly Falun Gong supporters sits quietly on the corner in the local chinatown passing out anti-communist pamphlets. Across the street from them is The Epoch Times office. Mainland tourists walk by without seeming to bat an eyelid.

According to one of the articles I linked stated minority dissident groups in Australia opposed to China's policies are being targeting, to include acts of violence. Is it correct? I don't know, maybe an Aussie monitoring this site can weigh in and confirm or refute it. However, they are being pressured by pro China groups in other countries. In regards to the book "Silent Invasion," you stated it is exaggerated. I suspect most books along these lines contain a fair amount of hyperbole, but that doesn't mean the overall argument is invalid. If you think the author is incorrect, the you attack his specific arguments. As one of the articles states, China complained about the book, but they didn't offer any counter arguments, only attempted to delegitimize the author by calling him a zenophobe and racist. Sounds like our far left, a bunch of meaningless labels void of logic.

Do you feel that alarmism, exaggeration and distortion make the narrative appear stronger or weaker to exisiting and potential security partners in the Asian rules-based order? Or is it an inadvertent indication that a counter to the PRC's rise lacks a coherent strategy short of war.

There is nothing I stated that is an exaggeration, if anything I moderated my comments. If the book contains hyperbole, then expose it with logic. If I recall our the guidance in our former and current National Security Strategy correctly, there isn't anything in it stated we oppose China's rise. In fact, it states we welcome it "if" China participates in a rules based international order. They clearly have a lot to offer to the world. However, a country that pulls a some maps out of a footlocker and then claims that the South China Sea is sovereign territory is clearly not the behavior of a nation that intends to follow the long accepted rules of international behavior.

I have been frustrated with the lack of an effective U.S. strategy that advances our prosperity and security interests for years. China is only one threat, but arguably the most capable. A war strategy won't counter intellectual property thief, unfair trading practices, our China's support for authoritarian leaders in third world nations including Russia. Yes, we need a stronger military, principally to avoid war, but deterrence alone is not a strategy that advances our interests.

04-25-2018, 07:53 PM
Surely not as a Chinese company has purchased Greece's major commercial port, Piraeus and the Italians think there is a fraud:
uropean Union and Italian authorities are investigating suspected wide-scale tax fraud by Chinese criminal gangs importing goods via Greece’s largest port of Piraeus, a trade gateway between China and Europe, officials said.

05-08-2018, 08:52 PM
Didn't find this previously posted -

The best political commentary out of East Asia last week is the one published on December 15 by South Korea’s second largest newspaper, Dong-A Ilbo. The paper’s editors asked a question on the mind of the entire Korean nation after their president had been outrageously snubbed by the Chinese leadership during his four-day state visit to the communist country, and Korean reporters accompanying their president’s visit were savagely beaten by thuggish Chinese security guards: “China should reflect on this question: why is it that for such a big country, there is hardly any neighbor that can be described as China’s friend?”
The question is poignant. It reveals a spectacular vulnerability of China’s national security: China has no real friends along its long, vast land and maritime borders, and any Chinese aggression against any one of its many aggrieved neighbors will likely trigger a massive defense and military coalescence as well as a much stronger coalition of the willing against China.

This is indeed China’s Achilles heel.


05-10-2018, 06:21 PM
Some of China’s biggest strides are coming in air-to-air missiles, the weapons that for one or two million dollars can destroy a $150 million aircraft. That’s a cost efficient way of trying to level the playing field with the U.S.. China’s defense budget is well over three times as big as Russia’s or India’s, but still much lower than the $610 billion the U.S. spends, according to SIPRI.

In March, the U.S. Air Force awarded a half-billion-dollar contract to supply close allies with Raytheon Inc.’s latest long range air-to-air missile, capable of hitting enemy planes from 100 miles (160 kilometers) away. The Meteor, a new European equivalent, may be even more deadly. But China’s latest offering, the PL-15, has a greater range than either.

Airborne Warning
The PL-15 also supports an active electronically-scanned array radar that makes evasion difficult for the most agile of fighter jets. Russia has yet to succeed in equipping its own missiles with the technology. When the PL-15 was first tested in public, then-U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command chief Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle was concerned enough to call on Congress to fund a response.

Another Chinese air-to-air weapon in development, provisionally known as PL-XX, would strike slow-moving airborne warning and control systems, the flying neural centers of U.S. air warfare, from as far away as 300 miles. At closer quarters, China’s new PL-10 missile is comparable to the best “fire-and-forget” equivalents, meaning any dogfight would likely end with a so-called mutual kill, a significant deterrent.


05-13-2018, 03:08 PM
(CNN)China's first domestically built aircraft carrier began sea trials on Sunday, a historic step in the country's mission to build a navy capable of rivaling the world's leading maritime powers.

The new aircraft carrier, temporarily named Type 001A, sailed out at around 7 a.m. in Dalian, in the northeast province of Liaoning, according to reports in Chinese state media.
The 50,000-tonne ship will become the country's second aircraft carrier, and the first to be entirely built and designed inside of China, when it joins the navy sometime before 2020.
The carrier's maiden sea trial follows a speech given by Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 12, in which he announced plans to build a "world-class" navy under the banner of the Chinese Communist Party.
China's first carrier, the Liaoning, a retrofitted Soviet-era vessel bought from the Ukraine, was hailed as the fulfillment of a "70-year dream" of the Chinese nation when it launched to much celebration in 2012.
But experts said while the new aircraft carrier will dramatically boost China's military power in the Asia region, its technology was still outdated and lagged far behind the world's naval superpower, the United States.


05-15-2018, 12:52 PM
The escalating territorial disputes in the Pacific between China and America’s allies create an ever-more-urgent need for U.S. sea power. But even as China rapidly expands and modernizes its navy, the Trump administration has not proposed enough funds to maintain America’s maritime advantage. Beginning with the coming 2019 federal budget, the president and Congress must commit to funding a full, modern fleet—or risk ceding essential U.S. and allied interests.

Adm. Phil Davidson, nominated to lead the U.S. Pacific Command, told the Senate in April: China “is no longer a rising power but an arrived great power and peer competitor.” He added that “China has undergone a rapid military modernization over the last three decades and is approaching parity in a number of critical areas; there is no guarantee that the United States would win a future conflict with China.”

06-01-2018, 02:50 PM
An opinion piece by the Australian commentator, Hugh White, that opens with:
Australia’s problem with China is bigger and simpler than we think, and thus harder to solve. It isn’t that Beijing doesn’t like Julie Bishop, or that it’s offended by our new political interference legislation, or that it’s building impressive new armed forces, or staking claims in the South China Sea. It’s that China wants to replace the United States (https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/saying-the-same-thing-in-washington-and-beijing/) as the primary power in East Asia, and we don’t want that to happen. We want America to remain the primary power because we don’t want to live under China’s shadow.

Other nations in the region and beyond have to make choices; which the author writes as - near the end:
....what price are we willing to pay to resist it, and how far are we prepared to go? Those choices must be based on a realistic assessment of China’s power and ambitions, and of the cost we will incur by opposing them.

