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Old 12-14-2010   #1
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Default Japan gives China a new strategic complication

Japan gives China a new strategic complication

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According to the New York Times, the Japanese government will soon release new defense policy guidelines that will redirect its military’s primary attention away from the Russian threat from the north and toward the Chinese threat from the south. The new defense guidelines will also direct Japan’s military forces to improve their coordination with the United States, Australia, and South Korea. Japan’s shift toward China is a response to what it sees as the more ominous threat. What China’s leaders need to ponder is whether their more assertive policies are actually improving China’s security.

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Old 01-07-2011   #2
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Default This Week at War: Gates's China Syndrome

This Week at War: Gates's China Syndrome

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The U.S. secretary of defense believes that better military relations with Beijing can help avoid an arms race. But is that what the Chinese want?

Here is the latest edition of my column at Foreign Policy:

Topics include:

1) Will China listen to Gates?

2) Can an army fighting a drug war stay clean?

Will China listen to Gates?

On Jan. 9, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates will leave on a three day visit to China, where he will meet with his counterparts in the Chinese government. According to Gates's spokesperson, the trip is "aimed at improving our mutual understanding and reducing the risk of miscalculation." Achieving a sustained military-to-military relationship between the United States and China has long been a goal of Gates. For the secretary, the ultimate purpose of such a relationship is to avoid a wasteful and potentially dangerous arms race between the two powers. What remains to be seen is whether Gates's hosts have the same view and whether they currently have much incentive to listen to their guest.

As a trained historian and former Cold Warrior, Gates is well aware of the costs and dangers of military competitions among great powers. Now in the eleventh hour of what will presumably be his last tour of public service, Gates is hoping that a system of regular contact between U.S. and Chinese defense officials will increase transparency, reduce suspicion, and ease the pressure that would otherwise push for greater military preparation on both sides. Gates is now deeply immersed in defense budget planning and feels the pressure smaller budgets will place on U.S. forces. Should Gates be able to avert an arms race with China, he would achieve a success that would eclipse those he may yet achieve in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For Gates, the U.S.-China military relationship benefits both sides and should logically be a high priority for both countries. Unfortunately, Chinese behavior on this issue does not support that view.

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Old 02-01-2011   #3
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Default China Commission receives testimony on China’s military doctrine

China Commission receives testimony on China’s military doctrine

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On January 27, the U.S. government’s U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission received testimony from eleven experts on China’s “active defense” strategy and its implications for Asian security.

A few highlights from the day’s testimony:

1) Roger Cliff of RAND discussed how the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) describes its “active defense” doctrine, noting that the PLA never uses such U.S. terms as “area denial” or “anti-access.” Cliff notes that since its founding in 1927, the PLA has long become used to the idea of engaging in combat against better-equipped adversaries. According to Cliff, the PLA’s current doctrine emphasizes seven principles: avoiding direct confrontation; seizing the initiative early; surprise; preemption; “key point strikes” against critical nodes; “concentrated attack,” and information superiority. Applying this doctrine to a hypothetical China-U.S. matchup in East Asia, Cliff would expect the PLA to bypass frontline U.S. forces and instead focus its attacks on U.S. bases, the U.S. supply and maintenance system, and the U.S. command and control system.

2) Martin Libicki of RAND discussed two scenarios involving China’s use of offensive cyber operations, the first for strategic coercion and the second in operational support of a conventional military campaign. Libicki asserted that the U.S. government has yet to assess its risk exposure to cyber attack, let alone calculate its ability to fight through such an attack.

3) Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF (ret), catalogued the PLA’s current and near-term capabilities in integrated air defense; conventional missile forces; integrated joint operations; and space and counter-space operations. For non-conventional operations, Deptula discussed the Chinese concept of the “Three Warfares”: psychological operations, influence operations, and “legal warfare.”

4) Finally, Jim Thomas of CSBA discussed his recommendations for a U.S. regional response. Thomas recommended that the U.S. should encourage its allies and partners in Southeast Asia to develop their own “mini anti-access/area denial” defense postures. Second, the U.S. should promote regional defense planning, coordination, and transparency. Third, the U.S. should promote regional ISR data sharing. Fourth, the U.S. should expand its own military engagement activities with its allies and partners in the region. Finally, the U.S. should continue to develop and refine its emerging AirSea Battle concept.

There are additional witness statements and documents not covered in this summary. Click here to see all of the witnesses and their statements.

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Old 08-15-2011   #4
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Default The US response to China (catch all)

Moderator's Note

This small, surprisingly so thread was called The Pentagon's new China war plan; today it was retitled 'The US response to China (catch all)' after three threads were merged (ends).

