The Rise of China : Strategic Implications.

Discussion in 'China' started by pyromaniac, Mar 1, 2009.

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What does china fear most militarily and socially as a threat to its security and stability?

  1. Japan turning assertive

    7.6%
  2. An indian global power

    33.0%
  3. The United States in its backyard.

    55.8%
  4. the russian military machine ramping up

    3.6%
  1. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    No, we have no disputes with Burma, land nor sea. You might be thinking of Bangladesh-Burma dispute.

    Also, every border dispute that China "solved" involved some country giving up land to China. Unfortunately that is not an option for us. We are not Russia, with lots of land to spare, nor are we Pakistan, with no self-respect or dignity.

    Besides, we cannot betray the 1 million Indians in Arunachal Pradesh.
     
  2. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Just wait until I finish debunking your silly claims...

    The Far East border was not solved completely until 2008.

    http://www.kommersant.com/p-12880/r_527/Amur_demarcation/

    There was no blanket agreement, each state settles its own borders after the fall of CCCP. That is why Tajikistan is STILL settling her borders! Kazakhstan settled hers 13 years ago. Kyrgyzstan settled most 15 years ago but still has one disputed region. Honestly you know nothing about it.

    Agreement of 2004 settling the West China border and 2008 settling the Amur = two agreements. You want to try me on Russian history... I can do this all day. :laugh:
     
  3. black eagle

    black eagle Senior Member Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    China's Military Comes Into Its Own

    By Rodger Baker

    Chinese President Hu Jintao is visiting the United States, perhaps his last state visit as president before China begins its generational leadership transition in 2012. Hu’s visit is being shaped by the ongoing China-U.S. economic dialogue, by concerns surrounding stability on the Korean Peninsula and by rising attention to Chinese defense activity in recent months. For example, China carried out the first reported test flight of its fifth-generation combat fighter prototype, dubbed the J-20, during U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ visit to China the previous week.

    The development and test flight of China’s J-20 is not insignificant, but it is also by no means a game changer in the U.S.-China defense balance. More intriguingly, the test highlights how China’s military increasingly is making its interests heard.

    The J-20 Test Flight and China’s Strategic Concerns

    The J-20 test flight shone a light on China’s strategic concerns and reflected some of the developing capability that addresses those concerns. The Chinese fear a potential U.S. blockade of their coast. While this may not seem a likely scenario, the Chinese look at their strategic vulnerability, at their rising power and at the U.S. history of thwarting regional powers, and they see themselves as clearly at risk.

    China’s increased activity and rhetoric in and around the South and East China seas also clearly reflect this concern. For Beijing, it is critical to keep the U.S. Navy as far from Chinese waters as possible and delay its approach by maximizing the threat environment in the event of a conflict. Though the J-20 is still a work in progress, a more advanced combat fighter — particularly one with stealth capabilities — could serve a number of relevant roles toward this end.

    The Chinese are still in the early stages of development, however. They are experimenting with stealth shaping, characteristics and materials, meaning the degree to which the J-20 can achieve low observability against modern radar remains an open question. Significant changes to the design based on handling characteristics and radar signature can be expected. And true “stealth” is the product of more than just shaping. Special coatings and radar-absorbing materials only top a lengthy list of areas in which Chinese engineers must gain practical experience, even allowing for considerable insight gained through espionage or foreign assistance. China still is thought to be struggling with indigenously designed and manufactured high-end jet engines, not to mention the integration of advanced sensors, avionics and the complex systems that characterize fifth-generation aircraft. It is too early to infer much from the single flight-tested prototype, something the United States learned during the Cold War when initial U.S. estimates of the Soviet MiG-25 attributed far more sophistication and capability to the design than proved to be the case after a Soviet pilot defected with his aircraft years later.

    The Chinese role for the J-20 is based on a different set of realities than those the Soviets and Americans faced during the Cold War, meaning the J-20 prototype should not be judged solely by the American standards for fifth-generation aircraft. More than having the most advanced aircraft in the sky, the Chinese value the ability to maintain high sortie rates from many bases along the country’s coast to overwhelm with numbers the superior U.S. combat aircraft, which would be expected to be operated from aircraft carriers or from more distant land bases.

