China to "cut army, boost air force, navy"

Discussion in 'China' started by BLACK_COBRA, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. BLACK_COBRA

    BLACK_COBRA Regular Member

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    By Benjamin Kang Lim and Lucy Hornby

    BEIJING (Reuters) - China plans to cut back its army and boost the navy and air force, sources with ties to the People's Liberation Army said, extending its military reach and risking greater regional tensions.

    China, which celebrates the 60th founding of the People's Republic on Thursday with a massive military parade, aims to cut its army by 700,000 troops over two to three years as part of its drive to modernize the world's biggest military into a leaner high-tech force, the two sources said.

    The PLA also plans to boost navy and air force personnel over that time, the sources said. Both requested anonymity to avoid repercussions for speaking to foreign reporters without authorization.

    Xu Guangyu, a former PLA officer now at the government-backed China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, said he had not heard of the 700,000 figure but was sure cuts were coming.

    "After several years there will have to be more reductions so we can continue improving weapons and creating crack troops," Xu told Reuters. "The land forces will remain dominant, but the navy and air force will rise as a proportion of the PLA."

    China watchers are monitoring international deployments for signs of China's rising global status translating into a more assertive foreign policy and presence. Chinese warships steamed to waters off Somalia in December to help in anti-piracy patrols.

    Recently, Chinese vessels have become involved in jostling with U.S. surveillance vessels in seas off the Chinese coast that Beijing claims are in its exclusive economic zone.

    And China has never renounced the use of force to bring self-ruled and democratic Taiwan, which it considers sovereign territory, under its rule. But ties have improved since the election of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou last year.

    Increased Chinese military activity around a series of disputed atolls and rocks in the South China Sea has worried Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, which have their own territorial claims. Japan urged China this week to cut its nuclear arsenal, illustrating its wariness of China's growing might.

    The PLA was born out of the Red Army, a five-million-strong peasant army, and became the national armed force after Communist leader Mao Zedong swept to power 60 years ago.

    The cuts to land forces and additions to the other arms of the military would mean that PLA troop numbers shrink from 2.3 million, but the final tally is unclear.

    China has cut troop numbers in recent years to make more money available for better training and conditions and more advanced weapons. The navy is considering building an aircraft carrier.

    Neither source was sure when the planned reduction would be announced. It needs the approval of the Communist Party's Central Military Commission, which is headed by President Hu Jintao.

    One of the sources said China plans to retire and replace aged aircraft over the next three to five years. The streamlining will also involve hiving off military hospital personnel and performing troupes, the sources said.

    Xu, the former PLA officer, said that under Beijing's long-term plan for military modernization, reductions could happen gradually over the coming decade Costs are rising, so we have to keep military spending in line with budgetary capacity," he said.

    China's armed forces are far bigger than the world's second-largest military, that of the United States, whose forces number around 1.5 million.

    Thursday will be marked by a huge show of military force along the Avenue of Eternal Peace, which is expected to feature an array of new and improved weaponry, including missiles.

    President Hu has made the navy's modernization his personal project, but it has far from erased a technological gap with the United States and other major powers. The PLA Navy has about 290,000 personnel, many on aged vessels.

    China has become increasingly vocal about its ambition to become a deep-water power, concluding it must master the logistical and technological demands of a blue water navy.

    China boasts the world's third-largest air force, with about 400,000 personnel and 2,000 combat aircraft.:scared_sofa:


    http://www.reuters.com/article/newsMaps/idUSTRE58T14T20090930
     
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  3. Martian

    Martian Respected Member Senior Member

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    It seems that China is following in U.S. footsteps of reducing troop numbers to free up the money to fund weapons development projects. Will India join the trend?
     
  4. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Each time a country plans to prioritize Navy/AF at the expense of Army, it's deciding to transform from a defensive force to an offensive/invasionary one. Its armed forces then become more suited to fighting far away from homeland.
     
  5. Martian

    Martian Respected Member Senior Member

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    Tarunraju, that is one reasonable interpretation. However, it is also equally possible that they are trying to free up the funds in the long-term pursuit of conventional parity (i.e. F-22 caliber stealth fighter, B-2 bomber, Virginia-class submarine, Zumwalt-class destroyer, Nimitz-class supercarriers, etc.).
     
  6. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes, when a contry get into certain development stage, its trade with other country will increase dramstically. In other words, its reliance on other countries will increase too. That means it has to strenghen its military power to protect its interest in other areas of the world.

    I believe india will join this trend soon.
     
  7. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    We already have a blue-water capable navy, so we've already joined the trend.
     
  8. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    The US is increasing troop numbers by over 100,000. The trend they are following is Russian.
     
