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  • Pentagon: China Restructures for War

    Pentagon: China Restructures for War

    Details of island building in S. China Sea disclosed

    May 13, 2016
    By Bill Gertz


    China’s military underwent a major restructuring last year in a bid to prepare its military for conflict, the Pentagon said in its latest annual assessment of the Communist Party-controlled People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

    The armed forces were reformed with new military regions, a new command structure, and updated strategies to better fight regional, high technology warfare, the 145-page report to Congress says.

    “These reforms aim to strengthen the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) control over the military, enhance the PLA’s ability to conduct joint operations, and improve its ability to fight short-duration, high-intensity regional conflicts at greater distances from the Chinese mainland,” the report said.

    Abraham Denmark, deputy assistant defense secretary for East Asia, told reporters the military reforms “are intended to enhance the PLA’s ability to conduct joint operations by replacing the old military regions with new geographic commands.”

    “Our approach focuses on reducing risk, expanding common ground, and maintaining our military superiority,” Denmark said.

    As part of its military strategy, China continued to expand its building of new islands in the South China Sea where military forces can be used to control the strategic waterway linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

    From some of the 3,200 acres of new islands, “China will be able to use them as persistent civil-military bases to enhance its long-term presence in the South China Sea significantly,” the report said.


    China also is asserting sovereignty over Japan’s Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

    Beijing has been careful to avoid a confrontation with the United States over the maritime disputes and used “coercive tactics short of armed conflict” in pressing its policies, the report said.

    The PLA continued a major build up of military forces across the range of weapons and troops, including large numbers of new missiles, warships, aircraft, along with cyber warfare capabilities and space weaponry.


    The report said among the challenges for the Chinese military is widespread corruption that ensnared more than 40 senior PLA officers in illegal activities since 2012, including the PLA’s most senior officer.

    Chinese leader Xi Jinping has told the PLA to prepare to “fight and win” battles, and the Pentagon said the slogan is an indication Chinese leaders are concerned the military, which has not fought a war in more than 30 years, may not fare well in modern combat.

    The Chinese military restructuring was announced late last year when China set up five new regional “theaters” out of seven military regions and restructured its military command system and services.

    The separate nuclear and conventional missile service, Second Artillery Corps, was renamed the Rocket Force.

    A new Strategic Support Force was created that includes the military intelligence service, and space warfare and cyber warfare forces, key elements of China’s asymmetric strategy aimed at defeating more advanced U.S. forces in a war.

    The report reveals that China is expanding its ability to conduct military operations far from Chinese territory. However, fighting a war over Taiwan remains the PLA’s top priority.

    “China is expanding its access to foreign ports to pre-position the necessary logistics support to regularize and sustain deployments in the ‘far seas,’ waters as distant as the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Atlantic Ocean,” the report said.


    The report included detailed satellite photos of disputed South China Sea islands where military facilities are being built.

    Last year, China sped up island building in the Spratly Islands, claimed by China, Philippines, Taiwan, and other states in the region.

    In early October, island building was completed and the Chinese began building infrastructure including three 9,800-foot runways, communications, and surveillance gear.

    The construction indicates China “is attempting to bolster its de facto control by improving military and civilian infrastructure in the South China Seas.”

    The airfields, harbors, and resupply facilities will allow China to “detect and challenge” rival claimants to the island and increase the military capabilities available to China and short their deployment times.

    The report shows before-and-after pictures of seven disputed Spratly islands, including Fiery Cross Reef where a major buildup took place on 663 new acres of the island.



    China’s missile buildup is one of the most prominent features of the PLA arsenal with new missiles and the addition of multiple warheads on both new and older systems.

    The report also revealed that China is planning a new long-range stealth bomber that would give Beijing a nuclear triad along with ground- and sea-based strategic missiles.


    China “is developing and testing several new classes and variants of offensive missiles, including a hypersonic glide vehicle; forming additional missile units; upgrading older missile systems; and developing methods to counter ballistic missile defenses,” the report said.

    Several new attack and ballistic missile submarines also have been built and are continuing to be deployed.

    China is also building up its space warfare capabilities, and last year, it advanced work on an anti-satellite missile tested in July 2014.

    A section of the report on China’s energy strategy reveals that China will remain heavily dependent on foreign oil. Sixty percent of its oil was imported in 2015, and by 2035, Beijing will be importing 80 percent of its oil.

    Energy supplies are vulnerable to disruption as some 83 percent of China’s oil currently passes through the South China Sea and Strait of Malacca.

