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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.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: War With China? started by Ryan Ruck View original post
    Comments 17 Comments
    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      Time is growing short for America.

    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      Chinese fighters buzz Navy patrol plane

      Tom Vanden Brook, USA Today 7:53 p.m. EDT May 18, 2016

      (Photo: MC3 Bobby J Siens/Navy)


      WASHINGTON — Chinese warplanes, in a dangerous maneuver, intercepted a U.S. Navy patrol plane flying a routine mission over the South China Sea on Tuesday, according to the Pentagon.

      The incident is the latest in a series of unwelcome encounters between the Chinese military and U.S. military aircraft and ships in the region where China has increasingly asserted claims of sovereignty. It has filled in slivers of land in the sea to build landing strips and has challenged American naval vessels in international water.

      “Initial reports characterized the incident as unsafe,” according to a Pentagon statement. It occurred in international air space during a routine patrol.

    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      China Releases Video Illustrating Their Part in the Axis War Plans in Attacking and Defeating America

      Posted on September 4, 2015

      See what and where China has invested its Military technology. Also, look at China's military ties with Russia and how together they compliment their collective military readiness. Then look at Russia's military preparations focused on their role to deliver a nuclear first strike followed by rapid response brigade movements.

      US Naval forces could be drawn out for a conflict in the pacific, the US underestimates China's resolve and dealt devastating blows. Without warning while distracted the Russians could deliver a surgical first strike to cripple America's military infrastructure and greatly reduce the US military's follow up capabilities.

      This Is The Insane Video China Just Put Out Showing It Attacking The U.S.

      Michael Ballaban

      A small group of Chinese Navy ships showed up near Alaska earlier this week during President Obama’s visit to the northern state, mostly as a “we’re here” message. But then, as the Chinese People’s Liberation Army marched in a Beijing parade, someone simultaneously put out this completely nuts video of a naval attack on an American fleet, and on an American base that looks suspiciously like the one on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

      If that wasn’t stronger than a implicit “we’re here” message, I’m not sure what is. Couple that with news from earlier today showing that the Chinese Navy actually passed through American waters under the “Right of Innocent Passage” (something that the U.S. Navy is quite familiar with on its own), and you’ve got something quite explicit indeed.

      First spotted by the Council on Foreign Relations, it’s not exactly subtle. It wasn’t the PLA Navy attacking a generic foreign navy, and a generic foreign base either. China’s enemy, in this example, very clearly resembled the United States, after a Chinese base suffered a first strike of its own.

      UPDATE: The Council on Foreign Relations believes the video was created by the PLA, however, we can’t be sure of its provenance. It’s also possible it was created by Chinese tech company Tencent, which owns QQ/QZone, a social microblogging/gaming platform. This would make sense given that it feels like a video game and even starts like one, albeit with the usual roles (West good/Commies bad) reversed.

      The video opens up with a Chinese soldier re-gaining consciousness after the surprise attack, a trope cribbed from the American video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare:

      It then moves to a fist in a war room slamming a table, while an overhead address system rattles off information. A garage opens, and out rolls mobile missile launchers of the PLA’s Second Artillery Corps, bearing what appear to be DF-15 and DF-21D (or possibly DF-26) anti-ship ballistic missiles.

      The ballistic missile launches are accompanied by what looks to be Chinese H-6 bombers of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, launching cruise missiles of their own.
      Some of the ballistic missiles are showing bearing single conventional warheads, while others are shown bearing cluster munitions, destroying airbases and planes that look identical to the F-22 Raptor, a plane only flown by the American government:

      Other warheads are then shown raining down on a foreign fleet, stocked completely with what looks identical to an American carrier group, all Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The Arleigh Burkes fire off what look to be Phalanx Close-In Weapons Systems and anti-air Standard Missiles in defense:

      But the Standard ballistic defense missiles fall completely short against the actively-maneuvering Chinese warheads. The Chinese missile-and-warhead combination most resemble the DF-21D, an anti-ship ballistic missile which has been called a “carrier-killer”:

      The Chinese warheads all land, destroying the American-looking fleet. We see one submarine destroy another sub under the water, before surfacing and gazing up at what looks to be the PLA Navy’s Liaoning aircraft carrier (which it recently bought from Ukraine), launching J-15 fighter aircraft, Chinese-built navalized versions of Russia’s Su-33 Flanker-D:

      The jet fighters soar over an amphibious force of Zubr-class hovercraft and landing ships, which place Type 96 tanks and other vehicles on a beachhead:

      Once again, we cut to the skies, where we see Chengdu J-10B and next-generation J-20 fighter jets gracefully and easily evade air defenses, before dropping bombs and taking out what look to be identical to American F-35 fighters:

      Surface-to-surface missiles and tanks literally fly through the air, as they remain unscathed from the enemy fire:

      The foreign forces are vanquished, and the Chinese flag is raised over the remnants of the island base:
      Trumpets blare, helicopters soar, and the combined forces of the People’s Liberation Army are victorious over the military force that looks damn near identical to an American one.

      The Council on Foreign Relations noted a translation of the words that close it all out:
      China is strong, victorious wars require deaths; for all to be strong and safe, [we] face the risks and dangers of war. We wholeheartedly love peace, but must be prepared for the likelihood of war. We respectfully and solemnly commemorate the 70th anniversary of the war against Japan.
      (There is no mention of the inevitable nuclear holocaust that follows.)
      Anyways, hope everyone has a happy Labor Day weekend! I bet someone’s got a good barbecue cookin’!
    1. American Patriot's Avatar
      American Patriot -
      yeah... in their wettest fantasies.

