Chinese troops offer an Afghan solution

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Aug 26, 2009.

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    Chinese troops offer an Afghan solution
    By Francesco Sisci

    BEIJING - On August 11, China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) kicked off its largest military maneuver in decades. About 50,000 troops, drawn from each of the seven military commands, were deployed by "rail and air transport" to unfamiliar territories far from their garrison training bases. The goal of the exercise was "to improve [the PLA's] capacity of long-range projection", reported the official Chinese news agency Xinhua.

    The PLA, therefore, was not staging maneuvers to prepare for a hypothetical invasion of Taiwan, as it has done in many of its past exercises. Those "Taiwan maneuvers" had very little practical use, as many generals have conceded that even if China were to attack the island, it would do so through rockets and missiles, not
    by trying to land thousands of soldiers on Taiwan's beaches.
  2. Well, China is the new Superpower. About time they took a step up the world stage, and anything that gets them working alongside the Americans early on, as opposed to fighting against them overtly or clandestinely is a good thing.

    50 000 troops wouldn't go awry either, especially not in the south.
  3. Exercise Stride 2009. Seems to be a series of major Movexes. Think Plain Sailing for comparison. Description.

    Link 1
    Link 2
    Link 3

    I think personally the idea that this is some sort of hint to NATO is a bit of wishful thinking. The PLA is still transforming into a fully professional force and truth be told the various arms don't coordinate too well above div level and the services hardly interact. This is more about adapting to the reality that it needs to modernise and professionalise if it's to remain 'The Great Wall of Iron and Steel'.

    Taken with the recent intense diplomatic activity with Moscow and the increase in Sino-Russian joint exercises, I'd read this as being more aimed at Russia - "We want to be your friend, you don't want to be our enemy". Much as I agree it'd be a good thing to see them on our side in AFG, I don't see it happening. It's not ready to be an expeditionery force yet and the blokes in charge, whatever else they are, aren't daft.
  4. If you think the Pentagon wants the Chinese Army sitting on the border of Iran you must be crazy. The oil in the Middle East belongs to America.
    What happens if a bunch of uppity Chinks start moving in and telling the local rag heads they own the oil underneath their own soil?

    What happens if Israel threatens to bomb Iran and the Chinese hand over AAA missile batteries and operators to Tehran in return for guaranteed long term oil supplies?

    What happens if the Iran nuclear facilities have several thousand Chinese paratroopers camped around them? Bombing defenceless women and kids is one thing -- watching Netanyahu pick a fight with the Chinese military is something I'd pay good money to watch.
  5. One interesting thing I just remembered which might be taken as a sign of future intent - not so long ago somebody started a thread in QMs forum IIRC on the new Chinese rat pack.

    The instructions on the wrappers were in Chinese and English. Not really any point to that unless they were anticipating a need to provide logistic support in an international setting.
  6. They have the men, the money, plenty of fight and wont give a continental about human rights, elf an sefey....etc etc.... sounds like a good plan to me!
  7. Don't forget the Chinese have an ongoing issue with their western provinces (mostly Uighurs tribesmen) who are Islamic and becoming infiltrated by militants leaking in from the East.
    The Chinese could very easily post a division or twenty of troops to their Western border, and since they haven't had any recent battlefield experience, I wouldn't be surprised if they sent a few thousand 'military observers' if NATO offered them the option.
  8. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    Let me get this straight: The writer of his wistful fantasy is the Asia Editor of La Stampa? Good lord - one would think he would be a little more au fait with regional politics.

    Since when has the PLA deployed on any operation beyond its own border security/vested interests? (ie invading Tibet, 'intervening (ie launching an undeclared war) in Korea, invading Vietnam, war with India, border skirmishes with Russia, threats to Taiwan.

    Show me one shred of evidence - ONE - that Beijing is interested in joining the Afghan effort. Xinjang is an internal issue. The Chinese are, I am sure, very worried about a surge of Islamic militarism in the 'Stans - which is a very good reason for not intervening in Afghan. Why make yourself a target?

    His military and geopolitical analyses is equally laughable. Take this howler: "One solution for the US is to pull out and entrust the Pakistanis with overall security..." Right, they have done a good job in their own country. Then he suggests that China and Pakistan could control Afghan (for Pakistan...!) in exchange for Karachi ceding New Delhi's sovereighy over Kashmir.

    What planet is this man living on? Is there no editor at the Asia Times these days? If so, he was out to lunch when this crossed his desk.

  9. They'll deal with militant infiltration as an internal security matter - that's one of the reasons behind the new Armed Police Act they've just passed, to give the (State controlled) PAP responsibility for public order anywhere in the PRC instead of acting in support of (locally controlled) provincial forces.

    There's more of a problem with Islamic extremism in Qinghai than in Xinjiang. The Urumqi riots were an ethnic issue and not a religious one, as witness the Uighur attacks on Hui districts and individuals - Hui are a Muslim ethnic group as well.

    Rising Islamic militancy won't alter Beijing's perception of their security needs to the extent that they'll abandon the concept of absolute sovereignty.