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China - and the dangerous drift to war in Asia

What happened to MAGA? And as for Jonesy's 'you guys need the USA more than the USA needs allies'...

'A new Pentagon assessment of Chinese military power states it has outstripped the US in numbers of warships, land-based missiles and air defence systems. The news comes as a blow to US national pride.

“Frankly, America slept while China grew,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said yesterday.

'The annual Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China (PRC) report concedes the Pentagon was wrong when, 20 years ago, it dismissed the potential threat posed by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Instead, the reports state, it is now well and truly on track to become what Chairman Xi Jinping demands to be “a world-class military”.

“(Beijing) has marshalled the resources, technology, and political will over the past two decades to strengthen and modernise the PLA in nearly every respect,” the report finds, adding that “China is already ahead of the United States in certain areas”.

'This includes its ship building economy, as well as the number of ballistic, cruise and anti-aircraft missile systems. 'In particular, the 173-page report notes the Chinese navy is now the largest in the world with a total of 350 vessels. The US navy reports 293 vessels in active service.

'Pompeo says China remains outmatched by the combined strength of the West and its allies. “It’s central that we have friends and allies in this battle,” he told Fox News.'


 
Pompeo says China remains outmatched by the combined strength of the West and its allies.
Unfortunately for the end of history, that means 'part of the US Military and probably Japan.'

The other allies are either too far away, don't have a dog in this particular fight or have learned that 'America First' means 'Everyone Else Last' and have started steering their own path .
 
Further troop deployments into the area.

'According to information published by the Forbes website on September 2, 2020, open sources satellite images showed that China may have deployed HQ-9 air defense missile systems in the Chumbi valley of Tibet, on the border with the northeastern Indian state of Sikkim and the independent kingdom of Bhutan.

'Citing information published by the Indian website "The Print" on August 2020, the Chinese military is reportedly constructing a surface-to-air missile site as well as other infrastructure on the banks of the Mansarovar Lake in the India-Nepal-China tri-junction area near the Lipulekh pass.

'The HQ-9 is a medium-to-long range air defense missile system designed and manufactured in China by the Defense Company CPMIEC (China Precision Machinery Import & Export Corporation). The HQ-9 system is designed to track and destroy aircraft, cruise missiles, air-to-surface missiles, and tactical ballistic missiles.

'The HongQi 9 (HQ-9) uses a two-stage missile. The first stage has a diameter of 700 mm and the 2nd stage 560 mm, with a total mass of almost 2 tons and a length of 6.8m. The missile is armed with a 180 kg warhead, has a maximum speed of Mach 4.2. and has a maximum range of 200 km up to an altitude of 30 km.'


 
Unfortunately for the end of history, that means 'part of the US Military and probably Japan.'

The other allies are either too far away, don't have a dog in this particular fight or have learned that 'America First' means 'Everyone Else Last' and have started steering their own path .
The key point is "The news comes as a blow to US national pride."

This was inevitable, as China are a world class economic power, and they have the "resources, technology, and political will" to translate that into military power. As they say, the future is a multipolar world.

The US's European allies never had any interest in helping the US confront China, and this predates MAGA, as Obama found out when he tried his "pivot to Asia". If anything, Trump seems to be getting his China policy from the US military establishment rather than coming up with anything new of his own.

Aside from the UK, and to a limited extent France, "Europe" are almost entirely absorbed with navel gazing while declaring that navel to be the centre of the world. They will be of no use whatsoever to the US in the rivalry with China. Europe are if anything a millstone around the neck of the US due to their schizophrenic policy of supine indifference by the leading nations of Europe about the perceived threat of Russia and the desperate pleading by the smaller eastern ones to the US for help.

Current US strategy seems to be devoted to try to find new allies in Asia they can line up to oppose China.

They would like to use India as cannon fodder in a future East Asian War. The problem with that strategy is that India have their own ambitions of being a world class power and their overweening pride won't allow them to play second fiddle to anyone for very long.

Japan are in relative decline due to long term economic stagnation and population decline and are if anything destined to become less and less of a factor in the region.

All of the other countries are either too small or poor, to badly disadvantaged from a geographic perspective, or too determinedly neutral to be a major factor in the regional equation.

The result is likely the situation will remain stable while US relative power declines and regional issues increasingly dominate the diplomatic and economic agenda.
 
Lawfare coming into play?

'China today made a veiled threat to India, describing one of India’s northeastern states as “South Tibet” and saying it never recognized Arunachal Pradesh as part of India.

'The latest threat come as the two most populous countries remained in a tense confrontation in mountainous Ladakh, where China has intruded into parts.

