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Thread: China's Emergence as a Superpower (2015 onwards)

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default China's Emergence as a Superpower (2015 onwards)

    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 akin to Germany before WWI. Others argue that China’s assertive behavior in its regional offshore island disputes is simply a manifestation of the Chinese Communist Party’s focus on domestic stability, which precludes any broader global ambitions.

    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 that facts on the ground will increasingly compel the Party to develop some global operational capabilities.
    Link:http://www.lawfareblog.com/2015/01/t...ilitary-power/

    The National Interest article, which may duplicate the first:http://nationalinterest.org/feature/...o-global-11882
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    Default Moderator's Note

    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.
    Link:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=4366

    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/...ad.php?t=13942
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    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.
    http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/13/asia/c...iref=obnetwork

    See also http://www.uscc.gov/
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    Default China drafts law on counterterrorism operations abroad

    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.”
    Link:http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/201.../#.VPRYGY4tzK9
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Seven Reasons China Will Start a War By 2017

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/artic...#ixzz3YwHfDmn7
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    From SWJ News Roundup today, well worth the read if you're interested in China.

    http://qz.com/415649/china-is-buildi...re-in-history/

    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.

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Bill,

    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..."
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Bill,

    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.

    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?

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    "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.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Default Worse than it appears!

    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!

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    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
    Quartz

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

    http://www.defenseone.com/politics/2...ref=d-dontmiss
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    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.
    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/...nts/ar-AAbGonx
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    Default China’s $ changing the worldL Ecuador as an example

    The chart below features in a long NYT article, which interestingly uses Ecuador as its focus:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/26/bu...attached.html?

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    Default Chinese Navy replenishment at sea

    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.
    Link:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/...pability.aspx?
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    Default PLAN lose Berings

    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.....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.
    Link:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...a-alaska-coast
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    "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."
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/pentagon...sea-1441216258



    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.
    http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/thi...-it-1728674129
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    Default The US-PRC Military Scorecard

    An offering from RAND, the full title being: The U.S.-China Military Scorecard: Forces, Geography, and the Evolving Balance of Power, 1996-2017:

    Link: http://www.andrewerickson.com/2015/0...wer-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.
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    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: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities," and the latest edition of "The Chinese Military: Overview and Issues for Congress."
    The links hopefully work. The, unread reports are 122 and 45 pgs each.
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    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.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/internati...s-trap/406756/
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    Default CHN-BATT @ Juba

    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/...ead.php?t=2164
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