    Land pipelines are being built from Russia and Kazakhstan as part of efforts to maintain a supply chain that is less susceptible to disruption.

    The report described China’s development of long-range precision attack capabilities as “extraordinarily rapid.”

    Ten years ago China’s military had a limited capability to strike targets beyond the 100-mile-wide Taiwan Strait. “Today, however, China is fielding an array of conventionally armed short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs), as well as ground- and air-launched land-attack cruise missiles (LACMs), special operations forces (SOF), and cyber warfare capabilities to hold targets at risk throughout the region,” the report said.

    “U.S. bases in Japan are in range of a growing number of Chinese [medium-range ballistic missiles] as well as a variety of [land-attack cruise missiles],” the report said, adding that Guam could be targeted by long-range cruise missiles on H-6K bombers that conducted the first flights into the Pacific last year.

    The DF-26 missile also was unveiled at a military parade and can conduct precision attacks on Guam, a major U.S. military hub and a key base for the Pentagon’s pivot to Asia.

    Land-attack cruise missiles also are far more accurate and can strike enemy airbases, logistic centers, communications, and other ground-based infrastructure.

    In a future conflict, the PLA plans to attack supply centers and power projection capabilities that are used in coordinating transportation, communications, and logistics.

    China’s military spending was estimated in the report to be greater than $180 billion but could be larger because of Chinese secrecy. The report estimates the budget will grow to $260 billion by 2020.

    The report contains a section explaining that the PLA remains a politicized “Party army” rather than a traditional national armed force.

    Chinese state media rejects the notion of an apolitical national army because Chinese leaders regard the Soviet Communist Party lack of control over the military as a key factor in the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

    One new reform was creating a Political Work Department within the PLA to maintain party control. “The PLA’s political work system is the primary means through which the CCP ‘controls the gun’ in accordance with Mao Zedong’s famous dictum that ‘political power grows out of the barrel of a gun,’” the report says.

    Control mechanisms include political commissars, a Party committee system, and Party investigative units.

    The Pentagon’s policy, according to the report, seeks to “deepen practical cooperation” while managing differences, a policy that critics say has led to misunderstanding China’s growing official animosity toward the United States.

    The solution offered in the report for dealing with the increasing Chinese military threat is to “monitor and adapt” to the buildup and encourage Beijing to end the secrecy of its strategy and arms buildup.

    The report made no mention of China’s growing anti-American stance as reflected in both state-run media and official military writings.

    In 2013, China’s Communist Party-affiliated newspaper Global Times published a detailed report on future nuclear attacks on the western United States showing how the strikes would kill 12 million Americans through blast and radiation.

    The Obama administration and Pentagon made no condemnation of the unprecedented nuclear threat.

    • vector7
      #76
      vector7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Re: War With China?

      China aims advanced DF-16 missiles at Taiwan: minister



      China is aiming advanced medium-range ballistic missiles at Taiwan as part of a growing military threat towards the island, Taipei’s defence minister said Monday.

      The announcement came after Taiwan said for the first time last week that it is capable of launching missiles at China as it warned of an increased invasion risk.

      China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be brought back into its fold, by force if necessary, even though the island has been self-governing since the two sides split after a civil war in 1949.

      Ties have worsened since Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen took power last year, ending an eight-year rapprochement.

      The DF-16 (Dongfeng 16) is capable of precise strikes against Taiwan and has been deployed by the Rocket Force of the People’s Liberation Army, defence minister Feng Shih-kuan said.

      Feng told lawmakers the development comes as China “strengthens its weaponry modernisation and military hard power”.
      He did not say how many missiles had been deployed or where.

      Taiwan has said China is targeting the island with around 1,500 missiles — this is the first time the defence ministry identified the DF-16 as among them.

      Beijing has severed all official communications with Taipei since Tsai became leader in May and has been accused of blocking the island’s political representatives from attending international events.

      China is highly suspicious of Tsai, whose Democratic Progressive Party is traditionally pro-independence.

      Taiwan has never formally split from the mainland and China has warned of military consequences if it did.

      Feng added that China’s six recent drills in the Western Pacific and sending its sole aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait were designed to “pressure Taiwan to follow its plans in the development of cross-strait relations”.

      China displayed the DF-16 among a variety of short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles at a military parade in Beijing in 2015 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Japan’s World War II defeat.

      Military experts said the missile has a range of between 1,000 and 1,500 kilometres (600 and 900 miles) and can reach US military bases in Okinawa. It is capable of pinpoint precision and can carry two or more warheads to conduct multi-target attacks.

      When asked by lawmakers how Taiwan would handle the new threat, Feng said the island’s Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) anti-missile system could intercept the DF-16.

