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New Pacific arms race

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posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 06:16 AM
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New Pacific arms race


news.bbc.co.uk

From the Ming Dynasty emperors to Mao Zedong, China's military prowess has been based on large land armies.

This year China is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Peoples' Liberation Army.

But its traditional strategic thinking is undergoing a huge shift, prompting fears in the United States that China might pose a threat to American diplomatic and military power with a naval arms race in the Pacific.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 06:16 AM
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China is expanding at a huge rate. The thinking of other countries seems to be that they will increase the naval wing of their military.
I wonder how realistic this is, given that china has never really had imperialistic amibitions (unlike japan).

Some more relevant articles:
english.gov.cn...

www.iiss.org...

news.bbc.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 06:33 AM
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I am certainly keeping an eye on China while it would seem unlikely that they would go for a land grab like Japan did during 1941 - 42 but you do have to be prepared for all possible contingency's. All of which makes the NZ governments decision to scarp the combat arm of the RNZAF all that more unwise. The only way to prevent a war with China is to have a sufficient detergent in place and it must always be made clear in political terms that the US and its allies will stand united and wont back down in the face of political pressure or naivety.

One thing for sure as China continues to grow economically its military will become a way of spreading influence.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 07:19 AM
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For the foreseeable future, I think China has enough internal problems to keep it busy. They have infrastructure problems which need to be addressed as well as coming to terms with spreading the money over a massive area of country and population - the goals (I don't think) will not just be regeneration of cities, but also improving the standards of living in the great swathes of land outside the cities.
For now, they should be pretty peacefull, but if they develoe imperialistic ambitions in 20 or 50 years? well, who knows what might happen.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 07:19 AM
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Well budski, a lot of people think that China does not have a large naval fleet, but that is not true. The Chinese have a large naval fleet.

You see, a lot of people have no idea that China Ocean Shipping Co. (COSCO), is owned by the People's Liberation Army (PLA), and all the naval vessels are considered military vessels and are built in a way that they can be retrofitted for military purposes.


The PLA or its commercial businesses, however, may use COSCO ships in commercial shipping or in wartime.

www.fas.org...


China's flagship commercial shipping fleet, China Ocean Shipping Company [COSCO], is directly connected to the People's Liberation Army and the Chinese communist government. COSCO ships have served as carriers for massive smuggling operations around the world--including the United States--of weapons, drugs and illegal aliens. In addition, COSCO has been used by the Chinese government to ship missiles and components of weapons of mass destruction to rogue nations such as Pakistan and Iran.

www.afpc.org...

Here is one of the old articles dealing with this little known fact.

ATS: COSCO, a Military Chinese Company Operating in a U.S. Pier.


COSCO ships are considered to be part of the Chinese Navy and are frequently armed with guns and missiles during Chinese Army amphibious training exercises.

Link

The following article is from 1999, but it shows many of the uses that China had made for their COSCO fleet.


The 600-ship Cosco fleet has had a checkered past:

* In 1991 the Far East Economic Review reported 20 battle tanks were transported to the brutal Burmese military regime aboard a Cosco ship.


* ln 1992 Cosco was fined $400,000 by the Federal Maritime Commission, or FMC, on charges of paying kickbacks to secure customers.

* ln 1992, 200 containers of North Korean rocket fuel bound for Pakistan were seized on a Cosco ship by Hong Kong customs agents.

* In 1993, 87 pounds of heroin were seized on a Cosco ship that was docked in Canada.

* ln December 1996, a Cosco ship rammed a crowded boardwalk in New Orleans.

* In March 1996, 2,000 AK-47 assault rifles bound for U.S. street gangs were seized on a Cosco ship in Oakland by U.S. Customs agents.

findarticles.com...

And those are just some of the uses of the COSCO fleet in the past.