Quote:
Saturday, Aug 13, 2011 13:01 ET
The Pentagon's new China war plan

According to the defense trade press, Pentagon officials are seeking ways to adapt a concept known as AirSea Battle specifically for China, debunking rote claims from Washington that it has no plans to thwart its emerging Asian rival. A recent article in Inside the Pentagon reported that a small group of U.S. Navy officers known as the China Integration Team "is hard at work applying the lessons of [AirSea Battle] to a potential conflict with China."

<snip>

AirSea Battle, developed in the early 1990s and most recently codified in a 2009 Navy-Air Force classified memo, is a vehicle for conforming U.S. military power to address asymmetrical threats in the Western Pacific and the Persian Gulf -- code for China and Iran.

<snip>

It complements the 1992 Defense Planning Guidance, a government white paper that precluded the rise of any "peer competitor" that might challenge U.S. dominance worldwide. The Planning Guidance is the Pentagon’s writ for control of what defense planners call "the global commons," a euphemism for the seaways, land bridges and air corridors that are the arteries of international commerce. For a foreign power to challenge this American dominion is to effectively declare war on the United States, and that is exactly what China appears to be doing in the South China Sea, a resource-rich and highly contested waterway in Southeast Asia.

It was in this spirit that Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos, at a dinner hosted by the Center for a New American Security in late May, remarked that the wars in the Persian Gulf were denying Washington the resources it needed to cope with an increasingly assertive China. "

<snip>

In addition to China, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines all have competing claims on several clusters of South China Sea islands. Rather than intervening with quiet diplomacy to untangle this incendiary thicket, the U.S. has starkly sided against Beijing. In March 2010, when a Chinese official was quoted by Japanese media as identifying the region as a "core interest" of Chinese sovereignty, the White House retaliated by declaring that freedom of maritime navigation is a U.S. "national interest."

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/20..._stephen_glain
Notwithstanding the Defence Budget cuts, the national debt, commitment in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US apparently has not abandoned its national geostrategic perspective as some may believe.

If indeed it is so, one wonders how the US will be able to balance the strategic interests around the world to include the above, Arab Spring and the Chinese hegemonic intent.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-11-2015 at 08:47 PM. Reason: Add MOds Note
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Old 08-15-2011   #5
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Sounds like an old plan, not a new one.

I wouldn't read too much into the existence of a plan or various efforts to develop new plans. The Pentagon does this all the time; they have plans for all kinds of contingencies. It's their job. The likelihood of the plan ever being used is a quite different thing.

I don't think either the US or China has any real interest in initiating conflict, or anything to gain from initiating conflict.
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Old 08-15-2011   #6
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I agree, although the official statement a year or so ago that SHAPE did not yet have plans for defending the Baltic NATO states did create cracks in my confidence that military forces have lots of strategic plans...
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Old 08-15-2011   #7
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Old plan or not, one wonders why raise it now.

Saturday, Aug 13, 2011 13:01 ET
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Old 08-15-2011   #8
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Default the dream isn't over

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Old plan or not, one wonders why raise it now.
Just so the generals can say the road's open?

Quote:
F-16s pivotal for Taiwan’s future: Yang

If Taiwan does not get the F-16C/D aircraft it seeks from the US to replace its aging fleet, Taipei will lose its leverage and face immediate challenges in fulfilling its responsibilities of preserving peace and stability in Asia, Deputy Minister of National Defense Andrew Yang (楊念祖) told a defense magazine in an interview published yesterday.

“Washington sometimes does not get the right picture of Taiwan’s responsibility. That is part of the reason we want new fighters,” Yang told Defense News in a wide-ranging interview. “Otherwise, the US has to send its own military to replace our daily patrols in the region.”
F-16s pivotal for Taiwan's future: Yang - Taipei Times - Aug 9, 2011

-$-$-$

Quote:
F-16C/D deal for Taiwan dead: report

THE BIG SURPRISE:It had been anticipated that the US would upgrade Taiwan’s entire fleet of F-16A/Bs. However, it appears only one of the two F-16 wings will be retrofitted

By J. Michael Cole / Staff Reporter

Taiwan will not be getting the 66 F-16C/D aircraft it has been requesting since 2007, a Ministry of National Defense official has confirmed, and fewer of its older F-16s will be retrofitted, news that could strike a blow to President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration as it heads into elections next January.