      I only know a couple places where you can come screaming in with landing ships and tanks from the shore line and be immediately in corn.... I'm IN one of those places.

      And unfortunately, most of the US military is too. lol
    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      China holds massive naval drills to prepare for ‘sudden, cruel & short’ modern war (VIDEO)

      Published time: 2 Aug, 2016 01:39

      FILE PHOTO: Chinese naval missile frigate Yueyang © Stringer / Reuters

      The Chinese navy held a large-scale “live ammunition” drill in the East China Sea, which involved hundreds of ships and submarines from all three fleets of the People’s Liberation Army.
      The exercise involving China's East Sea, North Sea and South Sea fleets practiced both offensive and defensive capabilities of the Chinese naval power. The exercise mobilized some 300 ships, dozens of fighter planes, and involved troops that are responsible for coastal defense radars, communications, and electronic warfare defense, daily newspaper The China Times reported.
      READ MORE: ‘Price to pay for US’: Beijing ready to confront Washington if it intervenes in S.China Sea dispute
      “The drill is aimed at honing the assault intensity, precision, stability and speed of troops amid heavy electromagnetic influences,” said a navy statement released Monday. “An information technology-based war at sea is sudden, cruel and short, which requires a fast transition to combat status, quick preparation and high assault efficiency.”

      The participating troops and vessels were divided into red and blue teams. The red side joint-assault group perfected skills in attacking the blue side, while the blue team had to use missiles and torpedoes to counterattack their enemy. The drills overall covered a wide range of combat scenarios including reconnaissance, early warning, long-range precision strikes and air and missile defense capabilities of the navy.
      China's Defense Ministry called the drills “routine” and not directed against any third party. The drills, however, come at a time of increased tensions in East Asia after an international arbitration tribunal last month rejected Chinese territorial claims to the South China Sea. Beijing rejected the decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague calling the ruling “waste paper.”
      Read more
      Chinese & Russian navies to hold drills in South China Sea in September
      Despite the court ruling, China continues to claim most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion in annual trade passes. Furthermore, China has repeatedly warned against US intervention in the region, which continues to show its force through the freedom of navigation principle.
      “The People’s Liberation Army is ready,” one source with ties to the military told Reuters. “We should go in and give them a bloody nose like Deng Xiaoping did to Vietnam in 1979.”
      Last week, Beijing also announced that it would hold a “routine” naval exercises in the South China Sea in September with Russia.
      “This is a routine exercise between the two armed forces, aimed at strengthening the developing China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership,” China's defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told reporters. “The exercise is not directed against third parties.”
    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      Chinese official: Prepare for a ‘people’s war at sea'

      Alex Lockie

      Aug. 3, 2016, 7:26 AM 1,827 1

      China navy PLA aircraft carrier Liaoning Chinese naval soldiers stand guard on China's first aircraft carrier Liaoning, as it travels towards a military base in Sanya, Hainan province. Reuters

      Since the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague ruled against China's nine-dash line in the South China Sea, there has been a marked increase in rumblings of the unimaginable: War in the Pacific between China, it's neighbors, and their ally, the US.

      China had given signs that it had no intention to respect the Hague's ruling, but lately rhetoric has been stepped up a notch, with the AFP reporting that a Beijing minister urged preparations for a "people's war at sea."

      In fact, China's state-run media has been awash with bluster on the subject of their military and sovereignty. China's Global Times went as far as to challenge Australia directly, saying: "If Australia steps into the South China Sea waters, it will be an ideal target for China to warn and strike."

      On Weibo, a state-regulated blogging site, Lian Fang, a professor at the military-run National Defense University said that, "The Chinese military will step up and fight hard and China will never submit to any country on matters of sovereignty," Reuters reports.

      Beijing has even gone as far as to unilaterally announce a "no sail zone" in international waters, which directly violates international maritime laws and courtesy.

      This kind of unilateral action would undoubtedly prompt a response from the US, whose navy regularly patrols the waters of the South China Sea even as China builds up military outposts in the region.

      Usually, regional powers are deterred from making power plays on international waters and shipping lanes by the deterrent factor of the US's massive military, but Beijing seems emboldened by both their own rapidly advancing military might as well as the US's preoccupation with the presidential election.

      US Navy uss lassen USS Lassen (DDG 82) patrols the eastern Pacific Ocean. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Huey D. Younger Jr.

      "The People's Liberation Army is ready," one source with ties to the military told Reuters.

      "We should go in and give them a bloody nose like Deng Xiaoping did to Vietnam in 1979," the unnamed source continued, making reference to China's brief invasion of Vietnam to punish Hanoi.

      But despite China's impressive ballistic and cruise missile programs, the country's military is largely untested in modern warfare. Conversely, the US navy is stretched thin seeing to interests around the globe, and they would face huge difficulties in abandoning their posts worldwide to focus on China.

      A war between China and it's neighbors also has the dangerous possibility to divide the world. The US will no doubt come to the aide of it's allies, and China and Russia have increased military ties which could further complicate the scenario.

      china navy Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy recruits chant slogan during a parade to mark the end of a semester at a military base of the North Sea Fleet, in Qingdao, Shandong province December 5, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily

      The fact is a war between the world's two largest economies, who are both nuclear-armed naval powers, would be a full on disaster with the brunt of that damage being felt by civilians in the Pacific and the world at large.