      “We are confident in our surveillance to detect any unfriendly action towards us … We have sufficient weaponry to shoot it down outside our territory,” he said.

      Taiwan pledged to build up its military in the face of the China threat in a four-yearly defence report unveiled last week.
      The island’s military, which consists of around 200,000 troops, is a fraction of China’s 2.3 million-strong army.

      http://defensenews-alert.blogspot.co...ssiles-at.html

    • Ryan Ruck
      #77
      Ryan Ruck commented
      Editing a comment
      Re: War With China?

      China's Ready For War ― Against The U.S. If Necessary

      August 8, 2017

      To mark the 90th birthday of the People’s Liberation Army on Aug. 1, China’s President Xi Jinping went to the Inner Mongolian steppe to the site where Genghis Khan began his conquest of Eurasia. There, at Zhurihe, he was welcomed by an impressive display of China’s martial might: a parade of Chinese troops, tanks, helicopters, aircraft and missiles. But the main course was a massive war game demonstrating the state of China‘s preparation to “fight and win” future military conflicts.

      For what war is the PLA preparing?

      Recent events should make the answer abundantly clear. In July, North Korea conducted two ICBM tests that put the American heartland within reach of its nuclear weapons. In response, the U.S. flew two B-1 bombers over the Korean peninsula to send the message, in the words of Pacific Air Forces commander Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, that the U.S. is “ready to respond with rapid, lethal and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing.”

      President Trump has directed his ire at China, tweeting after the North Korean missile test: “I am very disappointed in China … they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue.”

      Xi’s parade, along with recent Chinese military maneuvers, sends an equally unambiguous message: If war breaks out on the Korean peninsula, China is ready to protect its national interests. A major pillar of Xi’s program for “making China great again” is building a modern military fully “capable of fighting and winning” a 21st century war ― including, if need be, against the United States.

      In recent months, China has moved additional military units to its border with North Korea. It has established new fortifications and 24-hour video surveillance using aerial drones. But PLA special forces and airborne troops have begun repeatedly drilling for missions that go far beyond closing the border or establishing a buffer zone: They appear to be preparing to push deep into North Korea in the event of crisis.

      Those who doubt China’s willingness to act, or its ferocity, should review what happened in 1950. That June, North Korea invaded South Korea and would have gained control of the peninsula had the American-led United Nations Command not come to the rescue. With little thought for how China ― which had barely 1/50th the GDP of the U.S. ― might react, allied forces under Gen. Douglas MacArthur pushed North Korean troops back across the 38th parallel and advanced rapidly toward the Yalu River bordering China. U.S. intelligence officers discounted the possibility that China might intervene on behalf of the North.

      Nonetheless, MacArthur awoke one morning to find the vanguard of a 300,000-strong Chinese army slamming U.S. and allied forces. Caught off-guard, American units suffered severe losses. One regiment of the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division lost 600 men in close combat in a matter of hours. In the weeks that followed, what MacArthur and his fellow commanders had dismissed as a “peasant army” not only halted the U.S. advance but beat allied forces back to a stalemate at the 38th parallel.

      If Chinese and American forces once again meet in Korea ― perhaps in what Gen. Raymond Thomas has warned could become a “vertical track meet” to secure the North’s nuclear weapons ― the PLA will not at all resemble the low-tech army of the past.

      In 1991, Chinese leaders were stunned by the devastating effectiveness of the U.S. military during Operation Desert Storm in Iraq, when it defeated Saddam Hussein’s forces in less than a month with fewer than 150 U.S. combat deaths. Watching America’s “full-spectrum technological dominance” via space-based navigation and surveillance systems, long-range precision-guided bombs and radar-evading stealth aircraft, Chinese leaders determined to acquire the technical capabilities to counter and ultimately surpass what they referred to as “American magic.”

      Accordingly, Xi has made it his mission to ruthlessly rebuild and reorganize China’s armed forces on a scale that Russia’s foremost expert on the Chinese military, Andrei Kokoshin, calls “unprecedented.” And the Pentagon is taking notice. Its annual report on the Chinese military, released in June, warned that the PLA had “modernized its conventionally armed missile force extraordinarily rapidly,” while the PLA Air Force was also “rapidly” closing the gap with the U.S.

      “The world is not peaceful,” Xi said at Zhurihe, warning, “we need more than any period in history to build a strong people’s military.” Notably, the exercises there featured Chinese forces facing off against a “Blue Force” modeled on the command structure, technology, weaponry and tactics of the United States.