    The J-20 Test’s Timing

    Perhaps more interesting than the test was its timing, with its associated political implications. For weeks before the test flight, Chinese message boards and blogs were filled with photographs of the new prototype on the tarmac, conducting taxi tests in preparation for its first test flight. Foreign military and defense observers closely monitor such sites, and their “leaked” images renewed attention to China’s fifth-generation development program, about which there has been plenty of speculation but little hard detail. Chinese defense and security officials also closely monitor such boards, but the officials chose not to shut them down — clearly indicating Beijing’s intent to draw attention to the test.

    Gates asked Hu about the test when the two met in Beijing. According to some media reports citing American officials present at the meeting, Hu appeared surprised by the question and somewhat perplexed by the details of the test — the implication being that Hu was unaware of the test and that the Chinese military may have acted out of turn. Gates told reporters that Hu had assured him the timing was coincidental. After being asked for his own thoughts regarding the relationship between the military and the political leadership in China after his meetings with Chinese civilian and defense leaders, Gates noted that he had become concerned about that relationship over time. He added that ensuring civilian and military dialogue between the two countries was important.

    Although Gates did not say the Chinese military tested the J-20 without political clearance from Hu, the idea was certainly suggested by the media coverage and Gates’ response. On the surface, this seems rather hard to believe. Hu, as president of China and general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, also serves as chairman of China’s parallel Central Military Commissions (one is under the government, the other under the Party, though both have exactly the same makeup).

    That the head of China’s military would not know about a major new hardware test coming a week before his trip to meet with the president of the United States and coinciding with a visit of the U.S. defense secretary seems a reach. Furthermore, given the amount of attention just beneath the surface in China to the imminent test, and the subsequent attention in the foreign media, it would be startling that the Chinese president was so poorly briefed prior to meeting the U.S. defense secretary. If indeed the test surprised Hu, then there is serious trouble in China’s leadership structure. But perhaps the issue isn’t one of knowledge but one of capability: Could Hu have stopped the test given the timing, and if so, would he have wanted to stop it?

    The Rising Influence of China’s Military

    Rumors and signs of the rising influence of the military establishment in China have emerged over the past few years. Since the 1980s, China has focused on and invested in a major reorientation of its military from a massive land army focused on territorial defense to one that emphasizes naval and air capabilities to protect China’s interests in the East and South China seas and beyond into the western Pacific. This has included expanding China’s reach and a focus on anti-access and area-denial capabilities, with accelerated development in this arena in recent years.

    Some systems, like the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile, are uniquely tailored to countering the U.S. Navy. Others, like an expanding and more aggressive Ocean and Fisheries Administration, is directed more at China’s neighbors in the South and East China seas, and at asserting China’s claims to these waters.

    This change in focus is driven by three factors. First, China sees its land borders as being fairly well locked down, with its buffer territories largely under control, but the maritime border is a vulnerability — a particular concern for a trade-based economy. Second, as China’s economy has rapidly expanded, so has Beijing’s dependence on far-flung sources of natural resources and emerging markets. This drives the government and military to look at protection of sea-lanes, often far from China’s shores. Third, the military leadership is using these concerns to increase its own role in internal decision-making. The more dependent China is on places far from its borders, the more the military can make the case that it is the only entity with both the intelligence and the understanding to provide the necessary strategic advice and perspective to China’s civilian leadership.

    There is also the issue of a modernizing military looking out for itself, battling for its share of China’s budget and economic pie. A key part of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin’s fundamental military reforms was stripping the military of much of its business empire. At the time, the state — while funding the military — assumed that military-run industry would supplement the defense budget. In short, the military ran industries, and the profits were used to support local and regional defense needs. That kept the official state military budget down and encouraged enterprising commanders to contribute to China’s economic growth.

    But over time, it also led to corruption and a military where regional and local military commanders were at risk of becoming more intent on their business empires than on the country’s national defense. Money that largely had gone to support the living of the troops was sidelined and funneled to the military officials. And the faster the Chinese economy grew, the more profit there was for the taking. Regional military leaders and local governments teamed up to operate, promote and protect their own business interests regardless of the state’s broader national economic or social priorities. China’s central leadership saw troubling parallels to older Chinese history, when regional warlords emerged.

