China Rising

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On August 16, the annual report to Congress on the Chinese military was released by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). There had been speculation that the White House wanted to hold the April Nuclear Security Summit and the May U.S.-China Security and Economic Dialogue before the report became public. President Barack Obama hoped to make diplomatic progress with Beijing before attention was drawn to China’s military buildup. The talks proved futile. And since May, there have been a series of competing naval maneuvers near the Korean peninsula and in the South China Sea, which have highlighted the growing tensions between Beijing’s ambitions and the security interests of the United States and others along the Pacific Rim.

The 83-page Pentagon study looks at all aspects of the People’s Republic of China’s military strategy, but three areas warrant particular attention: missiles, naval capabilities, and the defense industry. According to the OSD analysis:

China has the most active land-based ballistic and cruise missile program in the world. It is developing and testing several new classes and variants of offensive missiles, forming additional missile units, qualitatively upgrading certain missile systems, and developing methods to counter ballistic missile defenses.

China has a small but growing force of mobile ICBMs capable of hitting targets in most of the United States. Under the umbrella of this deterrent force, China is deploying a large number of short and medium range missiles that could devastate its neighbors with a mix of nuclear and conventional warheads. By the end of last year, over 1,000 short range ballistic missiles were deployed within range of Taiwan. And though the Taipei government has attempted to improve relations with the mainland through expanded trade and more open travel, Beijing has continued its military buildup aimed at coercing the island democracy to surrender to the Chinese dictatorship.

Capturing Taiwan would help China penetrate the “first island chain” that runs from Japan through Taiwan to the Philippines and then to Indonesia. Beijing thinks of the waters between the mainland and the island nations to the east as being Chinese territorial seas. The OSD report notes that the PRC is developing its own legal doctrine which is “inconsistent with international law” in regard to control of the trade routes and seabed resources of the region. To put muscle behind its claims, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) held major air and naval exercises in the East China and South China seas in June and July. Beijing also loudly protested U.S. Navy deployments in the Sea of Japan and South China Sea, and the upcoming joint U.S.-South Korea exercise in the Yellow Sea.

The PLAN has been expanding, backed by the world’s second largest shipbuilding industry. The OSD report states, “The PLA Navy has the largest force of principal combatants, submarines, and amphibious warfare ships in Asia. China’s naval forces include some 75 principal combatants, more than 60 submarines, 55 medium and large amphibious ships, and roughly 85 missile-equipped patrol craft.” A new naval base on Hainan Island is nearly complete, with underground facilities for submarines and advanced surface warships within easy striking range of the major trade routes of the South China Sea.

A priority is the construction of new nuclear powered and diesel-electric attack submarines armed with anti-ship cruise missiles. China is also developing an anti-ship ballistic missile with a range in excess of 1,000 miles, with a maneuverable warhead. It is designed to strike U.S. aircraft carriers before their fighters are within range of China, with a weapon that would be hard to dodge or intercept.

China has it own aircraft carrier development program. “The PRC shipbuilding industry could start construction of an indigenous platform by the end of this year. China is interested in building multiple operational aircraft carriers with support ships in the next decade,” says the report. A July 30 editorial in the Communist Party newspaper Global Times stated, “The public strongly desires an aircraft carrier because of the prestige associated with one, the power it projects to the rest of the world and the sense of defensive security it provides.”

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  • George

    "old" Communist?

  • Steve Chavez

    Congrats! High Five's to everyone! We paid for their great success!

    Everything they make is junk, EVERYTHING! I look for "Made in the USA" and if I have to pay more, fine because I know it will last.

    IT JUST TAKES ONE MAJOR DISAGREEMENT AND WE'LL MOVE OUT OF CHINA! Could it be over North Korea or the missile?

    MOVE FACTORIES OUT OF CHINA AND PUT THEM BACK IN THE U.S. AND OUR HEMISPHERE like in Mexico, Haiti, Central America where some already are. IF THEY HAVE JOBS THERE, MAYBE THEY WON'T COME HERE! Also, isn't it cheaper to ship goods across the Rio Grande than it is across the Pacific and even through the Panama Canal to get goods to the East Coast?


    • Don Chapeau

      If we want to become a manufacturing nation again, we have to have a government that doesn't make manufacturing uncompetitive with China. That means that it should not be trillions in debt, and that it should not have one of the highest corporate taxes in the world, etc. I remember attending a lecture by a person who worked down the hall from government regulators of business, she said that she saw them cranking away regulation after regulation from nine to five. Sure, we need to regulate, and we need to tax, but the issue is that we have gone way overboard. And thus, we cannot compete with China.
      It would also help if our inner-city gangs put down the guns, and if 40 percent of babies weren't born to single mothers, etc. In some ways, China is a healthier society than ours. And the Chinese are smart.