      One unnamed Chinese source seemed especially aware of the potential for catastrophe in the military posturing in a statement to Reuters: "Our navy cannot take on the Americans. We do not have that level of technology yet. The only people who would suffer would be ordinary Chinese"
      NOW WATCH: The US and 25 other nations are working together in the world’s largest maritime exercise

    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      The Coming War on China

      Military and War 07 December 2016 401 43107

      A nuclear war between the United States and China is not only imaginable but a current ‘contingency’, says the Pentagon. This film by acclaimed filmmaker John Pilger’s is both a warning and an inspiring story of resistance.

      The Coming War on China, filmed over two years across five potential flashpoints in Asia and the Pacific, reveals the build-up to war on more than 400 US military bases that encircle China in a ‘perfect noose’.

      Using rare archive and remarkable interviews with witnesses, Pilger’s film discloses America’s secret history in the region – the destruction wrought by the equivalent of one Hiroshima every day for 12 years, and the top secret ‘Project 4.1’ that made guinea pigs of the population of the Marshall Islands.

      In key interviews from Pentagon war planners to members of China’s confident new political class - who rarely feature in Western reports, Pilger’s film challenges the notion and propaganda of China as a new ‘enemy’.

      Pilger says: “The aim of this film is to break a silence. A new cold war is under way along with the drumbeat to war, this time with the real possibility of nuclear weapons.

      ‘The Coming War’ is also a film about the human spirit and the rise of an extraordinary resistance in faraway places.

      Video 1:52.39

      The first 2/3rds of the video is about evils of US nuclear testing and American imperialism, the last 1/3rd of the film is about war with China.

      Chinese Media: China Should Build More Nuclear Arms To Prepare For Donald Trump

      Thursday, December 08, 2016
      By: NDT

      China should "significantly" increase military spending and build more nuclear weapons as a response to US President-elect Donald Trump, an editorial in the nationalistic Global Times newspaper said Thursday.

      China should "build more strategic nuclear arms and accelerate the deployment of the DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile" to protect its interests, should Trump attempt to corner the country in an "unacceptable way", it said.

      "China's military spending in 2017 should be augmented significantly," it added in the print article run in both English and Chinese.

      The paper is not part of the official state media, but has close ties to the ruling Communist Party.

      Chinese officials are sometimes thought to use it as a rhetorical hammer, but have also admonished it for its often bombastic language.

      The president-elect frequently savaged China on the campaign trail, even calling it America's "enemy" and pledging to stand up to a country he says views the US as a pushover.

      But he has also indicated he is not interested in projecting US power away from home, saying America is sick of paying to defend allies like Japan and South Korea -- even suggesting they should develop their own nuclear weapons.

      The editorial follows a Twitter tirade by Trump earlier in the week blasting China's trade and foreign policies, as well as a protocol-shattering decision to accept a congratulatory phone call from Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen.

      Beijing regards Taiwan as a rogue province awaiting unification.

      In the editorial, the Global Times said: "We need to get better prepared militarily regarding the Taiwan question to ensure that those who advocate Taiwan's independence will be punished, and take precautions in case of US provocations in the South China Sea."

      On Wednesday, Trump selected Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, who has close ties to Chinese President Xi Jinping dating back to the mid-1980s, as ambassador to China -- potentially welcome news for Beijing, which called him an "old friend" upon receiving reports of his nomination.

      Nevertheless, the state-owned China Daily newspaper remained pessimistic about the future of relations with the US.

      A Thursday editorial said that though the Asian giant had thus far responded to Trump with "laudable" prudence, further provocations from the unpredictable politician would jeopardize Sino-US ties.

      "China has to prepare for the worst," it said. "What has happened over the past weeks tends to suggest that Sino-US relations are facing uncertainty as never before, as Trump's words are not necessarily more bark than bite."
    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      BREAKING NEWS: WW3? US underwater drone SEIZED by Chinese Navy in South China Sea

      CHINA has "unlawfully" seized a US underwater drone carrying out research in the South China Sea, US officials have revealed.

      By Vickiie Oliphant
      PUBLISHED: 16:25, Fri, Dec 16, 2016 | UPDATED: 16:48, Fri, Dec 16, 2016


      A Chinese Navy warship has seized an underwater drone from the USAn underwater drone deployed by an American oceanographic vessel has been seized by the Chinese Navy in international waters in the South China Sea.

      The incident took place northwest of Subic Bay just as the USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic survey ship, was about to retrieve the unmanned, underwater vehicle (UUV).

      The incident has triggered a formal demand from the US for the drone’s return, according to a defence official.

      As the research vessel tried to retrieve the glider, the Chinese ship - which US officials believe was already shadowing the USNS Bowditch - swooped in and “unlawfully retrieved it.”


      The underwater drone was picked up by a Chinese Navy warshipA US defence official said: "The UUV was lawfully conducting a military survey in the waters of the South China Sea.

      "It's a sovereign immune vessel, clearly marked in English not to be removed from the water - that it was US property.

      "They stole it."

      The drone was being used as part of an unclassified program to collect oceanographic data, including salinity, temperature and clarity of the water, the official added.

      Such information can help inform military sonar data, since sound is affected by such factors.

      The Bowditch was able to establish bridge-to-bridge communications with the Chinese Navy.

      However they responded to say they will now be returning to normal operations and then left the area.

      The issue is now being addressed through diplomatic channels.

      The Chinese seizure will add to concerns about China's growing military presence and aggressive posture in the disputed South China Sea, including its militarization of maritime outposts.

      A U.S. think tank reported this week that new satellite imagery indicated that China has installed weapons, including anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, on all seven artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea.