    In response, Jiang ordered the military largely out of business. Military leaders grudgingly complied for the most part, though there were plenty of cases of military-run industries being stripped of all their machinery, equipment and supplies, which were then sold on the black market and then unloaded at bargain prices to the cronies of military officials. Other companies were simply stripped and foisted on the government to deal with, debts and all. Jiang placated the military by increasing its budget, increasing the living standard of the average soldier and launching a ramped-up program to rapidly increase the education of its soldiers and technical sophistication of China’s military. This appeased the military officials and bought their loyalty — returning the military to financial dependence on the government and Communist Party.

    But the success of military reform, which also involved seeking greater sophistication in doctrine, training, communications and technology, has also given the military greater influence. Over time, the military has come to expect more technologically, and China has begun experimenting with technology-sharing between military and civilian industry to spur development. The drive for dual-use technology, from the evolving aerospace industry to nanotechnology, creates new opportunities for military officials to promote new weapons-system development while at the same time profiting from the development. As China’s global economic power has grown, the military has demanded more funding and greater capabilities to protect national interests and its own prerogatives.

    But China’s military officials are also growing more vocal in their opinions beyond the issue of military procurement. Over the past year, Chinese military officers have made their opinions known, quite openly in Chinese and sometimes even foreign media. They have addressed not only military issues but also Chinese foreign policy and international relations. This step outside the norm has left the Chinese diplomatic community uncomfortable (or at least left it expressing its unease with the rising influence of the military to their foreign counterparts). This may be an elaborate disinformation campaign or a slightly higher level of the griping typical of bureaucrats, or it may in fact reflect a military that sees its own role and significance rising and is stepping forward to try to grab the influence and power it feels it deserves.

    One example of the ostensible struggle between the military and the civilian bureaucrats over Chinese foreign policy played out over the past year. Through nearly the first three-quarters of the year, when the United States carried out defense exercises in the Asia-Pacific region — whether annual or in response to regional events like the sinking of the ChonAn in South Korea — the Chinese would respond by holding their own series of exercises, sometimes on a larger scale. It was a game of one-upmanship. But the foreign ministry and bureaucracy purportedly argued against this policy as counterproductive, and by the fourth quarter, China had shifted away from military exercises as a response. Instead, it once again pushed a friendlier and more diplomatic line even as U.S. exercises continued. By the November 2010 crisis over North Korea’s shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, China had returned to its standard call for moderation and dialogue.

    If this narrative is accepted, the military response to being sidelined again was to leak plans to launch an aircraft carrier in 2011, to reinvigorate international attention to Chinese anti-ship ballistic missiles, and to test the new Chinese fifth-generation aircraft while Gates was in Beijing and just before Hu headed to Washington. A Chinese military motivated by nationalism — and perhaps an even stronger interest in preserving its power and influence within China — would find it better to be in contention with the United States than in calm. This is because U.S. pressure, whether real or rhetorical, drives China’s defense development.

    But the case could as easily be made that the Chinese political leadership has an equal interest in ensuring a mixed relationship with Washington, that the government benefits from seemingly endless U.S. criticism of Chinese defense development. This is because such criticism increases Chinese nationalism, distracting the people from the economic troubles Beijing is trying to manage. And this is the heart of the issue: Just how well-coordinated are the military and civilian leadership of China, and how stable is their relationship?

    An End to the Chinese Miracle

    The Chinese miracle is nearing its natural conclusion, as Beijing begins to face a reality like that seen by Japan, South Korea and the other Asian Tigers that all followed the same growth pattern. How that crisis plays out is fundamentally different depending upon the country: Japan has accepted the shared long-term pain of two decades of malaise; South Korea saw short, sharp, wrenching reforms; Indonesia saw its government collapse. The reliability of the military, the capability of the civilian leadership and the level of acceptance of the population all combine to shape the outcome.

    A divide between the military and civilian leadership would mean that China, already facing the social consequences of its economic policies, is facing another significant issue at the same time: the balance of civilian-military relations. However, a carefully coordinated drive to give the appearance of a split may help China convince the United States to ease economic pressure to avoid exacerbating this “split” while also appealing to nationalistic unity at home.