[edit on 21-8-2007 by Muaddib]



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 07:20 AM
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It is not quite an arms race yet, but more of a steady build up. Since about 2000 the US military has been shifting the bulk of it's military force from the Atlantic into the Asia/Pacific theater. This includes new military instillations and bases as well as focused intelligence and assessment. It is no coincidence, China is seen as the most likely future threat. Efforts to contain the PRC are underway and the Pacific is set to be the North Atlantic of the future. It's not just the US, Japan, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea realize it too.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 07:22 AM
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reply to post by Muaddib
 


I was aware of their "mercantile" fleet, but wonder at the effectiveness against a modern CBG.
That's how Japan tried to win - by opposing force with equal force in CBG terms, and it worked for a little while.
However, I don't put the chinese navy into the same force generator category as the US CBG's.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 07:30 AM
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reply to post by WestPoint23
 


It's certainly something that needs to be monitored closely.
If flashpoints occur, one of them is likely to be ROC (Taiwan) - apparently PRC still consider them to be part of the PRC.
There are other points though - the economy is massive and likely to grow more, they have no need of land, and they face internal problems. So the only conflict I can see is one of an economic nature which escalates.
I would question though, if they have the technical capabilities to take on the US.
Todays warfare is more about technology than numbers, although in a land war, sheer weight of numbers may win - but I can't see a land conflict happening - if fought, it will be fought by sea/air - and I don't think they have the capability (at the moment) to fight that kind of conflict - although they may in future.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 07:42 AM
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and I don't think they have the capability (at the moment) to fight that kind of conflict - although they may in future.


Hmm I was reading recently that China has six carriers in the same class as the Varyvaag mainly in the Pearl River behind Hong Kong. Officially they are classed as children's amusment parks. Russia has been supplying China with refurbished Yak VSTOL fighters for operations from these floating amusement parks.

China has a fleet of extremely modern SSN hunter killers called the Han Class. It also has a home grown conventional sub design called the Song Class.

It is not as if USA has exactly been challenged in the Pacific. Rather the USA has pretty much abandoned leadership in the region for decades. China is merely stepping into the void left behind.

Personally I think USA has far more to fear from Islam and in particular Iran, than it does from China. Of course China will be come a rival.

Millitary confrontation is not the antidote. Trade and diplomacy is the answer.

You should not underestimate either, how much ordinary Chinese people are disenfranchised with their own government.

America is not seen by ordinary Chinese people as standing for democracy and personal freedoms. USA likes to see itself that way, but the plot is wearing rather thin since the Cold War.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 07:46 AM
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The Chinese navy alone might not be a threat to the U.S. navy, but again remember that the Chinese, the Russians and some others have been signing treaties to help each other in military situations.

You also have to remember that the Chinese are very secretive about their military buildup, they are not as upfront as some others. Although most military do not tell everything about their new technologies the Chinese are more secretive than any other.

Remember also that the Chinese have been involved in smuggling operations of U.S. secrets for years, so they are probably more advanced militarily than they led us to believe.

As Sun Tzu says in the Art of War, when you are strong make your enemies believe that you are weak.

[edit on 21-8-2007 by Muaddib]



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 07:59 AM
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Originally posted by budski
I was aware of their "mercantile" fleet, but wonder at the effectiveness against a modern CBG.


I doubt that armed merchant ships would go after warships of any kind they are more likely to be modern day commerce raiders and mine layers. But that is just my opinion.



That's how Japan tried to win - by opposing force with equal force in CBG terms, and it worked for a little while.


A better comparison would be to the German raiders of two world wars. I would have that the likes of modern day satellites would make such a strategy much more difficult to implement. Never the less satellites orbits are predictable and given sufficient training and logistical support commerce raiding could still take place in the 21 century . Bear in mind that the very presence of a warship in a well defended area or the presence of armed merchant cruises in the open ocean can cause the diversion of resources far out of proration to the forces the enemy has deployed.

Remember that convoys have to protected from the submarine threat as well as the possibility of armed merchant cruises. Add in the fact that the Pacific Ocean provides a lot of territory that needs to be covered by air recon and unsuspecting civilian ships and crews and you suddenly have a very serious problem on your hands.

The other possibility is that warships could be disguised as merchant ships but I suspect that might not be an option today.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 08:09 AM
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reply to post by Muaddib
 



The close relations existing between Beijing and Moscow from 1949-58 represent an exceptional interlude in the much longer historical pattern of mutual suspicion and hostility between China and Russia. China and Russia had border disputes since the seventeenth century when Tsarist forces occupied Nerchinsk and Yakasa in the Amur region (north of Mongolia and west of northern Nei Mongol). The eighteenth century saw Russian incursions in the Lake Balkhash area, near Northwest Xinjiang. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Russians had seized a total 1.4 million square kilometers, and another 1.5 million by 1900. The Russians codified these gains through a series of 'unequal treaties,' as current Chinese histories call them.