06-25-2018, 03:02 PM
This popped up via Twitter thanks to a "lurker" and has yet to be read fully. I am sure this capability has appeared here before. The author's introduction:
Rarely is a topic so little recognized and so little understood, yet so important and so amenable to research using Chinese-language open sources… To increase awareness and understanding of this important subject, here is a convenient compendium of major publications and other documents available on the matter thus far.
Link:http://www.andrewerickson.com/2018/06/the-complete-china-maritime-militia-bookshelf-fully-updated-just-now/? (http://www.andrewerickson.com/2018/06/the-complete-china-maritime-militia-bookshelf-fully-updated-just-now/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AndrewErickson+%28Andrew+S.+E rickson%29)

08-24-2018, 10:18 AM
An un-read IISS blog article that is sub-titled:
Chinese private security companies are going global to protect the country's assets and citizens, in the sometimes unstable countries linked to Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative.
Link:https://www.iiss.org/blogs/analysis/2018/08/guardians-belt-and-road? (https://www.iiss.org/blogs/analysis/2018/08/guardians-belt-and-road?_cldee=ZGF2aWRiZnBvQGJsdWV5b25kZXIuY28udWs%3d&recipientid=contact-06dd4cad6980de11b23000237dde6e5c-b5df8622f3dd4b02a1ce4401e049a98b&esid=8a898d1c-47a5-e811-80d8-005056be3f90&urlid=1)

Bill Moore
08-24-2018, 07:01 PM
China’s Growing Power Is Bringing Military Drills Center Stage in Asia


China will soon take part in unprecedented joint military exercises in Russia, sending 30 aircraft, 900 tanks, and 3,200 personnel to its neighbor’s far east.

Russia’s drills, held every four years, are the largest since the early 1980s, and the inclusion of Chinese troops, a first, is seen as a major geopolitical shift. Moscow and Beijing each want to send a signal to the Washington with military cooperation—though it’s China, not Russia, that the U.S. now considers its main threat.

More concerning than the upcoming exercise with Russia are the other combined exercises mentioned in the article. China conducting a limited military land exercise on its border with Russia in a strategically insignificant region doesn't demonstrate the ability to project power beyond its borders in a meaningful way like true great powers. I have a feeling we'll start hearing stories leak out after the exercise about PLA land force incompetence, and a large number of their vehicles breaking down.

08-24-2018, 07:19 PM

Thanks for the above post.

In my reading list and it is a very short article is this:https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/7-signs-chinas-military-becoming-more-dangerous-29352

All very impressive, except as one comment in the PMC article remarked the PLA's last combat operation was in 1979.

A "lurker" suggested we examine this short PLA video of an amphibious operation. One response:
You don't just "walk through" on landings like this,there'll be a lot of obstacles, boobie traps , bad weather and blood bath before most of these armor vehicles get to reach the beaches.



08-29-2018, 03:51 PM
Repeat a perception until it becomes a reality.

A modernization program focused on naval and missile forces has shifted the balance of power in the Pacific in ways the United States and its allies are only beginning to digest.

While China lags in projecting firepower on a global scale, it can now challenge U.S. military supremacy in the places that matter most to it: the waters around Taiwan and in the disputed South China Sea.

That means a growing section of the Pacific Ocean — where the United States has operated unchallenged since the naval battles of World War II — is once again contested territory, with Chinese warships and aircraft regularly bumping up against those of the U.S. and its allies.

To prevail in these waters, according to officials and analysts who scrutinize Chinese military developments, China does not need a military that can defeat the U.S. outright but merely one that can make intervention in the region too costly for Washington to contemplate. Many analysts say Beijing has already achieved that goal.


09-04-2018, 08:42 AM
Buying African votes in the UN.

China will write off any amount owed by indebted countries or developing nations, President Xi Jinping said. China is offering US$60 billion in financial support and a debt write-off to impoverished African nations- no strings attached, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday
The Chinese official laid out the extensive financial strategy to African leaders, with plans to invest US$5 billion in African exports, US$ 10 billion for "development financing" and US$15 billion in grants, interest-free loans, and concessional loans; a credit line of US$20 billion. Xi said their friendship was time-honored and that China's investment in Africa came with no political strings attached.



09-19-2018, 03:53 PM
I discovered this commentary on the recent Beijing Sino-African meeting by a SME on China; slightly edited:
How should we understand the triannual Africa-China summit, which just concluded in Beijing? With 53 out of 54 countries in Africa represented and singing the praises of the host, China unquestionably deems it a success. It was a “win” too for leaders of African countries who attended. But what do average citizens of the African countries get out of it? Are we seeing a “new version of colonialism” being put in place? President Xi Jinping hails the summit as a success in partnering with Africa to build up “a community of shared destiny.” He committed $60 billion to assist Africa or, in reality, to support the implementation of his flagship “Belt and Road” initiative in Africa. If every country in Africa were to receive an equal share, this amounts to just over $1 billion each. But the funding will not be evenly distributed. Some will benefit more than others.
Among the commitments for the $60 billion China has earmarked are $15 billion for grants and no cost or low-cost loans; $10 billion for a special Sino-African fund; and $5 billion for supporting African exports to China. There are, however, no details.
Xi has given no indication that Beijing will abandon its centralized approach in dishing out funds for the Belt and Road initiative. This implies that the bulk of the funding will remain tightly controlled and mostly used to finance major infrastructural projects, as before.
But there is one notable change, in the allocation of $5 billion to support African exports to China. True, it is only 8 percent of the total, and that ratio reflects Beijing’s priorities as regards assistance to African countries to build sustainable economic capacities, such as often has been the focus of Western and Japanese development funding. But it is a step in the right direction. It appears to be a response to clamours from ordinary Africans for assistance to promote manufacturing so that jobs will be created for them.
Citizens of most African countries benefit little from shiny new infrastructural facilities that they cannot afford to use. What they need most are jobs and opportunities. Investments in manufacturing, where Africans are employed, are what will make a difference to ordinary folks, not grandiose projects undertaken by Chinese contractors who often employ Chinese workers on foreign worksites.
Yet, what remains to be seen is how this $5 billion will be used to create and sustain manufacturing jobs in African countries. Again, no road map was unveiled. This is a pity as there is tremendous scope for China to relocate labour-intensive low-cost manufacturing to African countries as rising labour costs make them uncompetitive in China. Since such industries are mostly small and medium-sized private enterprises, they will not relocate to Africa and create jobs for Africans just because Xi has set aside this fund. Indeed, the promises of funds do not always become reality.
Is Xi’s effort, limited as it is a response to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s recent articulation in Beijing of concern over “a new version of colonialism”? Mahathir’s reference was effective political rhetoric that enabled his country to back out of a number of unaffordable and non-essential grand projects that had the potential of creating another instance of the China “debt-trap” that has already ensnared a number of African and South Asian nations. That said, as an analytical concept it is not particularly useful. There is not one simple agreed definition of what colonialism means, let alone a “new version of colonialism.” The concept can easily be dismissed by Chinese leaders who claim that since China is a member of the global South, it is by definition not colonialist or imperialist.
This notwithstanding, Chinese leaders should not forget that action speaks louder than words. China does not need to deploy significant troops to any African country for it to be seen as behaving like a colonial power. Most African countries have a colonial past and they know what a “colonial relationship” looks like.
Historically, flag followed trade and informal empire often preceded the creation of a formal imperial relationship. British imperialists of the Victorian era did not have a blueprint for imperial conquest, so the lack of one in Beijing means little. The British Empire was created in a fit of absence of mind, when expanding British economic interests made it irresistible for the British Crown to protect British interests and incrementally assert imperial control. The British Empire also exemplified the most cost-effective imperial expansion. It mostly avoided expansive conquest and relied instead on working with local leaders – a “win-win” of an earlier age.
Whether China under Xi Jinping will follow the path of British imperialists of the past only time will tell. But citizens of African countries who witness rapid expansion of Chinese economic interests will not wait to draw their own conclusions. If Beijing works with them for their benefit, rather than for that of their leaders, they are likely to welcome China as a partner. So if Beijing is serious about making its partnership with Africa a genuine “win-win,” it will have to focus on projects that will benefit ordinary people in African countries, not just their national leaders and Beijing itself. This will be the acid test, but again, there are so far scant details of Beijing’s intentions.