'The Chinese threat came after a junior minister in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet said five men from India’s northeastern state were kidnapped by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

“The Indian Army has already sent a hotline message to the counterpart PLA establishment at the border point in Arunachal Pradesh. Response is awaited,’’ Kiren Rijiju replied to journalists’ questions on Twitter.

'The Chinese response was unambiguous. “China has never recognized so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh,’ which is China’s South Tibet region, and we have no details to release yet about the question on the Indian army sending a message to PLA about five missing Indians in the region,’’ said China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian according to the mouthpiece Global Times newspaper.'


 
Lawfare coming into play?

'China today made a veiled threat to India, describing one of India’s northeastern states as “South Tibet” and saying it never recognized Arunachal Pradesh as part of India.

'The latest threat come as the two most populous countries remained in a tense confrontation in mountainous Ladakh, where China has intruded into parts.

'The Chinese threat came after a junior minister in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet said five men from India’s northeastern state were kidnapped by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

“The Indian Army has already sent a hotline message to the counterpart PLA establishment at the border point in Arunachal Pradesh. Response is awaited,’’ Kiren Rijiju replied to journalists’ questions on Twitter.

'The Chinese response was unambiguous. “China has never recognized so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh,’ which is China’s South Tibet region, and we have no details to release yet about the question on the Indian army sending a message to PLA about five missing Indians in the region,’’ said China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian according to the mouthpiece Global Times newspaper.'


The Arunachal Pradesh dispute goes back as far as any of the India-China border dispute.

Long story short, Britain and China signed a treaty in the 19th century which stated that what is now more or less Arunachal Pradesh was part of China. Later on Britain drew new maps which showed Arunachal Pradesh as part of British India, but these were never accepted by Beijing.

Post independence, India claimed the territory as part of India, although it wasn't given the name "Arunachal Pradesh until the 1970s. China has always called it "South Tibet".

Today it forms part of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). There has been fighting along the LAC there over the decades, just as there has been in the northwest.
 
Thanks, I wasn't thinking. India has a horse in the race against China, so I shall be more suspicious of their reports in future.
India most certainly does have a horse in the race.

I am suspicious of their reports.

There is however some basic facts that are reported at this station which do get my attention and are well done.

China is the worlds biggest cyber crook and copycat in the world.

It is waging a global economic war...and they are winning!!!

 
The key point is "The news comes as a blow to US national pride."

This was inevitable, as China are a world class economic power, and they have the "resources, technology, and political will" to translate that into military power. As they say, the future is a multipolar world.

The US's European allies never had any interest in helping the US confront China, and this predates MAGA, as Obama found out when he tried his "pivot to Asia". If anything, Trump seems to be getting his China policy from the US military establishment rather than coming up with anything new of his own.

Aside from the UK, and to a limited extent France, "Europe" are almost entirely absorbed with navel gazing while declaring that navel to be the centre of the world. They will be of no use whatsoever to the US in the rivalry with China. Europe are if anything a millstone around the neck of the US due to their schizophrenic policy of supine indifference by the leading nations of Europe about the perceived threat of Russia and the desperate pleading by the smaller eastern ones to the US for help.

Current US strategy seems to be devoted to try to find new allies in Asia they can line up to oppose China.

They would like to use India as cannon fodder in a future East Asian War. The problem with that strategy is that India have their own ambitions of being a world class power and their overweening pride won't allow them to play second fiddle to anyone for very long.

Japan are in relative decline due to long term economic stagnation and population decline and are if anything destined to become less and less of a factor in the region.

All of the other countries are either too small or poor, to badly disadvantaged from a geographic perspective, or too determinedly neutral to be a major factor in the regional equation.

The result is likely the situation will remain stable while US relative power declines and regional issues increasingly dominate the diplomatic and economic agenda.

Many Asian countries are far too economically dependant on China to risk helping the US in any future military build-up, save probably Vietnam.

The US basing forces in either the Philippines or Thailand is going to be a hard sell for the US, unless either country receives a massive boost in aid.

Assuming there is a second Trump term, would the US look at basing forces in Taiwan?. No was Biden would, that seems all but certain.
 
Many Asian countries are far too economically dependant on China to risk helping the US in any future military build-up, save probably Vietnam.

The US basing forces in either the Philippines or Thailand is going to be a hard sell for the US, unless either country receives a massive boost in aid.

Assuming there is a second Trump term, would the US look at basing forces in Taiwan?. No was Biden would, that seems all but certain.
Taiwan would be a poor place for a significant base, as it's too close to China. I've read news reports saying that the US military want their main bases to be at a safer distance, with Australia being the preferred location.
 