“We are so disappointed in the United States,” the official told Defense News on the sidelines of the Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE), which ended on Saturday, blaming the decision on pressure from Beijing.
F-16C/D deal for Taiwan dead: report - Taipei Times - Aug 15, 2011

-$-$-$

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blows it right back up again. Just so the generals can
say the road's open. Think about it. Who cares ?"

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Old 08-16-2011   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Old plan or not, one wonders why raise it now.
Who raised it? Looks to me like it got a few column inches in the "Daily Tedium" section of some specialized defense journal and some eager beaver at Salon figured they could yank it out of context and get a headline out of it. look for the same item to appear in hysteria blogs under the headline "US Plans War With China!!".
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Old 09-02-2011   #10
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Default This Week at War: The Pentagon's China Syndrome

This Week at War: The Pentagon's China Syndrome

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Old 09-23-2011   #11
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Default This Week at War: Let's Talk About China

This Week at War: Let's Talk About China

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Old 10-17-2011   #12
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Default U.S. Marine lieutenant has a message for China

U.S. Marine lieutenant has a message for China

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Old 01-20-2013   #13
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Default Strategic Trust with China

A "lurker" suggested posting this Hudson Institute paper 'Information-based
Arms Control and Sino-American Trust' by Dr Christopher Ford, alongside his reflections on dealing with the Chinese.

I have read the later, not the former and it is perplexing as China is currently seen as an accelerating great power, likely to be in competition, if not conflict with others, not just the West.

The next post tells a rather different story.

From the paper's opening:
Quote:
This paper was prepared for the Fourth Xiangshan Forum in Beijing, a conference sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Military Science and the People’s Liberation Army, to which I am grateful for inviting me to participate. AsiaPacific security issues are obviously of great importance to our two countries, to Pacific Rim relations, and to peace and security more generally. This paper explores some aspects of China’s relationship with the United States and with its neighbors, as well as the role Sino-American strategic transparency may be able to play in managing those relationships.
Link:http://www.hudson.org/files/publicat...ustDec2012.pdf

From the reflections, which starts with and my emphasis:
Quote:
Our subject there was Asia-Pacific mutual trust, and indeed the discussion provided an interesting opportunity to learn about that subject. Unfortunately, however, this was principally because our discussion – especially on the first day – did more to demonstrate or model distrust than to illuminate how to lessen or overcome it.

In general, the participants in Roundtable Three broke down into two camps. One focused on the challenges of each side understanding and trusting the other side’s strategic intentions, on the role of perceptions in conditioning such conclusions, and of how to communicate and to modulate future behavior in ways conducive to trust. By contrast, the other camp focused upon trying to obtain agreement on specific characterizations of past behavior before any matters relating to the present (or the future) could be addressed. The first camp, in other words, emphasized trying to achieve forward-looking insight, while the other stressed backward-looking blame-allocation and fault-finding. The second group consisted predominantly of PLA participants.
He ends with:
Quote:
To be sure, perhaps I am reading too much into a few days’ discussions. On the other hand, perhaps these encounters at the 4th Xiangshan Forum really do offer insight into an idiosyncratic Chinese approach to global order, highlighting a sort of politico-moral imperialism that has few obvious precedents outside the historical Sinosphere. Chinese leaders appear to be strongly invested in other countries’ narratives of China – seeing this as critical terrain for international competition (i.e., advantage or vulnerability) – and they seem to claim the right to control everyone else’s interpretations. If this is so, there may be important policy implications for the United States, and for China’s increasingly nervous neighbors, both about what to expect from Beijing in the years ahead, and about additional ways in which we might perhaps be able to develop effective competitive strategies vis-à-vis the PRC.
Link:http://www.newparadigmsforum.com/NPFtestsite/?p=1498
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Old 01-20-2013   #14
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Default Sino-US helping each other and others

A few months ago in discussion - in London - with two analyst friends looking at the future we turned to the Pacific. I recalled a reference to the Chinese Coast Guard (or similar) having an observation presence on US Coastguard vessels in the North Pacific Ocean - for reasons I could not recall.

My memory was jogged by checking back numbers of 'Survival' (February-March 2011, pub. by IISS) which has an article 'Policing the Waves: Maritime Paramilitaries in the Asia Pacific'. At the end it refers to an annual meeting, the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum, with PRC, Canada, Japan, RoK, Russia and the USA.

A search then found my memory was correct:
Quote:
Both the United States and China actively participate in international efforts to deter the practice of large-scale high seas drift net fishing as encouraged by a 1992 United Nations moratorium. The Coast Guard and NOAA Fisheries Service annually host enforcement officers from the China Fishery Law Enforcement Command on board Coast Guard cutters patrolling in the North Pacific Ocean.
From:http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ole/news/20...scgdacheng.htm

Then an comments by the USCG Commander for the Pacific:http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/20...n-the-pacific/

There is more detail of the August 2012:http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2012/0...-net-violator/

It is an interesting example of how multiple national interests can be pursued through what appears to be a strange coalition.