    But even small signs of a split now are critical because of the stresses on the system that China will experience when its economic miracle expires in the not-so-distant future. Mao and Deng were both soldiers. Their successors were not. Neither Jiang Zemin nor Hu Jintao has military experience, and incoming President Xi Jinping similarly lacks such training. The rumors from China suggest that the military plans to take advantage of Xi’s lack of experience and use its influence to shape his policies. The leadership transition may provide a chance for the military to gain more influence in an institutional way, allowing it to drive a hard bargain and buy a bigger share of the pie in the fifth generation set-up.

    For most of modern China’s history, the military has been an internal force without much appetite for more worldly affairs. That is now changing, appropriately, due to China’s growing global prominence and reliance on the global economy. But that means that a new balance must be found, and China’s senior leadership must both accommodate and balance the military’s perspective and what the military advocates for.

    As Chinese leaders deal with a generational transition, expanding international involvement and an increasingly difficult economic balance, the military is coming into its own and making its interests heard more clearly. How this balance plays out will be tremendously significant.

    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110117-chinas-military-comes-its-own?utm_source=GWeekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=110118&utm_content=readmore&elq=c44997b64a1b41ff9fe7f5121a659a31
     
  4. youngindian

    youngindian Senior Member Senior Member

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  5. debasree

    debasree Regular Member

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    In china when they fix a policy on foreign issue the pla bosses take the final decision,so global times is they r the mouth piece of party or army?
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I wonder if anything is done with mindless abandon.

    Army or the CCP, they work in unison.

    The PLA has Political Commissars who are minders and keep a tag over all dissenting ideas or anti CCP thoughts and such activities would have been nipped in the bud and such individuals sent for re-education.

    The Chinese Stealth test was in line with Sun Tsu's saying:

    Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate.
    Sun Tzu



     
  7. AOE

    AOE Regular Member

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    Here's my thoughts of the ranking of threats to China at the present:

    1. United States in its backyard: This one would be number one. The Americans have historically been anti-communist, and China represents the last major bastion of communism in the world today. Although the Americans are sharing debt and economics with the Chinese, the American presence and alliance with Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan has created a stalemate in the region between the two, but if the Chinese attack; the Americans will certainly defend their friends there. The Chinese would not be able to match the US war machine in a prolonged war, even today.

    2. An Indian global power: Also a potential threat to China. Since the 1960s, the relationship between India and China has been tense, usually due to border issues, and the fact both are emerging as potential super powers on the world stage. China has and continues to build relations with Pakistan and Burma for strategic reasons to counter India, but overall has many enemies locally and internationally. India has many friendships in the region, with the exception of those currently allied with China, and also the possibility of drawing upon western help in the event of a conflict. India is starting to be seen in a favorable light in the west due to its counterbalance to China, its long track record as a democratic power in the region, and its strategic position to block off CCP influence in South Asia. Another factor to consider is that India has the worlds fastest growing population, and looks to overtake China in the near future in this category.

    3. Japan turning assertive: Another major threat to Chinas rise to super power status. The rivalry between Japan and China is arguably the oldest in the region, and Japan currently holds a GDP and wealth ranking similar to Chinas at present; yet with 1/10th of Chinas population. Japan also has the history to field a very large and well trained army, navy, and air force, on top of its ability to start assembling and testing nuclear weapons in a heart beat if it decides to remove that part of its constitution. The only hamper to Japan gaining nuclear weapons and an extensive armed forces is the US, which would only take a shift in foreign policy and strategic thinking of the Americans to happen. Japan is only hampered by its negative perception in the region, but could open up stronger diplomatic relations with South Korea, Taiwan, and India.

    4. The Russian military machine ramping up: It could potentially be a threat to China, but I am skeptical. Russia was the biggest military technology competitor with the US during the cold war, it shares a strong military history in a similar sense to Japan, and does field a considerable armed forces in the present; however, Russia aligns itself with China to counter US influence in Asia, and has only supported other countries and power throughout history for strategic and economic reasons; dating at least as far back as the First World War. Russia does have a reasonable amount of GDP, but considerably lower compared to the US, China, Japan, or the EU; and also has a population 1/10th the size of China. There is also the chance that considering the above, Russia may never go to war with China unless it aligns itself with the west and India, but that seems inconceivable at this point. Russia doesn't have an anti-communist stance like the west does, and would not see a war with the PRC as of strategic importance.
     