Somewhere I have a UK commentary too, behind a paywall and will try to summarize that - it is now a few weeks old being published when Mrs may was on her three stop African tour.

Bill Moore
09-20-2018, 06:48 AM
In the latest print version (SEP/OCT 2018) of "The National Interest" there is an interesting article titled Kaiser Xi Jinping. The author, John Mauer, is a professor at the Navy War College. He makes a compelling argument that Xi is heading down the same path as Kaiser Wilhelm II. In short, Xi is leading his country to ruin by engaging in an arm's race to deter potential competitors from interfering with his desire to become a global power if he continues to follow Wilhem's strategic logic. There is another relevant parallel to WWI not addressed in the article, but relevant to today. Prior to WWI, many argued that war in Europe was impossible due to the economic entanglement or interdependence between nations. We hear a similar argument today regarding China. History defied that argument previously, and I suspect it will do so again in the future.

Mauer's article explains that Kaiser built a fleet of battleships to expand Germany influence globally and as a national symbol of power to rally the German people around, in hopes of delaying or preventing the emergent social unrest in Germany. Wilhem's strategic aim was to break Britain's grip on the world in favor of Germany, in short a new international order. The Kaiser recognized that only a rich country could afford a fleet, so Germany should become rich. The parallel's to today's China's strategic views are obvious.

Xi may want to rethink his strategic approach as Wilhem's strategic judgment proved to be deeply flawed. He assumed Britain would back down without fighting. Instead, Britain actually started to rapidly expand its military and rebalance its focus from its frontiers to Europe to counter a rising Germany. The Kaiser calculated the only way to win was to decisively strike first. This of course failed, and the tragic results for the world to include the ruin of Germany are well known.

Maurer offers two ironic twists to this story that are worth mentioning. First, the Germany Navy mutinied toward the end of war when ordered to conduct a suicide mission again Britain's impressive A2/AD defenses along its first island chain. This mutiny trigger a social upheaval within Germany resulting in the ouster of the Kaiser. In the end, the great German fleet intended to rally the people to the nationalist cause was the catalyst for the uprising that ended the Kaiser's rule. The other irony, was that Germany's escalation of the war at sea, especially the U-boat attacks, brought America into the war as a decisive force. Maurer's closing point was that America, the emerging new global power, went to Europe to protect the old world order.

Mauer has a similar article at the following link, it isn't quite identical but it is very close.


09-24-2018, 01:09 AM
Nice move - benign soft force projection with a non-warship naval vessel.

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A Chinese naval ship has traveled to Venezuela for the first time, following a visit by President Nicolas Maduro to Beijing this month, where he had been looking to gain China’s support for the Latin American nation’s struggling economy.The naval medical ship, known as the “Peace Ark”, arrived on Saturday at the Venezuelan port of La Guaira for an eight-day period of “friendly visits” to the country, the official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.


10-01-2018, 05:38 PM
Lahore, Pakistan (Reuters) - Islamabad has cut the size of the biggest Chinese “Silk Road” project in Pakistan by $2 billion, Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed said on Monday, citing government concerns about the country’s debt levels. The megaproject to revamp the colonial-era line stretching 1,872 km (1,163 miles) from Karachi to the northwestern city of Peshawar was initially priced at $8.2 billion, but wrangling over costs has led to delays.


10-01-2018, 06:42 PM
China says its economy is slowing. Its central bank may be preparing to intervene
China's central bank is likely to cut reserve requirement ratios for banks one more time this year, said Jeff Ng, chief economist for Asia at Continuum Economics.
Over the weekend, a private survey showed growth in China's factory sector stalled after 15 months of expansion, with export orders falling the fastest in over two years.
An official survey also confirmed a further weakening in the manufacturing sector.


10-10-2018, 02:53 AM
China has reached a major deal to send military drones to Pakistan just days after Russia and India signed a multibillion-dollar arms sale in a display of defiance to the United States.

The Pakistani air force's Sherdils Aerobatic Team first announced Sunday via social media that the state-run Pakistan Aeronautical Complex company and China's own government-owned Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group would "jointly produce 48 Wing Loong II UCAV," an unmanned combat aerial vehicle in service with the People's Liberation Army Air Force. The deal was carried Monday by The Global Times, the official organ of the ruling Communist Party of China.

The newspaper cited oft-quoted Chinese military analyst Song Zhongping as saying that, if confirmed, the deal would prove to be China's largest drone export yet. The story was then featured on China Military Online, the official online portal of the Chinese armed forces.

The Wing Loong II UCAV is a reconnaissance and strike multirole endurance drone that conducted its maiden flight in February 2017, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. The article reported at the time that the Wing Loong II had been bought as part of China's largest overseas drone contract even prior to its debut flight, but did not specify which country had purchased it.


11-19-2018, 01:31 PM
This article on Sinocism an online subscription newsletter by a Sinologist, Bill Bishop, and is an updated commentary on a 2007 book 'The China Fantasy' by James Mann.

It opens with:
a short book arguing that Western elites misrepresented the benefits of engagement with China and that prosperity and capitalism might not, as they claimed, eventually bring democracy to the PRC......I have come to believe that this is the most important and prescient American book on China of the 21st century. I urge you to read it.

Link to Bill Bishop's slim bio:https://nb.sinocism.com/subscribe#about

I have not heard of this book, nor either author and for once some of the comments on the newsletter commentary are interesting, sadly several are duplicated.

11-22-2018, 03:21 AM
A LITTLE NOTICED organizational change in China's maritime patrols is causing increasing anxiety among Western military officials and their allies in the region, who fear Beijing is seeking new leverage to advance its goals and raising the likelihood that an accidental encounter could escalate into conflict.

The U.S. confirmed earlier this year that China has reorganized its coast guard to serve as a military branch rather than answer to law enforcement authorities. Militarizing the formerly civilian organization provides China with the firepower to harass and intimidate vessels from other countries who dispute China's claims to waterways. The change, which Beijing denies, signals not only that China wishes to further its ambitions for its neighborhood, including seizing contested disputed territory and access to natural resources in East and South China seas but that it is becoming a more potent foe internationally.


11-22-2018, 04:25 PM
PLA Senior Colonel Ma Jun, for example, leans heavily on this interpretation of deception, charging that “War is precisely war. War is precisely a fight to the death (literally: ‘you die and I live’). It is not possible in this domain to pay attention to morality.” 2 Ma notes, however, that such deception is to be used only against adversaries and never against one’s friends and colleagues. 3 While it is unlikely that a casual reader of the Sun Tzu would derive such insights from these writings, knowing how the Chinese military interprets these texts is key to understanding their rationale for operations.


12-02-2018, 01:58 PM
A twist to power politics:
The reason China is able to use tourists as a political bargaining chip is that, since the turn of the millennium, the number of overseas trips made by Chinese tourists has boomed from 10.5m to 145m (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/comment/rise-of-the-chinese-tourist/) – an increase of 1,380 per cent. This makes China the world’s most powerful outbound market, leapfrogging the US, spending over $300bn overseas per year.

Examples are cited: Palau Islands, Turkey, Japan and South Korea.

Not that such a travel / tourism ban is new; more the scale and having obedient tourists to command. Boycotting the Moscow Olympics in 1980 after the Afghan invasion comes to mind. I am sure there are others, such as 'travel advisory' notices after terrorist attacks, e.g. Sinai that stopped most UK tourists travelling there.

12-10-2018, 01:01 PM

Others have explored the far side of the moon from afar, but Chinese researchers are hoping a soft landing on the dark side of the lunar surface will allow for more detailed study.