One wonders if this could happen in the South China Sea? Yes, fishery protection is quite different from territorial disputes.
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Old 01-21-2013   #15
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Quote:
A "lurker" suggested posting this Hudson Institute paper 'Information-based Arms Control and Sino-American Trust' by Dr Christopher Ford, alongside his reflections on dealing with the Chinese.
Thanks for posting these. The author displays an exceptional level of writing skill.

Quote:
I once assumed that most such things were simply an uncoordinated, unsystematic prickliness bespeaking merely Beijing’s ongoing insecurity in the modern world and the crudely propagandistic reflexes of the Chinese Party-State. And I had assumed that the “non-interference” theme in PRC diplomatic discourse was simply a propaganda trope intended to be alternatively invoked or ignored with opportunistic and often hypocritical cynicism.

['.']

It does seem to be the case that China’s modern ruling elite views politico-moral discourse control as a crucial determinant of “comprehensive national power.” But this isn’t just some newfound enthusiasm for constructivist international relations theory. We may in fact see here a modern incarnation of the ancient Confucian “rectification of names,” in which properly characterizing key actors in a system of order determines the relationships and responsibilities between them. Through such a prism, control over “naming” is essentially the same thing as controlling the system of order itself. Nor can there be anything purely “internal” about such characterizations, for they are in part constitutive of systemic order, and thus everybody’s business.

['.']

China’s fixation upon shaping others’ accounts of China, then, is arguably not necessarily “just” the result of insecurity or narcissism. Some of it may in fact grow out of a deeply-rooted conception of social order in which narrative control is inherently a strategic objective because it is assumed that status or role ascriptions and moral characterizations play a critical role in shaping the world they describe. (It seems to be felt, for instance, that if the world understands China “properly,” it will tend to behave toward China as China’s rulers desire; controlling others’ conceptual frameworks may be felt at least as important as more traditionally tangible aspects of international dominion. How others view China and its role in the international system, moreover, may feed back into its regime’s own legitimacy narrative at home, and thus its continued monopolization of power.) Through this lens, my PLA counterparts’ emphasis upon demanding concurrence with Beijing’s characterization of the region’s politico-moral backstory, as it were, was not a self-indulgent distraction from the task at hand, but in fact the game itself.
As the old story goes, polishing a stone may not make a mirror, but it is possible that it improves the quality of the reflection.

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Old 01-21-2013   #16
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It is every difficult to know what the Chinese say and what they mean.

Too much of it is in pious platitudes, homilies and mealy mouthed outpourings.

Their statements are tongue in cheek!
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Old 01-21-2013   #17
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Default nothing comes from nothing

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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
It is every difficult to know what the Chinese say and what they mean.

Too much of it is in pious platitudes, homilies and mealy mouthed outpourings.

Their statements are tongue in cheek!
Reading this comment brings to mind another common Chan/Zen saying, sometimes phrased as, "Why did Bodhidharma go to China?".

The Story of Bodhidharma - USA Shaolin Temple
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Old 01-22-2013   #18
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Nice story!

Did enlighten the people!
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Old 01-22-2013   #19
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Default a little bit of herstory

Indeed. Current scholarship from the Korean Zen lineage suggests that Bodhidharma's teacher, Prajnatara, was actually a Yogini. Fascinating.

Quote:
According to the story of Prajnatara from Kerala, originally she was a homeless waif who wandered western India and called herself Keyura, which means "necklace" or "bracelet." One day she met Master Punyamitra, and they felt a great dharma connection between them from past lives.

She became Punyamitra's student and was re-named Prajnatara. She is remembered as an accomplished yogini and also as a powerful Siddhi who could see into the past, present and future.

When Huns swept through northern India in the 5th century, Prajnatara went further south to escape the chaos. The Pallava king of south India, Simhavarman, invited her to teach in his capital, Kanchipuram. King Simhavarman's youngest son, Bodhitara, became her student and was ordained a monk with the name Bodhidharma.

Prajnatara, seeing that the dharma would leave India, advised Bodhidharma to go to China after she died. And so, some time after his teacher's death at the age of 67, Bodhidharma traveled to China and eventually to Shaolin.
Prajnatara: Mother of Zen?
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Old 01-22-2013   #20
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Fascinating.

Thanks.

I had no idea of all this.
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