Another Chinese provocation, or an attempt to deter the USA, or a bit of both?

'Taiwan’s air force scrambled jets for a second consecutive day on Saturday as multiple Chinese aircraft approached the island and crossed the sensitive midline of the Taiwan Strait, with the island’s government urging Beijing to “pull back from the edge.”

'Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said 19 Chinese aircraft were involved, one more than in the previous day, with some crossing the Taiwan Strait midline and others flying into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone off its southwest coast.

'It said China, which claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory, sent 12 J-16 fighters, two J-10 fighters, two J-11 fighters, two H-6 bombers and one Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft. According to a map the ministry provided, none got close to mainland Taiwan itself or flew over it. “ROCAF scrambled fighters, and deployed air defence missile system to monitor the activities,” the ministry said in a tweet, referring to the Republic of China Air Force, the formal name of Taiwan’s air force. Taiwan has complained of repeated incidents of Chinese aircraft near the island this year, and has regularly had to scramble its F-16s and other jets to intercept them.

'China had on Friday announced, at a news conference in Beijing about China’s U.N. peacekeeping efforts, combat drills near the Taiwan Strait and denounced what it called collusion between the island and the United States.'


 
Just goes to show China's capability, and ambition, in causing multiple incidents with numerous other states in a widely geographically-separated span.

'A Chinese coast guard vessel has imposed itself in Indonesian waters – some 1500km from mainland China – insisting the area belongs to Beijing. Now Indonesia is mobilising more patrols to expel unwanted intruders. And this is just the latest move in an escalating fight to secure rapidly diminishing food stocks, international analysts warn.

'Natuna Island was the centre of a tense standoff between the two nations in January. Earlier this week, Chinese Coast Guard cutter 5204 entered Indonesia’s 320km exclusive economic zone (EEZ). While international law permits ‘innocent passage’ through an EEZ, Indonesian government officials say the Chinese vessel was not behaving innocently. “Because this one halted, then went circling, we became suspicious, we approached it and learned that it was a Chinese coastguard vessel,” the chief of Indonesia’s maritime security agency, Bakamla, told local media.

'Beijing immediately upped the ante. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said the 2700 tonne Zhaojun-Class coast guard vessel was conducting “normal patrol duties in waters under Chinese jurisdiction. China’s rights and interests in the relevant waters in the South China Sea are clear,” he said.

'But Natuna Island is some 1700km south of China’s southernmost province, Hainan Island. And the entirety of the disputed South China Sea – along with Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam – lay between the two.'


 
Taiwan would be a poor place for a significant base, as it's too close to China. I've read news reports saying that the US military want their main bases to be at a safer distance, with Australia being the preferred location.
The way China is treating Australia at the moment, that may well come sooner rather than later.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
Send 18 jets everyday till it becomes the new normal... Then achieve surprise whenever you want.
 
Send 18 jets everyday till it becomes the new normal... Then achieve surprise whenever you want.

Desensitisation is a wonderful thing, and the PRC certainly has the resources to achieve your proposed COA.
 
Another Chinese provocation, or an attempt to deter the USA, or a bit of both?

'Taiwan’s air force scrambled jets for a second consecutive day on Saturday as multiple Chinese aircraft approached the island and crossed the sensitive midline of the Taiwan Strait, with the island’s government urging Beijing to “pull back from the edge.”

'Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said 19 Chinese aircraft were involved, one more than in the previous day, with some crossing the Taiwan Strait midline and others flying into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone off its southwest coast.

'It said China, which claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory, sent 12 J-16 fighters, two J-10 fighters, two J-11 fighters, two H-6 bombers and one Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft. According to a map the ministry provided, none got close to mainland Taiwan itself or flew over it. “ROCAF scrambled fighters, and deployed air defence missile system to monitor the activities,” the ministry said in a tweet, referring to the Republic of China Air Force, the formal name of Taiwan’s air force. Taiwan has complained of repeated incidents of Chinese aircraft near the island this year, and has regularly had to scramble its F-16s and other jets to intercept them.

'China had on Friday announced, at a news conference in Beijing about China’s U.N. peacekeeping efforts, combat drills near the Taiwan Strait and denounced what it called collusion between the island and the United States.'


This is the same Taiwan Straits that the US insists are international waters and conducts their own demonstrations in. I suspect the Chinese are showing that two can play at that game.