12-10-2018, 01:03 PM
How China is quietly weaponizing overseas tourism.

Considering their reputation in Paris, Beijing should be cited for violation of a slew of biological warfare treaties (https://www.vice.com/da/article/gqnzxj/are-chinese-tourists-the-worst-tourists-in-the-world)

12-12-2018, 02:29 PM
*Indicator* of stress fractures.

The number of asylum claims made by Chinese nationals in Australia rose by 311% between 2017 and 2018, according to recent government figures, coming amid tighter restrictions on migration visas and an uptick in the numbers of Chinese international students and tourists in the country


Bill Moore
12-23-2018, 01:56 AM
Maybe the title of the article contains a little hyperbole, or maybe not.


How arrest of Chinese ‘princess’ exposes regime’s world domination plot

The “Five Eyes” — Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the US — have over the past year waged a concerted campaign to block the Chinese tech giant from dominating next-generation wireless networks around the world. Not only have they largely kept Huawei out of their own countries, they have convinced other countries like Japan, India and Germany to go along, too.

Whoever controls the 5G networks will control the world — or at least large parts of it.
Yet Huawei is far from finished. The company has grown into a global brand over the past two decades because, as a “national champion,” it is constantly being fed and nourished by the party and the military with low-interest-rate loans, privileged access to a protected domestic market, and other preferential treatment.

The article goes on to point out how Huawei supports China's intelligence organizations, and how her detention resulted in 3 Canadians being detained in so called secret prisons in China with threats to arrest more in retaliation.

It ends with,
The real payoff of her arrest lies elsewhere. It has exposed the massive campaign of espionage that Huawei is carrying out around the world at the behest of the Party. It has revealed how that Party dreams of a new world order in which China, not America, is dominant.

It also links to his book on Amazon, "Bully of Asia." It is worth reading the summary on Amazon in my opinion. I don't think I have seen any reviews of this book on SWJ yet?

12-24-2018, 02:42 AM
Maybe the title of the article contains a little hyperbole, or maybe not.

If you're over here raising your eyebrow and I'm over there raising my eyebrow (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?15675-Chinese-intelligence-and-spying-(catch-all)&p=212645&viewfull=1#post212645 ), then what does that tell you?

Bill Moore
12-26-2018, 06:33 PM
If all the Chinese hawks are this stupid, they have more worry about than we do. If he really thinks killing 5,000 sailors will cause America to cower in a corner he is not a student of history.


Chinese Hawk Admiral: Strike at What the U.S. Fears

Luo Yuan claimed that the US-China trade war “is definitely not a simple economic and trade friction” but an “important strategic issue.” The origin of the conflict is that “the U.S. national strategy has changed.”

In his speech, Luo Yuan strongly advocated that China should respond with “asymmetric counterattacks.”

Luo Yuan said that the “five fundamental foundations of the United States” are the military, the dollar, talent, the ballot, and the creation of enemies. Among them, in the military, “the United States is most afraid of death.” Luo suggested using a missile to sink one U.S. ship and cause 5,000 casualties, and two with 10,000 casualties. “Let’s see if the U.S. is afraid or not.”

Oops, they're not afraid, now what Admiral?

01-01-2019, 07:35 PM
An updated article by Caitlin Talmadge an Associate Professor of Security Studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. It is one of several articles fully available in the latest 'Foreign Affairs': Do Nuclear Weapons Matter?

Near the beginning two passages as a "taster":
If deployed against China, the Pentagon’s preferred style of conventional warfare would be a potential recipe for nuclear escalation. Since the end of the Cold War, the United States’ signature approach to war has been simple: punch deep into enemy territory in order to rapidly knock out the opponent’s key military assets at minimal cost. But the Pentagon developed this formula in wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Serbia, none of which was a nuclear power.

China, by contrast, not only has nuclear weapons; it has also intermingled them with its conventional military forces, making it difficult to attack one without attacking the other. This means that a major U.S. military campaign targeting China’s conventional forces would likely also threaten its nuclear arsenal. Faced with such a threat, Chinese leaders could decide to use their nuclear weapons while they were still able to.

Bill Moore
01-01-2019, 10:06 PM
An updated article by Caitlin Talmadge an Associate Professor of Security Studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. It is one of several articles fully available in the latest 'Foreign Affairs': Do Nuclear Weapons Matter?

Near the beginning two passages as a "taster":

Nuclear weapons since their inception have always mattered greatly. They changed the character of war and brought deterrence to the forefront. They also resulted in so-called gray zone conflicts/competition and proxy wars becoming the norm to pursue national interests while avoiding a direct conflict between nuclear armed powers. The author of this article seems to fault the U.S. preferred form of war (if we really have one) as the reason nuclear strikes will be exchanged if China and the U.S. go to war. This is typical academic bla, bla, bla, since he fails to mention other approaches to neutralize the PLA in the event of war, and he fails to identify the real culprit which is China's military aggression.

Bill Moore
01-02-2019, 08:06 AM

Xi Jinping says Taiwan 'must and will be' reunited with China

In a speech marking 40 years since the start of improving ties, he reiterated Beijing's call for peaceful unification on a one-country-two-systems basis.

However, he also warned that China reserved the right to use force.

Bill Moore
01-07-2019, 07:19 AM
Chinese Leader Tells Armed Forces to Be Ready for War


Chinese leader Xi Jinping ordered China’s armed forces to step up their preparations for war, in a speech at a meeting of top brass on Jan. 4.

The Chinese communist regime is in the midst of ramping up its armed forces, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), as it seeks to bolster its territorial claims in the South China Sea, increase pressure on Taiwan, and confront the United States over issues from trade to the status of Taiwan.

Xi strengthens his grip and stands at the pinnacle of power

“In a disappointing turn for those who have upheld more optimistic prognoses for Xi – and for China – he [has] opted to revert the country back to the era of strongman politics and the personality cult,” Cheng Li, a director of the John L Thornton China Center, and Ryan McElveen, an associate director, wrote in an academic analysis for the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank, earlier this year.

“Equally important, [his actions] further alienates a number of critical constituencies whose power Xi may be underestimating. Liberal intellectuals will be among the first to push back and shape the public discourse,” they continued.

China’s unconventional war is inflicting greater damage on India


India’s China problem will only exacerbate when the planned 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) accord takes effect, thereby creating a free-trade zone between the world’s two most-populous countries. Unlike the other states negotiating RCEP, India is not an export-driven economy; rather it is an import-dependent economy whose growth is largely driven by domestic consumption.

RCEP’s main impact on India will come from China, which Harvard’s Graham Allison has called “the most protectionist, mercantilist and predatory major economy in the world”. China, while exploiting India’s rule of law for dumping, keeps whole sectors of its economy off-limits to Indian businesses. It has dragged its feet on dismantling regulatory barriers to the import of Indian agricultural and pharmaceutical products and IT services.

India focuses on Pakistan’s unconventional war by terror but forgets that China is also waging an unconventional war, though by economic means. Indeed, China’s economic war is inflicting greater damage, including by killing Indian manufacturing and fostering rising joblessness among the Indian youth.

01-16-2019, 01:28 PM
A commentary by a US SME (a new name to me) and starts with:
This report assesses China’s global expansion by military and nonmilitary means, implications of China’s activities, and the U.S. response, as mandated by Section 1259b, “Assessment on United States Defense Implications of China’s Expanding Global Access,” of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, Public Law 115-91.
Link to commentary:http://www.andrewerickson.com/2019/01/new-pentagon-report-to-congress-u-s-defense-implications-of-chinas-expanding-global-access/ and to the author's bio:http://www.andrewerickson.com/about/

Bill Moore
01-20-2019, 01:29 AM

In September 1981, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger asked the Defense Intelligence Agency to produce an unclassified overview of the Soviet Union’s military strength. The purpose was to provide America's leaders, the national security community, and the public a comprehensive and accurate view of the threat.