    1. Ryan Ruck's Avatar
      Ryan Ruck -
      It's not enough that they steal the information to build things, now they've actually resorted to just flat out stealing the things!
    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      Chinese Media Has Told Rex Tillerson to ‘Prepare for a Military Clash’

      Charlie Campbell / Beijing @charliecamp6ell

      Jan. 12, 2017

      The U.S. Secretary of State nominee has provoked fury with his hawkish remarks on the South China Sea

      China’s state media has responded forcefully to suggestions by U.S. Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson that China should be barred from the artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea, warning that any such attempt would force a “devastating confrontation” and both sides should “prepare for a military clash.”

      On Wednesday, Tillerson told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Beijing’s ongoing island-building strategy in the busy waterway — through which $5 trillion of trade passes annually — was illegal and “akin to Russia’s taking of Crimea.”

      “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops,” the former ExxonMobil CEO told the hearing. “And second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.”

      Beijing claims sovereignty over almost 90% of the South China Sea, competing with neighbors Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei, who also claim parts of the waterway. In a bid to bolster its presence, China has transformed seven reefs and islets through reclamation into artificial islands. The mini fortresses now host antiaircraft guns and other weaponry, according to recent analysis.

      Although a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman declined to answer a journalist’s question about possible responses to American naval incursions into the vital trade corridor, China’s notoriously strident state media pulled no punches.

      “Tillerson’s statements regarding the islands in the South China Sea are far from professional,” the Chinese Communist Party–linked Global Times declared in an editorial on Friday. “If Trump’s diplomatic team shapes future Sino-U.S. ties as it is doing now, the two sides had better prepare for a military clash.”

      The state-backed China Daily described Tillerson’s remarks as “a mishmash of naivety, shortsightedness, worn-out prejudices, and unrealistic political fantasies. Should he act on them in the real world, it would be disastrous [and] set a course for devastating confrontation between China and the U.S.”

      Although Donald Trump has been fiercely critical of China during his campaign, his attacks have typically focused on alleged unfair trade practices that the U.S. President-elect claims have “stolen” American jobs. The Trump Administration’s trade team has been stocked with outspoken China trade hawks, such as Peter Navarro and Robert Lighthizer.

      Given that Trump campaigned on drawing down expensive military commitments overseas, many believed any confrontation between the U.S. and China would be limited to commerce, and that the South China Sea would be less of a hot spot than it has been under the Obama Administration, which stepped up naval patrols in the region.

      However, Zhu Feng, professor of international relations at Nanjing University, says the South China Sea will now remain an “essential component” of Washington’s Asia-Pacific security strategy. “The entire U.S.-China relationship is a minefield,” he tells TIME. “There’s not one place to stick your foot.”


    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      China warns of nuclear war

      Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:58 AM January 14, 2017

      BEIJING—China is warning the United States of a nuclear war if the American government puts meat into a statement made by incoming US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the Chinese should be prevented from occupying artificial islands they built in parts of the South China Sea that China is disputing with the Philippines and other countries.

      In an editorial, the Communist Party mouthpiece Global Times said Tillerson better “bone up on nuclear power strategies if he wants to force a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories.”

      “Unless Washington plans to wage a large-scale war in the South China Sea, any other approaches to prevent Chinese access to the islands will be foolish,” said the Global Times, which is believed to represent the thinking of hawkish members of the Communist Party of China.

      Tillerson, former ExxonMobile chief executive officer, told US senators that he would seek to deny Beijing access to the artificial islands that China has been building in the South China Sea.

      China’s actions in the region are comparable to Russia’s invasion of Crimea, he said, a comment that did not sit well with the nuclear-armed Asian giant.

      ‘Devastating’ clash

      If Tillerson acted on his threats, Chinese state-owned China Daily warned “it would set a course for devastating confrontation between China and the US.”

      Satellite photos show China has been hard at work building military facilities in the contested waters, which are also claimed by the Philippines and Vietnam, among other claimants.

      Under US President Barack Obama, Washington has claimed Beijing’s activities in the region threaten freedom of navigation and overflight through the commercially and strategically vital waters.

      But Obama has not taken a position on the ownership of the islets, reefs and shoals that sit in one of the world’s hot spots.

      Tillerson, however, explicitly said that the territories “are not rightfully China’s.” —AFP

      Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/862116/...#ixzz4VfwKQqXV
      Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      Trump warns China stop taking Island's in the South China Sea @reuters

      AFP news agency ‏@AFP 29m29 minutes agoMore

      China warned Washington Tuesday that it would not back down over its claims in the disputed South China Sea http://u.afp.com/4qDx

      AFP news agency ‏@AFP 6h6 hours agoMore

      White House warns China that Washington will defend "international interests" in the South China Sea http://u.afp.com/4qEv

      https://www.rt.com/news/374874-china...russia-border/ China routinely uses demonstration of its military prowess to send signals to challengers like the US. For instance, it tested a railcar-launched version of the DF-41 in December 2016 just as then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visited the aircraft carrier ‘USS John C. Stennis’ deployed in the South China Sea.
      The alleged deployment of the DF-41 near Russia’s border should not be read as a threat to Russia, military analyst Konstantin Sivkov told RIA Novosti.

      “DF-41 missiles placed near Russia’s border are a smaller threat than if they were placed deeper in the Chinese territory. Such missiles usually have a very large ‘dead zone’ [area within minimal range that cannot be attacked by a weapon],” he said, adding that the ICBMs would not be able to target Russia’s Far East and most of Eastern Siberia from the Heilongjiang Province. The Kremlin agreed with the assessment, saying that China is Russia’s “strategic partner in political and economic senses.”“Certainly, the actions of the Chinese military, if the reports prove correct, the military build-up in China is not perceived as a threat to our country,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon has 'no doubt' US will soon go to war with China

      by Alex Linder in News

      on Feb 2, 2017 5:50 pm

      Former head of the far-right news website Breitbart turned chief strategist at the White House, Steve Bannon, has been scaring the bejesus out of everyone recently with the increasing amount of influence and power he is starting to hold over United States policy.

