China in US gunsights

Discussion in 'China' started by Ray, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    China in US gunsights

    Is China's rise going to lead to conflict with America? Is Beijing destined to go to war with today's undisputed global superpower?

    The question is not posed directly in the new US defence strategic review. But, unspoken, it is there, running through the document that seeks to shape America's new military thinking for the 21st Century.

    Read the review and it is clear that the challenge posed by a rising China is at the very heart of America's new defence strategy.

    The document is careful to say China is not destined to be an adversary. But it makes clear America is, nevertheless, about to retool its military to deter China, and, if necessary, to confront it.

    Released by President Barack Obama at the Pentagon, the aim of the new strategy is there in black and white: to reshape the US military in a way that "preserves American global leadership, maintains our military superiority".

    The Pentagon and the White House are certainly not ready to accept the notion that America is inevitably facing long-term decline while China is on an equally inevitable rise. America wants to remain number one, and this new defence policy is designed to achieve that.
    Lack of trust

    In the very first sentence of his preamble, President Obama says "our nation is at a moment of transition," and the review states: "We face an inflection point." It identifies two basic forces shaping the transition, one inside America, one outside.

    At home growing budget pressures mean there have to be cuts in military spending. At the same time there is the awareness that, abroad, China's growing economic strength is changing the dynamic of power in Asia.

    The new defence posture, says the US, encourages "the peaceful rise of new powers". That is code for welcoming China's ascent, and has been said many times before.

    As to what China's rise means, the new strategy is open-minded. "Over the long term," it says, noncommittally, "China's emergence as a regional power will have the potential to affect the US economy and our security in a variety of ways."

    Note the way that China is described as an emerging "regional power". The Pentagon is not ready to accord China the status of a global power or superpower, or even an emerging superpower, a reflection of the fact that China's military reach is still far from global.

    However China's economic influence does now span the world. America and China are bound by mutual self-interest. But the review is clear there is a real lack of trust.

    "Our two countries have a strong stake in peace and stability in East Asia and an interest in building a co-operative bilateral relationship. However, the growth of China's military power must be accompanied by a greater clarity of its strategic intentions in order to avoid causing friction in the region."
    Arms race

    So the US is still hedging its bets. Already last year, the Obama administration unveiled its "pivot", turning America's gaze towards the Pacific. That shift is clear in this new doctrine. "We will of necessity rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region", it says several times.

    Now America is stating that it will work on several fronts to counter China's emerging power.

    There is a clear concern about China's efforts to develop weapons that would make it hard for US forces to operate in parts of East Asia. China is investing in "anti-access" and "area denial" weapons like so-called "carrier killer" missiles that could sink US aircraft carriers at sea. It has also invested heavily in submarines and is building stealth fighter jets.

    All of those could push US aircraft carrier fleets further from China's shores, limiting their ability to influence vital trade routes in the South China Sea, or to defend Taiwan if it is attacked by China.

    The review says "states such as China and Iran will continue to pursue asymmetric means to counter our power projection capabilities." But it promises "the United States must maintain its ability to project power in areas in which our access and freedom to operate are challenged".

    "The maintenance of peace, stability, the free flow of commerce, and of US influence in this dynamic region will depend in part on an underlying balance of military capability and presence," it says.

    So the US wants to keep its military superiority over China intact. What that leads to is an escalating arms race as America moves to counter China's own advances.

    In a way the Pentagon may be copying China's own strategy, investing in similar types of weapons. There will be a focus on developing increasing air and naval power, and on advanced weapons such as even more sophisticated stealth jets, missiles and drones, along with cyberwarfare and space capabilities too.
    Making friends

    Strengthening a network of alliances around China is the other pillar of the strategy. "We will emphasise our existing alliances, which provide a vital foundation for Asia-Pacific security. We will also expand our networks of co-operation with emerging partners throughout the Asia-Pacific region."

    Already the US has close defence relationships with South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Australia. It is working to build ties with Vietnam, Indonesia and is "investing in a long-term strategic partnership with India".

    What all this amounts to is a very robust message of deterrence to China. The US will contest any challenge to its dominance. It will cement core alliances with China's neighbours and protect its interest in East Asia.

    To return to the question we began with. Will there be conflict between the US and China one day?