In the spirit of Soviet Military Power, DIA began in 2017 to produce a series of unclassified Defense Intelligence overviews of major foreign military challenges we face. This volume provides details on China’s defense and military goals, strategy, plans, and intentions; the organization, structure, and capability of its military supporting those goals; and the enabling infrastructure and industrial base. This product and other reports in the series are intended to inform our public, our leaders, the national security community, and partner nations about the challenges we face in the 21st century.

China’s double-digit economic growth has slowed recently, but it served to fund several successive defense modernization Five-Year Plans. As international concern over Beijing's human rights policies stymied the PLA’s search for ever more sophisticated technologies, China shifted funds and efforts to acquiring technology by any means available. Domestic laws forced foreign partners of Chinese-based joint ventures to release their technology in exchange for entry into China’s lucrative market, and China has used other means to secure needed technology and expertise. The result of this multifaceted approach to technology acquisition is a PLA on the verge of fielding some of the most modern weapon systems in the world. In some areas, it already leads the world. Chinese leaders characterize China’s long-term military modernization program as essential to achieving great power status. Indeed, China is building a robust, lethal force with capabilities spanning the air, maritime, space and information domains which will enable China to impose its will in the region. As it continues to grow in strength and confidence, our nation’s leaders will face a China insistent on having a greater voice in global interactions, which at times may be antithetical to U.S. interests. With a deeper understanding of the military might behind Chinese economic and diplomatic efforts, we can provide our own national political, economic, and military leaders the widest range of options for choosing when to counter, when to encourage, and when to join with China in actions around the world. This report offers insights into the modernization of Chinese military power as it reforms from a defensive, inflexible ground-based force charged with domestic and peripheral security responsibilities to a joint, highly agile, expeditionary, and power-projecting arm of Chinese foreign policy that engages in military diplomacy and operations across the globe.

Entering the 21st century, China’s leaders rec¬ognized the confluence of several factors that led them to expand the scope and quicken the pace of PLA development: China’s growing global economic and political interests, rapid technology-driven changes in modern warfare, and perceptions of increased strategic-level external threats, including to China’s mari¬time interests. At this time, Chinese leaders perceived a “period of strategic opportunity” wherein the country presumably would not be involved in a major military conflict before 2020, allowing time for economic and military development. As a result, throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, China’s leaders initi¬ated several practical steps to modernize the PLA as a warfighting instrument.

The PLA has been a politicized “party army” since its inception and exists to guarantee the CCP regime’s survival above all else, serving the state as a secondary role, in contrast to most Western militaries, which are considered apolitical, professional forces that first and foremost serve the state.

China characterizes its military strategy as one of “active defense,” a concept it describes as strategically defensive but operationally offensive. The strategy is rooted in the con¬cept that once Beijing has determined that an adversary has damaged or intends to damage China’s interests at the strategic level, Beijing will be justified in responding “defensively” at the operational or tactical level, even if the adversary has not yet conducted offensive military operations. Beijing interprets active defense to include mandates for deescalating a conflict and seizing the initiative during a con¬flict, and has enshrined the concept in China’s National Security Law (2015) and in the PLA’s major strategy documents.

The PLA often uses the term “informatization” to describe the transformation process of becoming a modern military that can operate in the digi¬tal age. The concept figures prominently in PLA writings and is roughly analogous to the U.S. mil¬itary’s concept of net-centric capability: a force’s ability to use advanced information technology and communications systems to gain operational advantage over an adversary.

The PLA’s Strategic Support Force (SSF), established in December 2015, has an import¬ant role in the management of China’s aero¬space warfare capabilities.121 Consolidating the PLA’s space, cyber, and electronic warfare capabilities into the SSF enables cross-domain synergy in “strategic frontiers.”

01-20-2019, 03:06 AM
While not principally national security related, this article on WeChat is worth reading:


It offers a glimpse into the fundamental differences between individual Western social platforms and the all encompassing single app WeChat in China with over 1 billion monthly active users.

Again, while it’s not principally a weapon or tool of war, it is quite possibly the most valuable piece of virtual infrastructure in China worthy of a CARVER matrix.

It’s like Facebook, WhatsApp, banking/credit/payments, 3rd Party services, etc. It arguably earns the title “Super App”.

Trade has been used as a weapon.

It’s not outside the realm of possibility that the WeChat platform could be used as a weapon to expand a Chinese dominant economic block by compelling its use with trading partners via leverage.

What if Chinese debt trap diplomacy compelled the use of WeChat?

Is there a risk of the US Dollar global reserve currency becoming the WeChat global default platform?

Bill Moore
01-20-2019, 03:25 AM
While not principally national security related, this article on WeChat is worth reading:


It offers a glimpse into the fundamental differences between individual Western social platforms and the all encompassing single app WeChat in China with over 1 billion monthly active users.

Again, while it’s not principally a weapon or tool of war, it is quite possibly the most valuable piece of virtual infrastructure in China worthy of a CARVER matrix.

It’s like Facebook, WhatsApp, banking/credit/payments, 3rd Party services, etc. It arguably earns the title “Super App”.

Trade has been used as a weapon.

It’s not outside the realm of possibility that the WeChat platform could be used as a weapon to expand a Chinese dominant economic block by compelling its use with trading partners via leverage.

What if Chinese debt trap diplomacy compelled the use of WeChat?

Is there a risk of the US Dollar global reserve currency becoming the WeChat global default platform?

It is already used a population control mechanism. It is amazing how dominate it is throughout the parts of China I visited. I know futurists envision a cashless society, which is a way to empower state control over the individual. Arguably the CPC wages two wars, one internal against the perceived enemies of the party, and one external against Taiwan, Japan, and numerous Southeast Asian nations.

Bill Moore
01-20-2019, 03:34 AM
A commentary by a US SME (a new name to me) and starts with:
Link to commentary:http://www.andrewerickson.com/2019/01/new-pentagon-report-to-congress-u-s-defense-implications-of-chinas-expanding-global-access/ and to the author's bio:http://www.andrewerickson.com/about/

This is worth reading, it is a government product so you can quote more than a paragraph if you like.

Near-Abroad. China’s most substantial expansion of its military access in recent years has occurred in its near-abroad, where territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas persist. China continues to exercise low-intensity coercion to advance its claims in the East and South China Seas and uses an opportunistically-timed progression of incremental but intensifying steps to attempt to increase effective control over disputed areas while avoiding escalation to military conflict.

China seeks some high-tech components and major end-items from abroad that it has difficulty producing domestically – particularly from Russia and Ukraine. China has purchased advanced Russian defense equipment such as the SA-X-21b (S-400) surface-to-air missile system and Su-35 fighter aircraft, and is pursuing a Sino-Russian joint-design and production program for a heavy-lift helicopter and diesel-electric submarines. China is partnering with Russia to purchase electronic components as well as creating joint production facilities located within Russia. In addition, China has signed significant purchase contracts with Ukraine in recent years, including contracts for assault hovercraft and aircraft engines.