The Chinese also recently released information showing the Americans altering the identification beacon signals on their spy planes flying off the Chinese coast in order to pretend to be Malaysian civilian airliners. This has been verified by third parties.

It may not be coincidence that these events are happening at the same time and It is possible that the Chinese are putting pressure on Taiwan to have the latter tell the Americans to lay off their own activities.
 
The last thing I'd identify as is a Malaysian airliner!
 
Taiwan would be a poor place for a significant base, as it's too close to China. I've read news reports saying that the US military want their main bases to be at a safer distance, with Australia being the preferred location.

In light of China’s recent aggressive stance and intrusions into Taiwanese airspace attention is now concentrating on Taiwan. It has in recent times changed considerably in strategic importance given China’s continuing belligerent actions in the S China sea, and is now an increasingly important player to the military balance in the entire Western Pacific. President Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected in January and has made bolstering the nation’s defences a top priority.

The first in the island chain, that runs from Japan down to the Philippines and which create a natural barrier to the projection of Chinese air and sea power into the open ocean. Its fall to China will be the first stepping stone to regional hegemony.

Possession of Taiwan gives China an military extend reach hundreds of miles from its shores. It would threaten Japan’s energy supplies, sea lines of communication, and control of the southern Ryukyu Islands and critically endangering American operations in support of regional allies Japan and the Philippines.

Taiwan enjoys strong bipartisan support in Congress, and administration officials expect lawmakers to approve recent arms sales proposals by the the Trump administration sale of seven large packages of weapons to Taiwan, including long-range missiles that would allow Taiwanese jets to hit distant Chinese targets in the event of the threatened Chinese invasion.

One weapon system in the proposed packages to Taiwan is the Boeing AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER air to-ground enabling jets flying beyond the reach of China’s air defence system to hit targets on the mainland or warships trying to cross the Taiwan Strait. F16’s, surveillance drones, truck-based rocket artillery system made by Lockheed Martin; land-based Harpoon anti-ship missiles from Boeing; and sea mines along with M1A2T Abrams tanks, portable Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and MK-48 Mod6 torpedoes are all part of the defence package requested by Taiwan.

The CCP have dropped their pretence of a ‘peaceful’ takeover of Taiwan, and it seems Taiwan is reacting accordingly.


 
Makung AFB is home to detachments of F-CK-1C/Ds drawn from either the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) or 3rd TFW, based on the main island of Taiwan. They are usually forward-deployed to Penghu between April and October each year and have just been visited on the 22nd of this month by Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen as a response to the increase in the tension between Taiwan and the PRC, as well as a spike in aerial activity by both nations over the Taiwan Strait.

The indigenous Wan Chien missile they now carry has the ability to be launched from these F-16’s from Penghu, a forward base situated in the 64 islands between Taiwan and mainland China. The weapons are carried exclusively by the air force’s fleet of F-CK-1C/D Indigenous Defence Fighters (IDF) deployed to Makung AFB. The missiles entered service in 2018, have a reported range of 155 miles and use GPS guidance. operating above the Taiwan Strait can hit targets on the Chinese mainland.

Wan Chien or ‘ten thousand swords’ has pop-out wings located at the top of the missile body and an air intake for the jet engine located below the rear section of the weapon. It can accommodate a range of different warhead options, comprising high-explosive, semi-armour-piercing, and other submunitions.

The upgraded F-16Vs and the new Block 70 Vipers presently being discussed offer Taiwan a significant upgrade. Each will have Northrop Grumman's AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR), an active electronically scanned array allowing pilots to spot and track targets, including stealthy, low flying, and hard to detect types, at longer ranges more accurately, and the Block 70’s conformal fuel tanks will significantly extend striking range and long-duration patrols. It also increases available weapons stations for many mission profiles. The Block 70 configuration has a number of other improvements.

A new launcher allows it to carry three AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) on a single pylon increasing air-to-air magazine depth a crucial enhancement for defending from an aerial onslaught or from the mainland. IRST sensors will offer also valuable alternatives and complements to radars for spotting J20’s at extended ranges.

China may want to reclaim Taiwan, but it isn’t going to quite as easy as Hong Kong this time.

 
Makung AFB is home to detachments of F-CK-1C/Ds drawn from either the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) or 3rd TFW, based on the main island of Taiwan. They are usually forward-deployed to Penghu between April and October each year and have just been visited on the 22nd of this month by Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen as a response to the increase in the tension between Taiwan and the PRC, as well as a spike in aerial activity by both nations over the Taiwan Strait.
Snigger. The percentage of identical copy would trigger a similarity detector positive and have you up for plagiarism.

You integrity no work good.
 

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