      Which is why recently surfaced comments he made on the radio last March calling war between the US and China in the South China Sea inevitable are raising a few concerns.

      Bannon was conducting an interview on Breitbart radio with conservative author Lee Edwards when he said:

      We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years, aren’t we? There’s no doubt about that. They’re taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face—and you understand how important face is—and say it’s an ancient territorial sea.

      Bannon's views on the South China Sea conflict would seem to fit right in with other senior members of Trump's administration. Last week, in his first press conference, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the US would defend international territories from being taken over by China in the South China Sea.

      Spicer's comments followed those made by recently-confirmed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his confirmation hearing last month. "We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed," the 64-year-old former Exxon CEO said when asked if he supported a more aggressive posture toward China, adding that China's island-building was "akin to Russia's taking of Crimea."

      Following his stunning electoral college victory in November, Donald Trump appointed Bannon to be his White House chief strategist. Earlier this week, Trump continued to expand Bannon's power and influence by installing him as a regular member of the "Principals Committee" of the National Security Council while dropping off key military and intelligence officials to make room.

      The unprecedented move to elevate Bannon to a position where he can actually shape US policy has sparked protests from Democrat lawmakers. Bannon is already believed to have played a major role in crafting Trump's highly controversial "Muslim ban," causing protesters to chant "Stop President Bannon!" at protests against the travel ban held in airports around the country.

      While Bannon sees Islam as the biggest threat to his Judeo-Christian ideals for America, China isn't far behind.

      “You have an expansionist Islam and you have an expansionist China. Right? They are motivated. They’re arrogant. They’re on the march. And they think the Judeo-Christian west is on the retreat,” Bannon said during a radio show last February.

      And now, just one year later, "President Bannon" has the power to stop that "retreat" and launch a counter-attack. We feel safer already.
    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      China may be preparing for a crippling missile strike on the US in the Pacific


      Alex Lockie

      Feb 8, 2017, 3:22 AM ƒ|
      A new report by Thomas Shutgart on War On The Rocks details the disturbing level to which China appears to have planned out a crippling missile attack on US military bases in the Pacific should its interests in the region be threatened.

      For some time analysts have noted that China seems to be tailoring its military to counter the US¡¦s. For example, Beijing tested its ¡§carrier killer¡¥ ballistic missile on a model of a US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, while its own aircraft carrier is designed for coastal defence and will likely be destined for the South China Sea.

      But Shutgart¡¦s investigation of satellite imagery comparing China¡¦s missile testing grounds with US bases in the region shows an eerie pattern. It appears that China¡¦s latest missile tests have all been geared towards knocking out US carriers, destroyers, and airfields in East Asia.

      This falls right in line with one of China¡¦s core military doctrines ¡X ¡§active defence.¡¨

      Essentially, if China thinks it is facing a foe that actively seeks to challenge its territorial cohesiveness or sovereignty, the PLA will engage the enemy through all available means: Legal challenges, psychological and cyber warfare, counter-space systems, and preemptive strikes.

      Under President Donald Trump, the US has made the most serious challenges to China¡¦s territory and sovereignty in recent history.

      Trump and key members of his administration have chastised China for its ¡§massive military fortress¡¨ in the South China Sea, and even threatened to cut off China¡¦s access to the islands it has built and militarised in the region. Trump¡¦s phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen struck at the core of China¡¦s very existence, as it could undermine China¡¦s policy of considering Taiwan as a rogue province that must be back into Beijing¡¦s fold.

      China has already engaged its state-sponsored propaganda against the US, developed counter-space systems that could denude the US of its huge satellite-driven information advantage, and developed systems uniquely able to counter US stealth aircraft.

      If the US continues to actively challenge China and seek to undermine its territorial cohesion, the next logical step in the PLA¡¦s escalation may be to attempt to eviscerate US bases and assets throughout Asia with a blistering missile attack.
    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      Pearl Harbor 2? China 'has prepared for a preemptive strike against US military bases which would cripple American forces in the region'

      • An investigation of satellite imagery compares China's missile testing grounds and US military bases
      • The images show that the test areas have been designed to look like the military bases, according to the report
      • Earlier this week, a highly accurate Chinese ballistic missile capable of threatening US and Japan bases in Asia made its latest appearance
      • The medium-range DF-16 featured in a video posted last week

      By Kelly Mclaughlin For Mailonline
      Published: 11:12 EST, 8 February 2017 | Updated: 15:38 EST, 8 February 2017

      The levels at which China appears to be planning a missile attack on US military bases in the Pacific have been detailed in a new report.

      An investigation of satellite imagery comparing China's missile testing grounds and US military bases shows a pattern - all of the missile tests have been aimed at destroying US carriers, destroyers and airfields in East Asia, the report said.

      The images show that the test areas have been designed to look like the military bases, according to the report by Thomas Shugart on War on the Rocks.
      Earlier this week, a highly accurate Chinese ballistic missile capable of threatening US and Japan bases in Asia made its latest appearance at recent Rocket Force drills.