    The answer may well depend on how China responds to this new policy. Will it seek to assert its own power in East Asia? Will that cause growing friction?

    One early response to the new US policy has come from the state-controlled Global Times newspaper, often nationalist in its opinions.

    It says "China needs to enhance its long-distance military attack ability and develop more ways to threaten US territory in order to gradually push outward the front line of its 'game' with America".

    "China," the paper says, "must make the US realise that its rise can't be stopped and that it is best for the US to show friendliness towards China."

    BBC News - China in US gunsights
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Sustaining US Global Leadership

    Project Power Despite Anti-Access/Area Denial Challenges. In order to credibly deter potential adversaries and to prevent them from achieving their objectives, the United States must maintain its ability to project power in areas in which our access and freedom to operate are challenged. In these areas, sophisticated adversaries will use asymmetric capabilities, to include electronic and cyber warfare, ballistic and cruise missiles, advanced air defenses, mining, and other methods, to complicate our operational calculus. States such as China and Iran will continue to pursue asymmetric means to counter our power projection capabilities, while the proliferation of sophisticated
    weapons and technology will extend to non-state actors as well. Accordingly, the U.S. military will invest as required to ensure its ability to operate effectively in anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) environments........

    Provide a Stabilizing Presence. U.S. forces will conduct a sustainable pace of presence operations abroad, including rotational deployments and bilateral and multilateral training exercises. These activities reinforce deterrence, help to build the capacity and competence of U.S., allied, and partner forces for internal and external defense, strengthen alliance cohesion, and increase U.S. influence. A reduction in resources will require innovative and creative solutions to maintain our support for allied and partner interoperability and building partner capacity. However, with reduced resources, thoughtful choices will need to be made regarding the location and frequency of these operations......

    Over the past ten years, the United States and its coalition allies and partners have learned hard lessons and applied new operational approaches in the counter terrorism, counterinsurgency, and security force assistance arenas, most often operating in uncontested sea and air environments. Accordingly, similar work needs to be done to ensure the United States, its allies, and partners are capable of operating in A2/AD, cyber, and other contested operating
    environments. To that end, the Department will both encourage a culture of change and be prudent with its ““seed corn,”” balancing reductions necessitated by resource pressures with the imperative to sustain key streams of innovation that may provide significant long-term payoffs.

    http://www.defense.gov/news/Defense_Strategic_Guidance.pdf
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  4. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Chicoms use the word "friendliness" like they use the word "peaceloving."

    These words cloak their intentions.
     
  5. J20!

    J20! Senior Member Senior Member

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    What intentions? To sail across the pacific with six aircraft carriers, over 30 nuclear submarines, drop off a few thousand marines next door to you and increase the number of marines on an island base a short hop away from your shores? Sorry, that's you.

    Sitting there and calling China hegemonic, for being the most powerful country in Asia, masks the fact that you want to dominate a continent that's almost 5000 km away from your shores. The US dominates the Americas because its the largest there, why is the same applying to China sudenly a crime? The US playing the "China threat" card is simply a ploy to hang on to its hegemonic hold on Asia and you know it.

    The world is getting more and more multi-polar, whether its China or Brazil or India, America's hegemonic hold on the world will cease eventualy, whether you succeed in killing off our country or not. You're probably glad that the British empire wasn't as aggressive as you are at dettering any potential competitors on the world stage i"m guessing?
     
  6. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    The term "regional power" caught my eye instantly, just how difficult it gets to accept a change, nothing would tell you better than that term to define china.

    Indeed, the US is worried, at times paranoid about anything that can slightly challenge them, and from an Indian PoV it is all the more better for us. The image of china as an aggressor works for us perfectly well, and a sensationalist media creating hype around adds up to it pretty well.
     
  7. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Precisely China is a regional power as the US' assessment frames - a reflection of the fact that China's military reach is still far from global. Hyping that China is anything of "world" or "super" won't balloon Chinese ego but serve intentionally to justify the hysteria that China is a looming threat. There have been sober points made on DFI like, China lacks capability of power projection worldwide, overseas bases, or alliances etc. . China's military build-up, is defensive, for the time being.