The Beijing government began to challenge Soviet occupation of these disputed areas in 1963, and, with China's demonstration of its nuclear capability in 1964, the military build-up on both sides of the border began in earnest. In Japanese press, Mao was quoted as saying that both Vladivostok and Khabarovsk were on territory that had belonged to China save for 'unequal treaties.'

Soviet ground forces had been augmented in the last half of 1967 in regions bordering China in the Far East and Transbaykal Military Districts. From 1965 to the end of 1969, the USSR increased its deployment of ground forces in the military districts adjacent to the Chinese border from 13 divisions to 21 divisions.
By the time Henry Kissinger visited China in the summer of 1971, dominant voices in Beijing were convinced that China faced a potentially more dangerous and immediate adversary than the United States. This shift in primary adversaries from the United States to the USSR contributed to the achievement of a Sino-American rapprochement confirmed by President Richard Nixon when he visited China in February 1972.

The Sino-Soviet border dispute was particularly disturbing since both the USSR and China were now nuclear powers. However, in order to limit the danger of secalation, a tacit bargain was apparently reached that neither side would resort to air power. In the following years, annual rounds of talks were held, all without significant progress. Border provocations occasionally recurred in later years--for example, in May 1978 when Soviet troops in boats and a helicopter intruded into Chinese territory--but major armed clashes were averted.

In July 1986, Mikhail Gorbachev announced the Soviet Union's "...willingness to improve relations with mainland China," and settle the border dispute. Both parties signed a treaty in May 1991, and the Russian Federation ratified it the following winter. In April 1990, both countries also signed the "Agreement on Guiding Principles for the Mutual Reduction of Military Forces Along the Sino-Soviet Boundary and the Strengthening Confidences in the Military." This agreement provides for a mutual reduction of troops along the border and limits military activities to defense. In 1990, the Soviets had about a quarter of its ground and air forces and a third of its navy dedicated to the border, or 56 divisions containing 700,000 troops when fully mobilized. The Chinese had 1 million soldiers deployed along the 7500-kilometer border.

source

I'd suggest that the 2 countries sought a diplomatic resolution in order to avoid conflict in the nuclear age, and would also suggest that the new military exercises are no more than an extension of this.
Russian and Chinese enmity is centuries old, and will not go away easily.
This is surely an example of "realpolitik" than a true alliance.

As for being as advanced militarily, I'd say that the Raptor is more than capable of holding it's own against chinese aircraft, as are the surface and submarine forces.

But it's also true that the chinese have a more long term mentality than usually seen in western powers, and thousands of years of history to back it up.
sun tzu also said:
Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate.
and:
If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.


[edit on 21/8/2007 by budski]



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 08:21 AM
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Budski I'm not arguing against the F-22 superiority but there could be an problem if there simply isnt enough of them around . The other issue is that the USAF and hasn't faced any creditable opposition in more then a generation so its capability's can only be worked out on paper and debated on ATS. While I wouldn't say that it would be ease to sink a USN flat top it would be very dangerous to adopt the "no aircraft has or will sink a battleship" mentality.

If my above post highlighted anything it is that there still weapons available to the underdog.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 08:31 AM
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Originally posted by xpert11
Budski I'm not arguing against the F-22 superiority but there could be an problem if there simply isnt enough of them around . The other issue is that the USAF and hasn't faced any creditable opposition in more then a generation so its capability's can only be worked out on paper and debated on ATS. While I wouldn't say that it would be ease to sink a USN flat top it would be very dangerous to adopt the "no aircraft has or will sink a battleship" mentality.

If my above post highlighted anything it is that there still weapons available to the underdog.


I don't doubt for a moment that they have capabilities which should be a cause for concern, but I'm also looking at a possible long term objective of parity of armed forces in a technological sense, and historically, the chinese have taken the longer view, which is why I posted the relevant sun tzu quotes.

It's very difficult for westerners to understand the chinese way of thinking - it's hard for even experts to fathom, and I think that this is the biggest cause for concern - we simply have no way of knowing their intentions, or how they might go about achieving them.
Say what you like about the russians, at least they were somewhat predictable.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 08:51 AM
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Originally posted by sy.gunson
Hmm I was reading recently that China has six carriers in the same class as the Varyvaag mainly in the Pearl River behind Hong Kong.