      Scroll down for video

      Earlier this week, a highly accurate Chinese ballistic missile (pictured above) capable of threatening US and Japan bases in Asia made its latest appearance at recent Rocket Force drills

      China's missiles can reach ranges of approximately 1,500km, which is a further distance than many US military bases

      A possible PLA Rocket Force ballistic missile impact range shows mock military bases that could be compared to US military bases

      An investigation of satellite imagery by the War on the Rocks shows parts of parts of the Rocket Force range appearing to look like Patriot Batter, Kadena in Japan

      The medium-range DF-16 featured in a video posted last week on the Defense Ministry's website showing the missiles aboard their 10-wheeled mobile launch vehicles being deployed in deep forest during exercises over the just-concluded Lunar New Year holiday.

      While the Rocket Force boasts an extensive armory of missiles of various ranges, the DF-16 fills a particular role in extending China's reach over waters it seeks to control within what it calls the 'first-island chain'.

      First displayed at a Beijing military parade in 2015, the missile is believed to have a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles), putting it within striking distance of Okinawa, home to several US military installations, as well as the Japanese home islands, Taiwan and the Philippines.

      The two-stage DF-16 replaces the older, shorter range DF-11, with a final stage that can adjust its trajectory to strike slow moving targets and evade anti-missile defenses such as the US Patriot system deployed by Taiwan.

      An area on the mock airfield shows an aircraft target in almost the same position as an aircraft on Kadena Air Base

      Possible test fuel tank targets appear to look similar to above-ground fuel tanks in Hachinohe, Japan

      A satellite image dating back to 2012, according to the War on the Rocks, shows craters in a test target

      A possible electrical substation target is seen in a satellite image from July 2013. There are no electrical lines, however, running to or from the target

      It also carries up to three warheads weighing as much as a ton and carrying conventional high explosives or a nuclear weapon. Further increasingly its lethality, the missile is believed to be accurate to within as little as 5 meters (16 feet) of the target, similar to that of a cruise missile.
      China has the most active ballistic missile development program in the world, according to CSIS.org.

      Before taking office, President Donald Trump's questioned Washington's 'one China policy' that shifted diplomatic recognition from self-governing Taiwan to China in 1979. He said it was open to negotiation.

      But former US officials and scholars said in a report that such an approach could destabilize the Asia-Pacific and leave Taiwan more vulnerable.

      Possible shelter or bunker targets resemble hardened aircraft shelters at the Misawa Air Base in Japan

      Possible mock moored ship targets resemble the US Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. Inset is a comparison of the ship and mock ship's sizes

      An area at the Rocket Force test range in western China resembles the layout of a US Naval base in Yokosuka, Japan

      US-China relations are at a 'precarious crossroads' and the two world powers could be on a 'collision course,' it said, describing a rivalry that is growing amid Beijing's assertion of territorial claims in the disputed South and East China Seas.

      China has bristled at the 'one China' comments by Trump, who wants to pressure Beijing to narrow its huge trade surplus with the United States.

      Beijing also warned of instability in East Asia after Trump's defense secretary, Jim Mattis, said last week on a trip to the region that a US commitment to defend Japanese territory applies to an island group that China claims.

      The Trump administration has cast its China policy as part of a 'peace through strength' approach.


      Has China Been Practicing Preemptive Missile Strikes Against U.S. Bases?

      Thomas Shugart
      February 6, 2017

      You’ve probably heard that China’s military has developed a “carrier-killer” ballistic missile to threaten one of America’s premier power-projection tools, its unmatched fleet of aircraft carriers. Or perhaps you’ve read about China’s deployment of its own aircraft carrier to the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea. But heavily defended moving targets like aircraft carriers would be a challenge to hit in open ocean, and were China’s own aircraft carrier (or even two or three like it) to venture into open water in anger, the U.S. submarine force would make short work of it. In reality, the greatest military threat to U.S. vital interests in Asia may be one that has received somewhat less attention: the growing capability of China’s missile forces to strike U.S. bases. This is a time of increasing tension, with China’s news organizations openly threatening war. U.S. leaders and policymakers should understand that a preemptive Chinese missile strike against the forward bases that underpin U.S. military power in the Western Pacific is a very real possibility, particularly if China believes its claimed core strategic interests are threatened in the course of a crisis and perceives that its attempts at deterrence have failed. Such a preemptive strike appears consistent with available information about China’s missile force doctrine, and the satellite imagery shown below points to what may be real-world efforts to practice its execution.

      The People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force: Precision Strike with Chinese Characteristics

      The PLA Rocket Force originally focused on nuclear deterrence. Since the Cold War, the force has increasingly focused on the employment of precision-guided conventional ballistic and land attack cruise missiles. The command now consists of about 100,000 personnel and was elevated in December 2015 to a status co-equal to that of China’s other military services.

      In terms of specific missions, Michael S. Chase of the U.S. Naval War College wrote in 2014 that PLA Rocket Force doctrine calls for a range of deterrence, compellence, and coercive operations. In the event that deterrence fails, the missions of a conventional missile strike campaign could include “launching firepower strikes against important targets in the enemy’s campaign and strategic deep areas.” Potential targets of such strikes could include command centers, communications hubs, radar stations, guided missile positions, air force and naval facilities, transport and logistical facilities, fuel depots, electrical power centers, and aircraft carrier strike groups.