    I think the world has got used to Newspeak already :p, such as
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  8. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    Amoy,

    A country whose ppp defence budget should be around 40-45% of the US can in no way be a regional power, certainly not in my dictionary. As far as global reach is concerned, fact remains, a lot of what china possesses, no one for sure knows the true capability. The biggest constraint comes in the form of not possessing CBGs, but that’s only a matter of time, max should be a decade and not more.

    Economically the way china is growing, and asserting itself across from asia to Africa to latin America to now even in Europe and more specifically EU, no one should remain in any illusion of what china is capable of. A nominal economy worth 7t usd, and 11.3 t usd when converted to ppp is by no means regional.

    On world matters which concern the global community today more specifically Syria, Iran, DPRK again the stand taken should leave no one in doubt on how China has emerged. If the way china has conducted its diplomacy outside the SEA region, then there has been a lot of innovation, and china does know the trick of buying over nations who should be ready to side with it when in need, though China’s real short coming has been that it has still not started to get the biggies side with it, other than Russia which has its own compulsions.

    China is by no means a regional power, but yes, it still has some time to go before it can be categorized alongside the US. The real challenge will come around 2025, that will be the time china would have easily surged ahead of the US not only in terms of PPP GDP but nominal as well, when the defence budget in terms of PPP would have surpassed that of the US, and china would be way-way more assertive and at times very demanding on matters concerning the world.

    Anyways, from an Indian perspective, we wont be complaining too much because our need would have only increased, and the western countries would have still not digested the rise of a country which would not be “one of them”.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I would say that any country that can demand imposition their hegemony with military actions and quasi military actions can hardly be taken to be working with peaceful intent!
     
  10. mattster

    mattster Respected Member Senior Member

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    Your question is valid - The US is indeed a hegemonic power all over the world especially in the North American area, right ??

    Yes, certainly.... but you forgot some thing about the US. There is not a single country bordering the US that is worried about the US claiming their land or islands or resources. Go talk to any Canadian and ask them if if they are afraid that the US will annex any of their lands. All the disputes were settled years ago. Even the tiny Caribbean Island nations are not weary of the US - other than Cuba.

    Nows lets talk about your beloved China - Please name me one country that China borders with that do not have any major border disputes with China.
    What is even more amazing is that even countries as far as Philipines are being threatened by China claiming islands that are barely a 100 miles away from its shore.

    Its not the US that is claiming that China is a threat - its China's smaller neighbours who are claiming that China is a Threat
     
  11. ice berg

    ice berg Senior Member Senior Member

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    I have to laugh at your ignorance. There is only one country which China have a border dispute with and that is India.
    The main disputes is at the South China Sea. On land, there is only border with India. Go educate yourself.
    By the way the countries have disputes with each other too, not just with China. never hear about you complain about that.
    China just happends to be the biggest kid in the block. WHich makes her an easy target no matter what.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  12. Tianshan

    Tianshan Regular Member

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    we are still just a regional power, and will continue to be so for a long time.

    some will be frightened by our "aggregate" power, but in per capita terms it is still very low.

    if other countries want to be scared and build up their defence budgets, so what? that will just help our actual goal (economic competition) even more.
     
  13. J20!

    J20! Senior Member Senior Member

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    Oh please. And who is that? The Philipines? Vietnaam? Have you noticed that Taiwan's claims in the SCS are the same as ours? Yet I dont seem to recall anyone calling them hegemonic, or the US participating in naval drills with the Philipines to counter Taiwan. Japan has territorial disputes with Russia, South Korea, China/Taiwan, yet they're not a threat to "regional security" are they?

    The truth is, the US isn't in the Pacific to protect regional security or hold the peace, and I'm sure you all know that. The US military is in Asia to safeguard US INTERESTS, to safeguard the US's hold on Asia, that's it. And dont lie dude. America still has territorial disputes with Caribean island nations AND has arctic claims that clash with Canada's.Trying to demonize China for having territorial disputes with the SEA countries is the height of hypocricy.
     
  14. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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  15. satish007

    satish007 Senior Member Senior Member

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    [/QUOTE]
    well, Mexican want to join US ,but get rejected(I bet if China and India are US will accept it immedialty).
    Chinese should review and know how to be a leader.
    US is a different country, they fear God and will not do things God does not like.
    Chinese are wild, probability will mad in the furthure.
     

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