China has also obscured its investments in media in the United States and other countries. For example, a 2015 Reuters report revealed that China Radio International (CRI), a Chinese state-owned entity, was using subsidiaries to mask its control over 33 radio stations in 14 countries, including the United States. These radio stations broadcast pro-China content but have not registered as agents of a foreign government under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

n 2009, China used economic incentives, including a currency swap agreement to stabilize Argentina’s currency, to negotiate a 50-year, rent-free lease of nearly 500 acres for a satellite tracking facility in Argentina.
In 2011, China reportedly agreed to forgive an undeclared amount of Tajikistan’s debt and received over 1,000 square kilometers of disputed territory in exchange.

n 2016, after the visit of the Dalai Lama to Mongolia, China suspended talks on a major assistance loan, worsening Mongolia’s fiscal challenges and eventually driving it to seek an IMF bailout. China also increased fees on imports of mining products from Mongolia and temporarily closed an important border crossing.

In 2016, China tried unsuccessfully to dissuade South Korea from deploying a missile defense system by restricting tourism, cutting imports, and closing nearly 90 Korean-owned supermarkets in China.

01-20-2019, 10:38 PM
It is already used a population control mechanism. It is amazing how dominate it is throughout the parts of China I visited. I know futurists envision a cashless society, which is a way to empower state control over the individual. Arguably the CPC wages two wars, one internal against the perceived enemies of the party, and one external against Taiwan, Japan, and numerous Southeast Asian nations.

WeChat is absolutely dominant in people's lives within China.

As well as having an estimated external user base of 100-200 million.

I believe (One Belt One Road)OBOR will continue virtually unimpeded for the following reasons:

1)US retrenchment into Fortress America combined with declining social and financial capacity(and national WILL) to fund a long term integrated strategic diplomatic effort.

2)EU distractions of BREXIT and increasing political fractures

3)Russia lacks the financial capacity to realistically compete

4)India may be able to compete in the future as it's GDP expands, but weighed against internal development.

I see that leaving China to execute debt/trade deals to shape global users onto the WeChat platform.

One Platform, One Network(OPON).

I don't see it as a single global platform/network default standard

But I definitely see it as one of several global platforms/networks of globally strategic importance.

Despite artificial barriers such as Great Firewall and aligned western opposition to Huawei, ultimately Metcalfe's Law and Zipf's Law will come into effect in a global battle between competing platforms.

My initial thoughts are:

We see growing geopolitical friction between competing "superplatforms" and their superpower sponsors

We see increasing recognition that it's not just the means of exchange that matters, but the platform on which the exchange occurs as well as the network participants using it.

We see developing world "land grabs" for increasing platform/network "lock in".

We see increasing political/regulatory friction between nations when trans-national and global superplatform potential is recognised.

We see WeChat's superplatform better positioned for strategic advantage due to:

1)Single 100% integrated platform/network

2)Government integration

3)Mobile DNA

The incumbent Western superplatform is a FAANG patchwork in comparison and at frequent odds against government.

So in comparison, while the western superplatform has greater global reach it is neither operationally nor politically integrated to maximise geopolitical expansion, influence, and long-term future exploitation.

When you look at future focused efforts such as Estonian e-residency, it's not a stretch of the imagination to see digital residency features and benefits only available to "locked in" users of full integrated superplatforms becoming a natural progression.

WeChat platform lock-in within China is nearly universal and increasingly difficult to exist without for a domestic user base of 1 billion monthly active users.

With 100-200 million users outside of China, the expansion of a fully integrated superplatform has very real potential and represents a considerable threat to the status quo.

The Cold War was a battle between ideologies.

Perhaps Cold War Redux will be a non kinetic battle between competing sovereign integrated platforms?

If I was asked to make a binary choice between:
A)global reserve currency
B)superplatform global standard

I would pick "B", because "B" could subvert "A", but "A" would not necessarily be able to subvert "B".

Do you think a quiet "One Platform, One Network" doctrine as a shadow under One Belt, One Road is worthy of further exploration?

Same with Superplatform(fully integrated with government) as the new Superpower.


Bill Moore
01-26-2019, 09:52 PM
I missed this article when it was posted to SWJ earlier, but just finished reading it in the Winter 2018 issue of "The Drop," the Special Forces Association magazine.


On the Horns of a Dilemma – Addressing Chinese Security Engagement in the HOA
Doug Livermore

Overall well balanced and insightful until you get to the last section on U.S. opportunities. I found that section overly optimistic. Looking at the world through rose-colored glasses if you will. Win-win solutions are not what the Chinese pursue, they seek leverage for exploitation through insidious means such as creating debt traps. Instead of socialism with Chinese characteristics, a more accurate description would be neo-colonialism with Chinese characteristics.

Bill Moore
02-20-2019, 03:49 PM
Huawei, like many Chinese companies, they stole their innovation from other countries, and then seek to penetrate their markets with their knockoff technology.


How Chinese Theft Becomes a Global Menace
Huawei, accused many times over of stealing secrets, is poised to control next-gen cellular technology worldwide.

Huawei is trying harder to take tech than develop it, maintains Anne Stevenson-Yang of Beijing-based J Capital Research. “Virtually the entire Chinese bureaucratic apparatus has been mobilized to support Huawei,” she writes in a research note issued this month. “And, given the way top Huawei executives have dissembled in order to support a cut-and-dried theft of IP, one begins to wonder whether the company’s whole mission might be to acquire foreign technologies under the cover of an independent global conglomerate.”

Let their be no doubt that not only did China steal the technology that underpins Huawei, they will use Huawei technology to increase their ability to steal more secrets from other countries and support totalitarian governments use technology to more effectively suppress their people. It isn't just wireless technology, it is a means and ways to achieve nefarious ends.

The fifth generation of wireless communications will exponentially increase data carried—and the power of those who supply network equipment. The State Department’s Rob Strayer has been warning U.S. partners that China, if it ends up controlling 5G, could steal “trillions” of dollars of intellectual property, insert malware, and shut down networks.

Anxiety about Huawei equipment is not theoretical. Beijing for five years, from 2012 to 2017, secretly took data using “backdoors” in Huawei equipment installed in the new African Union headquarters, which China donated to the organization.

02-20-2019, 03:56 PM
From the UK website an interesting overview. Here is one passage:
One thing is clear though, the Gulf is no longer going to be an exclusively Western pond to operate in. There will be long term challenges about how to respond to the Chinese presence, both in the region, and realistically in time in the Med too. For the first time ever, we are on the cusp of an out of region power establishing a credible and sustainable military presence close to our strategic areas of interest.

I am aware that Oman's younger generation are less inclined to be pro-Western and PRC has made investments there that dwarf the UK's traditional role.

Bill Moore
02-20-2019, 09:00 PM
From the UK website an interesting overview. Here is one passage:

I am aware that Oman's younger generation is less inclined to be pro-Western and PRC has made investments there that dwarf the UK's traditional role.

They have also made investments in Greece, Italy, and Spain. I think the region would and should welcome the investment if it didn't have insidious intentionality. Unfortunately, little good comes from Chinese investment. Countries that agree to it are basically agreeing to surrender some degree of their sovereignty.

Bill Moore
02-24-2019, 09:03 AM

Beyond South China Sea tensions, part two: The CCP vision and the future of Chinese history (link to part 1 available at the site)

This is the second part of a two-part series of interviews on China in Defense One. If you're interested in China then both are worth reading or listening to (podcasts).

These interviews cover a wide spectrum of topics, ranging from how China is building the world's most extensive global commercial empire via its latticework of infrastructure project ranging from dams, railroads, to telecommunications systems. Part 1 provides a historical overview of the CCP's One Belt, One Road strategy, and their nine-dash line claim in the SCS. I focused on part 2, because of the growing interest in how CCP is not only increasingly implementing ever greater oppressive control over its own population via techno-authoritarianism, it is exporting this technology to other countries. Also of interest, is how the CCP leverages surveillance technology, artificial intelligence, and data collected via its Confucious Centers to monitor for negative trends in those societies that could impact CCP interests. The bottom line is this technology is becoming more pervasive globally and will have significant implications across multiple dimensions.