  8. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    You can add a fifth an alliance of smaller South China sea nations (most already US allies).
     
  9. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    5. An assertive France that is kicking out its influence in Africa. With the drawing of NATO into Libya, China has lost 36,000 jobs, $20 billion in construction contracts, and any prayer of Libyan natural resources. In Cote d'Ivoire, China has poured hundreds of millions in aid and billions in investment to back Gbagbo and built the very Palace France bombed yesterday. In an effort to corner plantations and hedge the worlds cocoa supply, China has been thwarted by the ambitions of the French president. In Sudan, China had invested billions and armed the rouge regime to get at its oil, only to have France back an independence movement in the Southern oil region that will see Chinese ambitions turn to dust, again thwarted by the French president. In Chad, China has made many inroads into the fledgling oil sector and plans heavy investment into its industry, France has not moved yet... the future? France runs the UN mission and holds bases in country, an assertive Sarko appears to be targeting Chinese interests all over the continent in a battle for the Black Continent.
     
  10. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Thats a good point and I am sure its giving sleepless nights to CCP bosses.
     
  11. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    France?!! I think Africa is a huge continent with immense natural resources and many doors for entry and exit. Contrary to our belief of China becomeing an dominant power the Chinese themselves are very fear full of US, NATO, India(Tibet), Taiwan and many more threats to its undemocratic leadership. China is far more paranoid and concerned than we are.
     
  12. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    China white paper highlights US military 'competition'

    China says the United States is increasing its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, which is becoming more "volatile".
    It also says there has been a rise in operations directed against China.
    The views were made in China's National Defence white paper, issued by the government.
    The paper outlines the country's current views on security issues and gives an overview of its military forces.
    Fierce competition In the document, released on Thursday, China gives a downbeat assessment of the regional security situation.
    "Profound changes are taking shape in the Asia-Pacific strategic landscape. Relevant major powers are increasing their strategic investment," it says.
    "International military competition remains fierce."
    The document singles out the United States. According to China, it is reinforcing military alliances and getting more involved in regional affairs.
    Beijing also says foreigners are now more suspicious of China - and have increased "interference and countering moves" against it.
    Relations between China and the United States, particularly on military matters, have been strained over recent years.
    That tension eased slightly following Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to the United States earlier this year.
    But the potential for disagreement remains high.
    "We admit that our military ties continue to face difficulties and challenges," said Col Geng Yansheng, spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, at a press conference to launch the white paper.
    No issue threatens the relationship more than US support for Taiwan, a self-governing island off China's eastern coast that Beijing considers its own.
    "The United States continues to sell weapons to Taiwan, severely impeding Sino-US relations," says the white paper.
    Col Geng made it clear that the two countries must respect each other's core interests. For China, that includes Taiwan.
    "China is willing to work with the US, based on respect, trust, equality and mutual benefits," he said.
    The United States and some of China's neighbours occasionally express their concerns about the ultimate aim of Beijing's military modernisation.
    But the white paper reiterates that no one has anything to fear.
    It says China's armed forced, known as the People's Liberation Army, are there purely to defend the country.
    China, it says, has a strategy of "attacking only after being attacked".
    [​IMG]

     
  13. AOE

    AOE Regular Member

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  14. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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  15. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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  16. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    If China is really spending $150 billion a year... one really has to wonder where all that money goes considering the crap they arm with.
     
  17. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Yes France, Sarko is costing them money and opportunities all over Africa. Flashing a few ships at China doesn't scare them, losing money and access to raw materials does.
     
  18. AOE

    AOE Regular Member

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    Oh well then that makes more sense then, lol. Apologies for the misunderstanding of that graph, I thought it was the other way around. :p
     
  19. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    Most of it goes in Salaries and maintenance of its huge 3million man army. If they spent so much they should be having atleast 3 Aircraft Carriers.
     
  20. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    The PLA is 2.3 million and they are cutting 700k. The Navy and Air Force added make it 3 million, put in the cuts and total armed forces will be back to 2.3 million. So the question remains... where does all this money go? The ceremonial non-combat units probably waste a huge chunk, add in the large corruption and it is probably only $90 billion that actually gets put where it needs to be.
     

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