Not it does not, currently China is working on refurbishing the Varyag which it bought from the Ukraine in 2001. It was formally an uncompleted Soviet era carrier. At the same time it is quite apparent that they also have several programs underway aimed at building a "home grown" carrier. At the present moment however they have no operational aircraft carriers, or ships capable of operating fixed wing aircraft.


Originally posted by sy.gunson
Officially they are classed as children's amusment parks.


They are amusement parks, like the one discussed here. They are no more "real" carriers than my Nimitz model.


Originally posted by sy.gunson
Russia has been supplying China with refurbished Yak VSTOL fighters for operations from these floating amusement parks.


Sources please? That idea is quite absurd. I have already shown that these "carriers" you are referring to not real ships. Furthermore China has no naval capable fixed wing aircraft. Certainly no Yak V/STOL capable aircraft.



Originally posted by sy.gunson
China has a fleet of extremely modern SSN hunter killers called the Han Class.


You really should do some research before posting. The 091 class are anything but "extremely modern". They are the PLAN's first generation SSN's. Not only are they "old" (in development terms) but they suffer from a poor design making them noisy, unsafe, maintnce heavy and unreliable. They also do not have a great capability in terms of firepower, not to mention there are a grand total of five ships.

The 093 SSN alass aims to address these problems but they are just coming online with only one ship operational. We do not yet have enough clear information to see how capable they are. Speculation however indicates that they are not as advanced as their Western counterparts. All of this means that China does not currently have a sizable or credible "blue water" submarine force. Capable of sustained and prolonged operation away from territorial waters.

Their littoral force of diesel-electric and AIP subs is quite sizable and dangerous given the operational environment. However these subs are only effective as long as they stay in "brown water" territory. They are not numerous enough or capable of sustaining high speed, long endurance operation against a modern force past the first line of operations.


Originally posted by sy.gunson
Rather the USA has pretty much abandoned leadership in the region for decades.


Actually it is quite the opposite, not only has the US always been engaged in the Pacific but it has increasingly focused it's attention on it. As I said, the US has been slowly moving it center of air and naval operations into the Asia/Pacific region.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 10:00 AM
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You beat me to it WP23,
all the information you posted was going into a post of my own from here still, as long as it was posted by someone

An excellent site which gives a good overview of current capability as it is known - it's what's not known (if it exists) regarding weapons development and intentions that I'd really like to find out about.

Compare the chinese current weapons to US weapons

[edit on 21/8/2007 by budski]



posted on Aug, 22 2007 @ 06:31 AM
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Seriously dudes, do not get caught up in this smoke screen.
The days of this paranoia are done. How many times does history have to repeat itself?
People are waking up to the fact that this is just another effort for the people behind the scenes to grab more money and power at the cost of more innocent lives.
Look hard...and I mean really hard behind the scenes at who is pushing this stuff. Look at who will benefit from a China / USA escalation in tension.
It will not be Joe Average.



posted on Aug, 22 2007 @ 06:35 AM
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Originally posted by Cyber_Wasp
Seriously dudes, do not get caught up in this smoke screen.
The days of this paranoia are done. How many times does history have to repeat itself?
People are waking up to the fact that this is just another effort for the people behind the scenes to grab more money and power at the cost of more innocent lives.
Look hard...and I mean really hard behind the scenes at who is pushing this stuff. Look at who will benefit from a China / USA escalation in tension.
It will not be Joe Average.


would you care to expand on this?
who is going to profit, from what are they profiting, and how is this an escalation?
A simple post about a naval expansion does not mean it's an escalation - although I'm willing to discuss all possibilities



posted on Aug, 22 2007 @ 06:51 AM
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Sorry Westpoint23, I am preparing legal papers for next week and came across an article whilst i was not paying much attention.

I do appreciate the pictures and explanation which is quite amusing, however I did read that Yak VSTOL fighters were being refurbished for the former Soviet carriers (Minsk. Kiev and Varyvaag) Add to this former HMAS Melbourne.

Anyhow the Song class DE subs and the Han class SSNs are no figment of the imagination and could easily be found in Janes Defence Weekly.

China does not need a particularly massive fleet to control the Western Pacific. Think about their occupation of the Spratleys, or the confrontation over the EP-3C which made an emergency landing at Hainan.

China is undoubtedly a rising star and before long it will eclipse USA in economic power. In Australasia and South east Asia everyone wants to trade with China.




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