      Chase also stated that, “In all, Chinese military writings on conventional missile campaigns stress the importance of surprise and suggest a preference for preemptive strikes.” And while most Sinologists discount the idea of a true bolt-from-the-blue attack in a crisis without first giving an adversary a chance to back down, preemptive missile strikes to initiate active hostilities could be consistent with China’s claimed overall military strategy of “active defense.” As a 2007 RAND study of China’s anti-access strategies explained, “This paradox is explained by defining the enemy’s first strike as ‘any military activities conducted by the enemy aimed at breaking up China territorially and violating its sovereignty’…and thereby rendered the equivalent of a ‘strategic first shot.’” China analyst Dean Cheng stated similarly in 2015, “From Mao to now, the concept of the active defense has emphasized assuming the strategic defensive, while securing the operational and tactical initiative, including preemptive actions at those levels if necessary.” Thus, China could consider a preemptive missile strike as a defensive “counter-attack” to a threat against China’s sovereignty (e.g., over Taiwan or the South China Sea) solely in the political or strategic realm.

      If such a strike still seems unlikely, consider that U.S. military and civilian leaders may have a blind spot regarding the capabilities of the PLA Rocket Force. The bulk of the PLA Rocket Force — the conventionally armed precision-strike units — have no real counterpart in the U.S. military. American long-range ballistic missiles are all nuclear-tipped and therefore focused on nuclear deterrence, and the Army’s short-range tactical ballistic missiles are designed for battlefield use. Also, per the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, the United States fields no medium- or intermediate-range ballistic missiles of any kind, nor any ground-launched land-attack cruise missiles (LACMs). When Americans think of preemptive strike, they likely think of weapons launched by air or sea-based platforms, discounting the viability of a different paradigm: ground-based precision-strike missiles used for the same mission.

      Coming of Age

      A 2015 RAND study said that by 2017 (i.e., now) China could field about 1,200 conventionally armed short-range ballistic missiles (600-800 km range), 108 to 274 medium-range ballistic missiles (1000 to 1500+ km), an unknown number of conventional intermediate-range ballistic missiles (5,000 km), and 450-1,250 land attack cruise missiles (1500+ km). RAND also estimated that improvements in the accuracy of China’s ballistic missiles may allow them to strike fixed targets in a matter of minutes with an accuracy of a few meters. RAND assesses that key U.S. facilities throughout Japan could already be within range of thousands of difficult-to-defeat advanced ballistic and cruise missiles. Even U.S. bases on the island of Guam could be within range of a smaller number of missiles (See Figure 1).
      Fig. 1: PLA Rocket Force Missile ranges vs. U.S. bases in Asia.
      In recent years, the PLA Rocket Force appears to have been making real the specific capabilities necessary to support execution of the preemptive strike discussed above. As examples, a 2009 RAND study of open-source literature suggested that flechette sub-munitions would likely be used against missile launchers, parked aircraft, fuel tanks, vehicles, air defense weapons, and ships in port. Penetrating munitions would be used against airfield runways, aircraft shelters, and semi-underground fuel tanks. In terms of sequencing, the study suggested that an initial wave of ballistic missiles would neutralize air defenses and command centers and crater the runways of military air bases, trapping aircraft on the ground. These initial paralyzing ballistic missile salvos could then be followed by waves of cruise missiles and Chinese aircraft targeting hardened aircraft shelters, aircraft parked in the open, and fuel handling and maintenance facilities.

      These capabilities may already have been tested at a ballistic missile impact test site (see Figure 2) located on the edge of the Gobi Desert in western China. Commercial satellite images seem to show a range of test targets representing just the sort of objectives discussed in the doctrine above, including groups of vehicles (perhaps representing mobile air and missile defense batteries — see Figure 3), aircraft targets parked in the open (Figure 4), fuel depots (Figure 5), runway cratering submunition tests (Figure 6), electrical power facilities (Figure 7), and the delivery of penetrating munitions to hardened shelters and bunkers (Figure 8). Of note, the 2007 RAND study mentioned above stated that submunitions are generally not capable of penetrating the hardened shelters use to house fighter aircraft at many air bases, that China’s ballistic missiles lack the accuracy to ensure a high percentage of direct hits using unitary warheads, and thus, “fighter aircraft in hardened shelters would be relatively safe from Chinese ballistic missile attack.” This clearly appears to no longer be the case, and the demonstrated ability to precisely deliver penetrating warheads to facilities such as command centers in a matter of minutes could also provide a key capability to destroy them, with their command staffs, in the initial waves of an attack.
      Fig. 2: Possible PLA Rocket Force ballistic missile impact range in Western China.
      Fig. 3: Left side – Possible vehicle targets with sub-munition impact pattern, imagery dated Dec. 2013. Right side – U.S. Patriot air and missile defense battery, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. Scale of sub-munition pattern overlaid for comparison.
      Fig. 4: Possible parked aircraft target, imagery dated August 2013. Upper left aircraft shaped target, imagery dated May 2012. Lower right – F-22 Fighter Parking Area, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan.
      Fig. 5: Possible test targets simulating above-ground fuel tanks, imagery dated September 2012. Compared to actual fuel tanks in Japan, similar scale.
      Fig. 6: Possible runway cratering munition testing, imagery dated Sept. 2012.
      Fig. 7: Possible mock electronic substation target, imagery dated July 2013. Note no electrical lines running to or from the target in its very remote location. While no craters are visible, disablement may be planned using other methods, such as dispersal of conductive graphite filaments.
      Fig. 8: Possible hardened aircraft shelter or bunker test targets, imagery dated Oct. 2016. Penetrator sub-munition impacts visible. Lower right: Misawa Air Base, Japan, similar scale.
      China has not been shy about displaying the advancing capabilities of the PLA Rocket Force. Beijing openly displayed some of its latest missiles (such as DF-26 “Guam-killer” missile) in its 70th anniversary parade in 2015 and painted the missiles’ identification on their sides in western characters, in case anyone missed the point. The PLA Rocket Force also put out a recruiting music video and other TV footage showing the employment of multiple coordinated missile launches, as well as the use of submunitions.