      As Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis keeps saying, North Korea is a “clear and present” threat. Events there could drag the U.S. and China into a major war neither wants. Especially in the context of Thucydides’ Trap ― the dangerous dynamic when a rising power threatens to displace the ruling one ― once military machines are in motion, misunderstandings and miscalculations could escalate all too easily to a catastrophic conflict no one intended.

    • Ryan Ruck
      #78
      Ryan Ruck commented
      Editing a comment
      Re: War With China?

      China Has Practiced Bombing Runs Targeting Guam, US Says

      November 1, 2017

      China has practiced bombing runs targeting the U.S. territory of Guam, one of a host of activities making U.S. forces here consider Beijing the most worrisome potential threat in the Pacific, even as North Korea pursues a nuclear warhead.

      Beyond the well-publicized military build up on man-made islands in the South China Sea, China has built up its fleet of fighters to the extent that it operates a daily, aggressive campaign to contest airspace over the East China Sea, South China Sea and beyond, U.S. military officials in the region said. China has also taken several other non-military steps that are viewed as attempts to make it much more difficult for the U.S. to operate there and defend allies in the future.

      The officials described the escalatory behaviors by China in a briefing they provided to reporters traveling with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford.

      The officials said despite increased threats by North Korea as it pursues its nuclear weapons program, a conflict with North Korea is still viewed as “a fight we can win,” they said. With China, they said they “worry about the way things are going.”

      China “is very much the long-term challenge in the region,” said Dunford, who was not part of the briefing. “When we look at the capabilities China is developing, we’ve got to make sure we maintain the ability to meet our alliance commitments in the Pacific.”

      Over the last year Japan has scrambled 900 sorties to intercept Chinese fighters challenging Japan’s air defense identification zone, or ADIZ. In 2013 China announced borders for its own ADIZ, borders which overlapped Japan’s zone and included the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Since then, increased interactions between Japanese and Chinese aircraft ultimately resulted in Japan relocating two fighter squadrons to Naha Air Base on Okinawa to more easily meet the incursions, the officials said.

      “We now have, on a daily basis, armed Chinese Flankers and Japanese aircraft” coming in close proximity of each other, the officials said, adding that intercepts between the U.S. and China are also increasing.

      “It’s very common for PRC aircraft to intercept U.S. aircraft” these days, the officials said, referring to the People’s Republic of China.

      Chinese aircraft are also testing U.S. air defense identification zones, the officials said. Chinese H-6K “Badger” bombers upgraded with 1,000 mile range air launched cruise missiles are testing U.S. defense zones around Guam.

      The Badgers run “not infrequent” flights to get within range of the U.S. territory, they said.

      “The PRC is practicing attacks on Guam,” the officials said, with those bombers also flying around Hawaii, they said.

      The vast majority of the flights occur without an incident, such as a report of unsafe flying, for example. The officials said they follow U.S. Pacific Command guidance on how to respond in those events, so they do not further escalate.

      Military-to-military relationships between the U.S. and China remain open, if guarded, the officials said. Both Chinese and U.S. officials meet twice a year at the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement conference, where the incursions are discussed along with other security topics.

      The expanded Chinese fighter and bomber runs are just one part of the country’s effort to “win without fighting” to gradually normalize the gains China has made in the South China Sea, the officials said.

      There are other pressures. For example, the officials said they estimate the People’s Liberation Army Navy has placed as many as 150,000 Chinese commercial fishing vessels under its direction, even though they are not official Chinese navy. The Chinese fishing vessels make coordinated attacks on Vietnamese fishermen, the officials said, ramming and sometimes sinking boats near the Paracel Islands. China took the territory from Vietnam in the 1970s and has militarized some of the islands. The area remains a traditional fishing area for the Vietnamese.

      Taken together, China’s activities suggest it is preparing to defend expanded boundaries, the U.S. officials worry.

      “I think they will be ready to enforce it when they decide to declare the Nine-Dash line as theirs,” one of the officials said, referring to the territorial line China has identified that would notionally put the entire South China Sea under Chinese control if enforced.

      If unchallenged, the U.S. officials worry that China could slowly force countries away from what they describe as the “rules based order” — essentially the standing international treaties and norms — in the region and make them shift their security alliances to Beijing for their own economic survival.

      Dunford said the U.S. would not allow that to happen.

      “We view ourselves as a Pacific power,” Dunford said.

      “There are some who try to create a narrative that we are not in the Pacific to stay,” he said. “Our message is that we are a Pacific power. We intend to stay in the Pacific. Our future economic prosperity is inextricably linked to our security and political relationships in the region.”