The experts provide an interesting overview on how Xi is trying to replicate Mao's Mass Line that led to the cultural revolution resulting in the deaths of over a million Chinese. Xi is more subtle, he is using a combination of surveillance technology to spy on his own citizens and provide social scores to influence their behavior. This is reinforced via the impact of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences that focuses on "cultural security" by promoting a totalitarian view of political correctness via fantasy history and other methods.

Hoffman: “There’s a concept that a lot of what the Party’s doing right now is based on is called social management. But it’s ultimately about the Party’s political control. So it’s a process that is both co-opting people and coercing people to participate, in the Party’s language, in their own management so that they uphold the Party’s political power. It’s a process that’s aimed at Party state security.

Reference the term techno-authoritarianism

Hoffman: “It’s a pretty good term. I think I prefer to refer to what the Chinese Communist Party is doing as technology-enhanced or technology-augmented authoritarianism — because you’re talking about the processes the Chinese Communist Party has been engaged in for decades being augmented through technology.”

Reference using surveillance technology and artificial intelligence overseas in support of their OBOR projects.

Hoffman: “Yeah. Dual use to inform, say, a rail project or a port project or something like that would also be used to inform political decision-making because they talk about, for instance, using data from Confucius Institutes. Or data collected using automatic translation technologies to improve their understanding of Turkic languages and then understanding the political risk in the region in order to be able to shape how people think about what the CCP is doing.

Bill Moore
02-25-2019, 08:21 AM
Another China expert accepts the unpleasant truth of China's trajectory towards deepening totalitarianism at home and abroad. The author goes into sufficient detail to show the clear linkage of how Xi's ideology deliberately aligns with Stalin, and why Xi thinks deviating from it would pose an existential threat the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The language in the previous posts describe how Xi leverages technology to revitalize Mao's Mass Line concept, and condition people to think along party lines. As the author in the article points out, ideology is the critical component of Mao's, and now Xi's totalitarianism.

Mao’s discursive advantage was Marxist-Leninist ideology. Language was not just a tool of moral judgment. It was an instrument for shaping acceptable behaviour and a weapon for distinguishing enemies and friends. This is the subtext of Mao’s most famous poem, Snow. Communist ideology enabled him to “weaponise” culture in a way his imperial predecessors had never managed.


Engineers of the Soul: Ideology in Xi Jinping's China by John Garnaut

Some now say he has become a China hawk, but I see it as more the evolution of a sophisticated China watcher who believes in seeking truth from facts, no matter how difficult it may be to accept the reality of the direction Xi and the CCP appear to be taking China. This is a trajectory I have found myself on, along with many of the most experienced foreign China watchers I know.

Stalin described artists and authors as "engineers of the human soul." They simply served for promoting the party and its views. In other words, art and writing was purely propaganda intended to as means to facilitate cultural and ideological security.

Xi uses the same ideological template to describe the role of “media workers”. And school teachers. And university scholars. They are all engineers of ideological conformity and cogs in the revolutionary machine.

Among the many things that China’s modern leaders did – including overseeing the greatest burst of market liberalisation and poverty alleviation the world has ever seen – those who won the internal political battles have retained the totalitarian aspiration of engineering the human soul in order to lead them towards the ever-receding and ever-changing utopian destination.

Combine the findings in this article, with the insights from the previous article, "The CCP Vision and Future of Chinese History," you'll gain a greater appreciation of incidious threat the CCP poses.

03-06-2019, 03:09 AM
Chinese hackers singled out over two dozen universities in the US and around the world in an apparent bid to gain access to maritime military research, according to a report by cybersecurity firm iDefense, which was obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

The hackers sent universities spear phishing emails doctored to appear as if they came from partner universities, but they unleashed a malicious payload when opened. Universities are traditionally seen as easier targets than US military contractors, and they can still contain useful military research.

Twenty-seven universities were found to have been targeted by the group, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Washington, and other colleges in Canada and Southeast Asia. iDefense didn’t name every school in the report due to ongoing investigations, but anonymous sources told the WSJ that Penn State and Duke University were two of the other targets.


03-08-2019, 10:36 AM
(Washington, D.C.) The increasing global reach of Chinese nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines, armed with JL-2 weapons reportedly able to hit parts of the US, continues to inspire an ongoing Navy effort to accelerate production of attack submarines, prepare long-dwell drones for deployment to the Pacific and continue acquisition of torpedo-armed sub-hunting planes such as the P-8/A Poseidon.

Seeking to overcome the Pacific’s “tyranny of distance” dispersed geography, and track China’s expanding fleet of submarines, the Navy is working with Congress to produce as many as three Virginia-class submarines per year, moving beyond the current plan to build two. In the air, the Navy has been moving to place its new Triton sea drones in Guam and has recently awarded Boeing a $2.4 billion deal to produce 19 more P-8A Poseidon surveillance and attack planes.

Given the Poseidon’s role as a high-tech surveillance aircraft, known for capturing video of Chinese phony island building in the South China Sea (land reclamation) several years ago, it takes little imagination to envision ways its advanced sensors, sonobuoys and weapons could function as part of a containment strategy against Chinese expansion - - and even operate as a deterrent against China’s growing fleet of nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines (SSBN).


03-09-2019, 03:20 PM
Lede sorta buried on this one.

Even after twenty-one rounds of bilateral talks, the India-China border dispute remains unresolved. Nor is the frontier quiet. In the summer of 2017, a flare-up occurred at Doklam near the India-Bhutan-PRC tri-junction. The catalyst was an attempt by China’s People Liberation Army (PLA) to construct a road on the Doklam plateau, through disputed territory. Bhutan, which has a security pact with India, turned to New Delhi for assistance. India responded by deploying a contingent of forces to block the road building. That decision did not stem from altruism toward a weak neighbor but rather from the awareness that China, had it completed the road, would have been in a position to launch a pincer movement to cut India’s ground links to its northeastern states in the event of a war.


Bill Moore
03-09-2019, 08:41 PM

EU Urges Trump to Lift Tariffs So Allies Can Cooperate on China

“We have a problem: China is dumping the market, China is subsidizing their industry, this creates global distortions. We can agree on that. So what is the solution? Well, we think it is to cooperate on China,” Malmstrom told Bloomberg News in an interview in Washington. “The solution to these problems is not imposing tariffs on the European Union. Why is that so hard to understand?”

We all got it, balancing policy decisions across the DIMEFIL to address multiple and often conflicting national interests is challenging to say the least. The President is trying to protect U.S. jobs and manufacturing. He is doing so by simultaneously targeting competitors who are in broad terms adversaries (China) and competitors who are friends (EU). To address the greatest threat, it may be best to delay our trade discussions with the EU so we can collectively focus on the major threat to international norms which is China. It would somewhat stabilize the markets, and give us a position of advantage to compete more effectively against China.

Bill Moore
03-10-2019, 02:34 AM

South China Sea tensions at new high after Vietnamese boat rammed and sunk

“A Chinese ship reportedly rams and sinks a Vietnamese fishing boat in the Paracels (again),” he said on Twitter.

“China’s neighbors have become so numb to the constant exercise of low-intensity violence and intimidation that it will warrant barely a mention in regional press.”

Bill Moore
03-10-2019, 03:11 AM

The West Isn’t Ready for the Coming Wave of Chinese Misinformation

The Chinese government activity has gone largely undetected by Americans because it mostly aims to shape perceptions about China. But the researchers’ data shows that Chinese social media posts are very effective at achieving their aims. They report that just two Chinese profiles on Instagram achieved “a level of audience engagement roughly one-sixth as large as the entire Russian IRA-associated campaign targeting the United States” on the same platform.

