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Thread: On Chinese Military Goings-on

1. Here is an update on Chinese military-related activities over the last few months. The Chinese remain the top long-term threat to US national security (their annual GDP is TEN TIMES the Russians, in case you were wondering!).
2. For starters, the projected increase this year in the Chinese defense budget over 2018 is 7.5%. The Chinese defense budget is the second largest in the world behind the US. Note the steep curve in this graph continuing upward to the present.
3. Chinese military budget estimates are just that: there are great difficulties in accurately predicting Chinese government estimates, as they fudge numbers for their own reasons – just like the Soviets did during the Cold War.
4. This article gives an excellent overview of those difficulties and what needs to be considered when examining the Chinese military budget.…
5. This puts the 2019 budget into perspective:


China’s military power has expanded dramatically in the last several years. A recent report by the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) noted that “since 2014, China has launched more submarines, ….
5A. … warships, principal amphibious vessels and auxiliaries than the total number of ships currently serving in the navies of Germany, India, Spain, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.”
6. Beijing has been closing the gap even with the United States, though the latter still maintains a considerable lead. Where China has been not able to catch up, it has developed certain asymmetric capabilities to compete with the United States.
7. China has specified areas for focus like military drones, space, artificial intelligence, and overall development in the strategic domain.
8. The Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation could see a lot more emphasis in the coming years with higher spending on each of these high-tech and defense arena.

Read the rest here:…
9. In addition to the concerns expressed by Chinese neighbors in that article, there is also this to consider:


China became the world's third largest exporter of major arms in 2010-14, an increase of 143 per cent from the period 2005-2009.
10. China supplied major arms to 35 states in 2010–14. A significant percentage (just over 68 per cent) of Chinese exports went to three countries: Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. China also exported major arms to 18 African states.

Read the rest here:…
11. What does all that investment translate into in the way of capabilities? Why quite a lot when one factors in the science and technology (S&T) stolen from the West (or obtained via the likes of the Clinton Fdn pay-for-play schemes over the years). Take anti-satellite weapons.
12. <quote>

China's military is expected to deploy a laser weapon capable of destroying or damaging U.S. military satellites in low earth orbit in the next year.
13. The Chinese directed energy weapon is among an array of space warfare tools that include ground-based anti-satellite (ASAT) missiles, electronic jammers, cyber attacks, and small satellites Beijing plans to use in attacks on U.S. satellites in a future conflict.
14. In addition to lasers, China has worked on other directed energy arms, including high-powered microwave, radio frequency, railgun, and particle beam weapons. Lasers are regarded as ideal ASAT weapons because their effects can be more easily masked.
15. A high energy laser beam can destroy electro-optical detectors, optical systems, control surfaces, solar panels, and other satellite components.


The rest:…
16. The US military is dependent on a number of satellite based systems for precise navigation, surveillance and targeting, and communications. Chinese progress in developing ASAT weapons is problematic, to say the least!
17. China is also making progress in coordinating command and control decision-making among its military forces. Command and control decision-making is a key capability needed for synchronizing the actions of disparate forces in a modern conflict.

18. China has conducted a month of drills in the South China Sea and the western and central Pacific involving its navy, air force and missile unit.
19. Military observers said the exercises indicated the People’s Liberation Army wanted to put its wartime command system to the test and also strengthen its missile defences in the South China Sea.


Read the rest here:…
20. But exotic ASAT and new command and control systems are only as good as the people who operate them, right? Looks like Chinese military personnel are becoming more competent and better-trained:

21. [A]ccording to a new assessment by the Defense Intelligence Agency[, …] the Chinese service members behind each [military] system have reached a critical point of confidence where they now feel that in combat, the People’s Liberation Army can match competitors.
22. [A] senior defense intelligence official called the idea that Beijing might soon trust its military capabilities well enough to invade Taiwan “the most concerning” conclusion from the report.

Read the rest here:…
23. But what is the strategic aim of China and its military? Last fall, DoD presented an annual report to Congress entitled, “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2018.” Here are a couple of excerpts:
24. China’s leaders increasingly seek to leverage China’s growing economic, diplomatic, and military clout to establish regional preeminence and expand the country’s international influence.
25. China is also willing to employ coercive measures – both military and non-military – to advance its interests and mitigate opposition from other countries.
26. Chinese military strategy documents highlight the requirement for a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) able to secure Chinese national interests overseas, including a growing emphasis on the importance of the maritime and information domains, ….
26A. … offensive air operations, long-distance mobility operations, and space and cyber operations.
27. China’s military modernization targets capabilities with the potential to degrade core U.S. operational and technological advantages.
28. To support this modernization, China uses a variety of methods to acquire foreign military and dual-use technologies, including targeted foreign direct investment, cyber theft, and exploitation of private Chinese nationals’ access to these technologies.
29. [PLA] reforms seek to enhance the PLA’s ability to conduct joint operations; improve its ability to fight short-duration, high-intensity regional conflicts at greater distances from the Chinese mainland.


Read the rest here:…
30. What does this mean in every-day practical terms? For one thing, China is now practicing long-range bombing runs against U.S. targets. That 2018 report is the first to acknowledge a direct threat to U.S. territory.
31. New variants of China’s H-6K Badger bomber give the bomber the capability to carry six land-attack cruise missiles, giving the PLA a long-range standoff precision strike capability that can hit Guam.
32. As a natural progression of increasing military capability, he PLA has been developing strike capabilities to engage targets as far away from China as possible – out to the second island chain.
33. Over the last three years, the PLA has rapidly expanded its overwater bomber operating areas, gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against U.S. and allied targets. This includes deployment of more surveillance satellites, too.
34. Also, the PLA-N has been doing out-of-area deployments to the Indian Ocean and Africa (Gwadar, Djibouti, etc.) for decades. That’s practicing power projection and presence missions, folks. They’ve been militarizing the Spratly Islands, too.…
35. What’s the bottom line? China is plowing the trade surplus they have with the US into the development and deployment of improved military capabilities. When Americans buy something with a label that says “Made in China,” that contributes directly to the PLA.
36. Harsh, but true! Chinese military capabilities improve year to year. We need to keep track and keep pace, folks. It is a national imperative. ///The end.
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