      While all of the officials stressed that there is no imminent danger of a conflict with China, U.S. forces in the region are rethinking what a Pacific fight would look like.

      “If we find ourselves in conflict out there we will be under air attack,” the official said.

      One concept they shared is “agile combat employment” — dispersing the U.S. advanced fighters concentrated at air bases in Japan and scattering them to 10-15 undeveloped and highly expeditionary airstrips on islands in the region. The dispersion would require the rapid dissemination of logistics support to keep those aircraft operating at their remote locations. The Air Force has already been practicing how to disperse the fuel, most recently in their Arctic Ace exercise, the officials said.

      The idea would be that the aircraft would be so dispersed that it would make it difficult for China to prioritize what it would attack.

      President Donald Trump will visit the Pacific region later this week, making stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. Dunford said he expected that some of the security and economic concerns generated by the increased incursions and economic pressures by China would likely come up.

      “If people want to view that as a focus on China they can. But it’s based on a rules-based international order,” Dunford said. “It’s focused on our ability to advance our national interests. We’re not going to compromise in that regard.”“It’s very common for PRC aircraft to intercept U.S. aircraft” these days, the officials said, referring to the People’s Republic of China.

      Chinese aircraft are also testing U.S. air defense identification zones, the officials said. Chinese H-6K “Badger” bombers upgraded with 1,000 mile range air launched cruise missiles are testing U.S. defense zones around Guam.

      The Badgers run “not infrequent” flights to get within range of the U.S. territory, they said.

      “The PRC is practicing attacks on Guam,” the officials said, with those bombers also flying around Hawaii, they said.

      The vast majority of the flights occur without an incident, such as a report of unsafe flying, for example. The officials said they follow U.S. Pacific Command guidance on how to respond in those events, so they do not further escalate.

      Military-to-military relationships between the U.S. and China remain open, if guarded, the officials said. Both Chinese and U.S. officials meet twice a year at the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement conference, where the incursions are discussed along with other security topics.

      The expanded Chinese fighter and bomber runs are just one part of the country’s effort to “win without fighting” to gradually normalize the gains China has made in the South China Sea, the officials said.

      There are other pressures. For example, the officials said they estimate the People’s Liberation Army Navy has placed as many as 150,000 Chinese commercial fishing vessels under its direction, even though they are not official Chinese navy. The Chinese fishing vessels make coordinated attacks on Vietnamese fishermen, the officials said, ramming and sometimes sinking boats near the Paracel Islands. China took the territory from Vietnam in the 1970s and has militarized some of the islands. The area remains a traditional fishing area for the Vietnamese.

      Taken together, China’s activities suggest it is preparing to defend expanded boundaries, the U.S. officials worry.

      “I think they will be ready to enforce it when they decide to declare the Nine-Dash line as theirs,” one of the officials said, referring to the territorial line China has identified that would notionally put the entire South China Sea under Chinese control if enforced.

      If unchallenged, the U.S. officials worry that China could slowly force countries away from what they describe as the “rules based order” — essentially the standing international treaties and norms — in the region and make them shift their security alliances to Beijing for their own economic survival.

      Dunford said the U.S. would not allow that to happen.

      “We view ourselves as a Pacific power,” Dunford said.

      “There are some who try to create a narrative that we are not in the Pacific to stay,” he said. “Our message is that we are a Pacific power. We intend to stay in the Pacific. Our future economic prosperity is inextricably linked to our security and political relationships in the region.”

      While all of the officials stressed that there is no imminent danger of a conflict with China, U.S. forces in the region are rethinking what a Pacific fight would look like.

      “If we find ourselves in conflict out there we will be under air attack,” the official said.

      One concept they shared is “agile combat employment” — dispersing the U.S. advanced fighters concentrated at air bases in Japan and scattering them to 10-15 undeveloped and highly expeditionary airstrips on islands in the region. The dispersion would require the rapid dissemination of logistics support to keep those aircraft operating at their remote locations. The Air Force has already been practicing how to disperse the fuel, most recently in their Arctic Ace exercise, the officials said.

      The idea would be that the aircraft would be so dispersed that it would make it difficult for China to prioritize what it would attack.

      President Donald Trump will visit the Pacific region later this week, making stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. Dunford said he expected that some of the security and economic concerns generated by the increased incursions and economic pressures by China would likely come up.

      “If people want to view that as a focus on China they can. But it’s based on a rules-based international order,” Dunford said. “It’s focused on our ability to advance our national interests. We’re not going to compromise in that regard.”
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