  9. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    China won't achieve parity with the US in the next 50 years, maybe not even by the end of the century. It will take them that long just to make the level of tech you listed. What they are trying to do is give themselves force projection capabilities. Right now, Chinese strategic airlift and amphibious capacity are a joke. The ultimate goals are to secure the capability for area denial and invasion capacity of Taiwan, defeat India in a limited war over LAC, and be able to conduct operations in Central Asia. What this requires are strategic aviation which they are working on with Ukraine, building landing craft also with Ukraine, and aircraft carriers which they also consult with Ukraine.
     
  10. Martian

    Martian Respected Member Senior Member

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    The history of the United States, since the Vietnam War, has been the downsizing of military personnel to free up the funds for expensive weapons development programs, such as the F-22, B-2, Seawolf, etc. The current increase in U.S. troops to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is a temporary abnormality. However, it does not negate the decades-old trend in US policy to fund weapons development with troop cuts. The large amount of money has to come from somewhere.

    "In early 2007, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates proposed to the President to increase the overall size of the Army and Marine Corps to meet the needs of the War on Terrorism." See United States armed forces - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I was careful in stating that it is China's long-term goal to achieve conventional parity with the US. Firstly, the development of China's military technology is dependent on the level of funding and the number of breakthroughs that her scientists can achieve. The pace of technological breakthroughs is extremely difficult to predict. I don't think anyone can confidently predict China's technological level in the distant future of 50 years. For example, twenty years ago, did anyone predict that China could manufacture a F-16 caliber fighter (i.e. J-10) or Aegis-class cruiser (i.e. Type 052C destroyer; see chinese AEGIS - Type 052C - Military Photos )?

    Secondly, by the time that China can manufacture a F-22 or B-2, the US would probably have moved on to UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle). The Chinese are trying to catch a moving target. It will be extremely difficult. I have no idea if or when they can catch the US. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see them try.
     
  11. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    it is meanless completely to anticipate the case in 50 years.

    in 1900,nobody can anticipate the two WW and it will be USA,instead of German, that take ove the position of UK.
     
  12. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Whenever the US is in a lengthy war they increase troop levels. Rumsfeld thought he could run Iraq on the cheap but Gates realised otherwise. After Vietnam the US did away with the draft and cut troop levels not to fund weapons development but to pay for a professional army.

    As I already pointed out a couple days ago.

    You weren't careful enough since you never said long-term goals.

    I think we can, China started out 40 years behind the US in 1960 and they are still 40 years behind the US. With the exponential technology growth of the West, it will be even harder for them to keep that gap.

    They can't, they still require Russian engines so they still aren't on parity with a 1974 design. Not to mention the fact they reverse engineered it from Israeli Lavi that they had in their possession. It won't be too often they will get their hands on something like F-35 or F-22.

    It is not an AEGIS class cruiser... don't believe the hype. It is a failed platform they have discontinued. Type 051C has the same top-steer radar as Russian cruisers and imported S-300FM b/c the Type 052C was a failure with its radar/HQ-9 combo.

    JXX doesn't even exist except on paper... they can't even copy a 1977 fighter which we provided 70% ToT for.

    My guess is no time soon. They can't even catch Russia.
     
  13. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    :twizt:
    it is always a enjoyment to watch Vladimir79's viewpoints about CHina...

    let's surround to watch his wonderful rant and prophets-style anticipation......quitely


    [​IMG]
     
  14. redragon

    redragon Regular Member

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    Sorry, very busy.
    Waiting for the PLA hell march @ 10pm, EST. No time for those BS
     
  15. redragon

    redragon Regular Member

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    If Vladimir79 were from soviet union not russia, I might be more willing to analysis his comment, because soviet union was a super power and russia is not.
    another point is that you can't take those "experts' comments" too serious, because if they were right, china should have collapsed for many times in the past 3 decades. why bother to give china this much spot light, if they believe what they said from the bottom of their hearts?
    P.S I personally feel OOE's comments are more enjoyable, if you have been to worldaffairsforum you will know what I mean. Sometimes I can't help to relate him with Mr Osburn if you know what movie I am referring to.
     
  16. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    the only way to deal with those "expert" is "to sorround and watch"
     
  17. redragon

    redragon Regular Member

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    this solution is way too chinese to be understood by our dear members
     
  18. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    让一让 让一让。。。 看什么那?
     
  19. redragon

    redragon Regular Member

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    Wow bravo, now, this is a great comment
     
  20. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Lets see, I was born in 1979 and raised in Moskva... I guess that didn't make me a Soviet citizen? :sarcastic:

    Expert's comments should be taken serious... we know way more than newbs.
     
  21. redragon

    redragon Regular Member

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    unfortunatly, there is no soviet union no more...so am I talking to the last citizen of soviet union in the world? that should be the head line on NYT: Red Alert, Russian wants to rebuild soviet union
     

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