Yea, but you can't lie to us better than we lie to ourselves.

Also, neither Chinese nor Russian misinformation activity matches what Americans do to one another. A new report out Thursday from the NYU Stern School of Business and Human Rights found that Americans are the largest creators of misinformation on American social networks.

This is the link to the actual report.


What we need to see to balance this report is China's influence on other countries, where they very much seek to influence the outcome of elections to advance their OBOR interests.

03-14-2019, 03:59 PM
Double-tapped post, as it could dovetail with Bill's post above.

Note - this conclusion is based on the number-of-papers-published. Flip a coin as to whether this is a valid indicator of actual progress or academic hot air.

In July 2017, China’s government published an ambitious policy paper, outlining how the country would become the world leader in AI by the year 2030. But by some measures China has already succeeded in this goal — a decade ahead of schedule.

A new study shows that China’s output of influential AI research papers will soon overtake that of the US, the world’s current number one in AI research. The finding suggests that China’s plan to expand its AI capabilities with the help of generous government investment in both educational facilities and private industry is paying off.


03-21-2019, 01:17 PM
During Chinese president Xi Jinping’s visit to Italy starting tomorrow (March 21), the euro zone’s third-largest economy is expected to officially back the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s global push to extend its political and economic clout abroad.

The move, which is alarming European allies and the US, bears the stamp of a relative newcomer to Italian politics: Michele Geraci.

Xi’s visit to Italy, which will be followed by stops in Monaco and France (paywall), comes after discussions in Europe that have seen China labeled a “systemic rival” and amid efforts by the US to bar Chinese firms from participating in the roll-out of 5G telecom by allies over concerns about network security.

Shades of Il Duce. Gotta keep those trains running on time.

Behind Italy’s move to deepen ties with China—even as global concern about Chinese investment has increased—is Geraci, one of the most ardent admirers of China in the Italian government. Now serving as Italy’s undersecretary for economic development, Geraci lived in China for over a decade teaching finance, and has written approvingly about the country’s approach to everything from China’s stern controls (link in Italian) on internal migration, to its security apparatus, to its investment strategy on the African continent.


03-21-2019, 07:05 PM
A curious stop for the President:
Xi's visit to Italy, which will be followed by stops in Monaco.....

Perhaps the casino(s) are the attraction?

Bill Moore
03-24-2019, 06:04 AM

So important is the China-Pakistan partnership that Beijing was willing to stick its neck out in support of a key terrorist asset of the Pakistani state who garners little sympathy outside Pakistan.

While most understand that China and Pakistan have a close relationship, many regional experts thought China had the upperhand in the relationship, and had the leverage to support the UN effort to designate Azhar a terrorist, but instead China placed a technical hold on the resolution.

Perhaps the biggest reason to have believed China would let Azhar be designated a terrorist is that it would have been a low-risk move for Beijing. Pakistan’s close friendship with and deep dependence on China—which increased after the United States suspended its security assistance to Pakistan last year—means Islamabad would have been in no position to express displeasure, much less retaliate. So there would have been no deleterious consequences for bilateral relations. In fact, allowing the resolution to pass would have benefited Beijing: It would have brought China some international goodwill at a moment when its global image has been marred by its cruel and repressive policies toward the Uighur community.

03-28-2019, 05:38 PM
Refreshing take.

China Never Was A Superpower—And It Won’t Be One Anytime Soon

As an initial matter, the popular conception of China rests on a gross misreading of the past. The country, in short, has never been dominant on “the world stage,” as Kaplan and others put it. “The idea that China was somehow a great Asian hegemon at some point in the past, so that all she is doing now is resuming her traditional position is a total misunderstanding of how nations in pre-modern Asia interacted,” Arthur Waldron of the University of Pennsylvania told Strategika. “Fundamentally, they avoided contact lest that lead to disorder, as globalization is doing in China today.”


Bill Moore
04-29-2019, 09:00 AM

BBC Documentary China vs USA - Empires at war

The video interviews numerous PRC, Taiwan, and U.S. strategists, and as the retired PLA clearly states, China is at war with the U.S. now, but it is a different type of war, unrestricted warfare.

The next article focuses on PLA's maritime militia, or little blue men.


Beijing’s maritime militia, the scourge of South China Sea
China uses hundreds of fishing trawlers, manned by military-trained sailors and modified for ramming and spying, to seize islands

For two years, scores and sometimes hundreds of Chinese fishing ships have been harassing, swarming and spying on Filipino construction crews upgrading infrastructure on the island of Thitu, known as Pagasa in the Philippines. This is the second largest naturally occurring island in the Spratly archipelago, and is home to about 100 Filipinos and a small military detachment.

07-09-2019, 08:29 PM
An event in London last month @ Policy Exchange (a UK think tank) on this topic, albeit with a reference to the internal Conservative Party competition for the next Prime Minister. The panel has an Australian, Alex Downer, an ex-Foreign Minister; ret'd US General Petraeus; two UK SME and a former Conservative Minister of Defence, Ivan Fallon. The podcast is 71 mins long and I am currently listening to it.

07-09-2019, 08:38 PM
A rather good article IMHO on this vexed issue by Gerard Baker, of the WSJ, now two weeks ago in the British weekly magazine 'The Spectator'. He outlines the Trump approach, drawing attention to his VP's speech in October 2018 - which I had not heard of - and concludes with:
No one thinks a war with China is either desirable or likely. But what’s changed in the US since Trump came to power is a belief that, just as with the threat from the old Soviet Union, peace is more likely to be achieved through enhanced US strength and a willingness to project it than through accommodation and vacillation.
Link, which includes a podcast discussion between the author and two Brits:https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/06/trumps-strategy-towards-china-could-actually-work/

08-08-2019, 01:02 PM
An opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald by an Australian Federal MP and chair of the Intelligence & Security Committee; identified by a "lurker". It is strongly worded and was condemned by the PRC (see BBC report).
Link: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/we-must-see-china-the-opportunities-and-the-threats-with-clear-eyes-20190807-p52eon.html and a related BBC News item: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-49273989

Note the later identified the author as being an ex-Australian SOF officer 2010-2015 His official bio:https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Parliamentarian?MPID=260805 and another:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Hastie_(politician)

Bill Moore
08-18-2019, 09:56 PM
An opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald by an Australian Federal MP and chair of the Intelligence & Security Committee; identified by a "lurker". It is strongly worded and was condemned by the PRC (see BBC report).
Link: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/we-must-see-china-the-opportunities-and-the-threats-with-clear-eyes-20190807-p52eon.html and a related BBC News item: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-49273989

Note the later identified the author as being an ex-Australian SOF officer 2010-2015 His official bio:https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Parliamentarian?MPID=260805 and another:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Hastie_(politician)

Finally some leaders, though not in key positions are beginning to view China as it actually is, instead of the way they want it to be. The Australian Embassy comment condeming his remarks was cowardly. The Nazi comparison is apt, but there are differences. Instead of a Blitzgreg, they are expanding their territory via military and non-military coercion incrementally. If China conducted these activities over a 6 month period, instead of 10 plus years, there would be no doubt in anyone's mind it was naked aggression. Xi has much said he seeks to radically transform the international order to make it safe for authoritarian governments. Inside China, the racist communist party is conducted its own "final solution" for minority groups. We don't even need to discuss the unfair trade and intellectualy property theft. It is a shame that some Australian politicians would defend the communist party's behavior, but not surprising. The free world can and should work with the Chinese people, but the Chinese Communist Party is another matter.