      Pearl Harbor 2.0?

      In 2010, Toshi Yoshihara of the U.S. Naval War College wrote that authoritative PLA publications indicated that China’s missile forces might attempt a preemptive strike to knock out the U.S. Navy in Asia by specifically targeting vulnerable carriers and warships in port. Yoshihara noted in particular that, “Perhaps no other place captures the Chinese imagination as much as Yokosuka,” the major U.S. naval base near Tokyo home to the U.S. Navy’s sole permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), as well as other ships and vital support facilities (see Figure 9). In 2012, Dr. Yoshihara again stated that:

      [T]he Imperial Japanese Navy’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor remains a popular, if somewhat tired, metaphor for the dangers of unpreparedness and overexposure to risk…But the real possibility that U.S. bases in the Western Pacific could once again be vulnerable…has occasioned little publicity or debate.
      Fig. 9: Home of U.S. 7th Fleet, Yokosuka, Japan.
      Evidence that China may have been practicing to strike ships in port with ballistic missiles would lend credence to Yoshihara’s concerns. And such evidence exists: images taken in 2013 (see Figure 10) seem to show China testing its ability to do so.
      Fig. 10: Possible moored ship and naval facility targets, imagery dated August 2013. Compared for scale with actual U.S. destroyer.
      Specifically, the PLA Rocket Force appears to have been practicing on several ship targets of a similar size to U.S. Arleigh Burke-class destroyers moored in a mock port that is a near-mirror image of the actual inner harbor at the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka (see Figure 11). Note what looks like an impact crater located near the center of the three ship targets, close enough to have potentially damaged all three ships with submunitions. The display of these targets may itself constitute signaling to the United States and its allies as a long-term deterrent effort. All the same, it bears considering that the only way that China could realistically expect to catch multiple U.S. ships in port as shown above would be through a surprise attack. Otherwise, with clear signs of imminent hostilities, the United States would likely have already sent its fleet to sea. Some skeptics might say that catching the U.S. flat-footed would be unlikely, but history teaches us not to discount the possibility of successful surprise attacks.
      Fig. 11: Possible naval ship and harbor targets, compared to inner harbor at U.S. naval base at Yokosuka, Japan.
      The Need for Enhanced Deterrent Measures

      U.S. and allied efforts are underway to improve defensive areas such as base hardening and force dispersal, as well as to conduct advanced research into ballistic missile defenses such as high-velocity projectiles, rail guns, and lasers. My colleague Elbridge Colby has written with Jonathan Solomon extensively about conventional deterrence and the specific capabilities that the United States can develop in the next few years that will be critical to fielding a force “that can prevail in regional wars while still performing peacetime missions at a reasonable level.” The possibility that a threat of preemptive attack from the PLA Rocket Force already exists underscores an urgent need to take further action now.

      First, the United States should very publicly deploy the most robust missile defenses that it can to protect its bases in Japan. In the long term, technological breakthroughs will probably be necessary to pace the growing precision-strike ballistic missile threat at a reasonable cost. But for now, a layered ballistic missile defense is necessary, as the short-range Patriot air and missile defense batteries currently guarding U.S. and allied bases in Japan seem unlikely to succeed against a mass Chinese raid. Such a robust missile defense also requires deployment of the U.S. Army’s Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) system to Japan and/or tasking Aegis ballistic missile defense destroyers for duty focused on the defense of U.S. bases. Given that U.S. destroyers would likely have other business to conduct in a conflict with China, near-term deployment of THAAD to Japan (which will require tough trade-offs given the current worldwide demand and limited number of available batteries) is necessary to defend U.S. forces. Once deployed, U.S. and allied ballistic missile defense forces will need to publicly practice coordinated defense against mass ballistic missile attacks. Even well-practiced defenders would face a tough challenge in coordinating a real-world defense against a ballistic missile attack of unprecedented scale from a potentially flat-footed stance, with mere minutes to do so and only one chance to get it right.

      Given the difficulty and uncertainty associated with defending against a mass missile raid even with robust, layered defenses, U.S. forces and personnel stationed at bases in Japan and Guam need to practice rapid evacuation of the types of facilities targeted in Rocket Force doctrine. Similarly, key U.S. command centers in Japan should practice rapid execution of continuity of operations plans, given that the time available between the first detection of a missile launch by U.S. space-based missile warning sensors to its impact would probably be on the order of 10 to 15 minutes. In that short amount of time, U.S. early warning centers would have to detect the launched strike, assess it, and warn U.S. forces overseas. Those overseas personnel and command staffs would then need to execute evacuation and continuity procedures in a matter of a few short minutes. Similarly, U.S. ships in port in the Western Pacific would need to be able get away from their pier positions in a matter of minutes, and high-value air units in the region would need to be able to quickly move their aircraft from their parked positions. In any case, no margin of error will exist for lack of training or proficiency in execution.

      The United States and its allies should take action now to ensure that China does not think that it can gain the upper hand in a conflict through successful missile strikes against U.S. bases in Asia. They must ensure that China is not tempted, as some of the United States’ previous adversaries have been, into making the grave error of trying to knock the United States down, expecting it not to get back up.

      Thomas Shugart is a Senior Military Fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a submarine warfare officer in the U.S. Navy. The opinions expressed here are the author’s and do not represent the official position of the U.S. Navy, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.
    1. vector7's Avatar
      vector7 -
      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.

    1. Ryan Ruck's Avatar
      Ryan Ruck -

      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.