  • Bapatriot

    Who worries what Chinese have when a million robotic soldiers serve N. KOREA? They would come to the aid of China in a heartbeat.
    With all the testing being done by ALL GLOBAL NAVIES, why is there no talk about poisoning our oceans and releasing all that carbon into our atmosphere? You think China is going to pay a CAP AND TRADE TAX? Not now, not ever! They got us between a rock and a hard place and WE NOT ONLY LET THEM DO IT, WE LED THEM TO IT!

  • Shirts r us

    I dispise all things made in China as well…but if you think about it, for the last 20 years, our US Gummint has squeezed every extra dollar out of every manufacturer in the USA. Thats the bottom line. They needed to work the bottom line. They did what they could and approcahed China for Help.

    Don't be too fast to blame K-MArt and Wall MArt…I blame our Govt' think about that!

    Its dsad but true—our manufacturing abilities have greeatly diminished in the last 30 years.

    Shame on us, shame on our Govt. If the Chinese don't invade us, the Moslems will…plain and simple.

  • den

    There is no more manufacturing except in China. Ours is all dilapidated and rusty.
    Our people are out of work. Corporations will not hire us. If they loan us money we cannot pay it back. The government is most restrictive to small business, and hand s out free money to those who will not work.
    Speaker of the house Pelosi will investigate anyone who disagrees with her. Felonies will follow for "wrong think". Elections in November if we can last without being taken away at night by this government form the crime of disagreeing.

  • den

    Simple fix after the next election.





    • Hans

      Protectionism – which is what you are advocating – does not work. I don't see why I can't buy a British product, or a French or German product, or a Taiwanese or a Israeli product, if its better or cheaper than the American counterpart.
      And if you do ban their products, they can ban ours.
      China, on the other hand, is a probable enemy in the future. And the Saudis, who we pay vast amounts of oil money too, produced most of the 9/11 hijackers. So that does raise issues.

  • GalileoOnTheMoon

    Washington is engaged in a wealth redistribution strategy to countries such as China under the mistaken idea that recipient nations will be grateful. But that is not what human nature is all about, and the fools running Washington have essentially buried this country because of such misguided ideas. The better red than dead approach is not working out very well for this country either and things will only get worse if this cowardly philosophy is not jetisoned before the power tipping point is reached. Stop feeding the Asian tiger and it will wither away. The sooner we face the facts, the sooner our strategic problems can be faced and resolved

  • jerry

    If the US deploya an EMP werapon, then china will be back to the horse and buggies and thats probably coming, unless you think of the utter destruction of the earth and that is also a possibility. As far as thr US government goes, we have no leader and the senate and congress are nearly all corrupt, so where does it leave the US. Its time to repent and turn back to GOD and clean up our mess here. We are broke and cannot afford nation building when we can't protect our own borders or our citizens from invasion from Mexico. So where does that leave us?

  • Me Mine

    Excice and import taxes on all foreign goods will bring manufacturing back to America.

    Protectionism DOES work.

    Execute Democrats / Socialists / Communists. Start at the top and work your way down until every single one of them are dead.

  • Wesley69

    China rising? Don't doubt it for a minute. We need to take this threat seriously. We are still a superpower, but China is going to give us a run for the money. Some people have even labeled this the Chinese century.
    US offensive and defensive abilities rests with our Super carriers. With them, we have been able to project our power across the globe. The Chinese have developed , to quote the AP, "a game-changing weapon" a "carrier-killing missile called the Dong Feng 21D" that can " penetrate the defenses of even the most advanced moving aircraft carrier at a distance of more than 1,500 kilometers (900 miles)." This weapon may turn that area of the world into a Chinese sphere of influence unless we decide to counter it. The question is, do we?

  • Wesley69

    With the massive buildup of Chinese armed forces, the US has to consider its defensive perimeter. Do we continue to support Taiwan or South Korea? What about Japan? I do not think this administration has the resolve to make such decisions. Their desire to deeply cut military spending does not inspire a lot of confidence. Obama's surrender on the defensive missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic was not interpreted by countries like China as a sign of strength. China, despite Obama's efforts, has supported North Korea and Iran in opposition to the US. They are making mineral deals around the world. China is looking out for number one.

  • Wesley69

    What if China sold this weapon to countries like Iran? Iran would become the power in the Persian Gulf selling China all the oil she needs. How will Obama react? He will talk to the Chinese and the Iranians. How did Hitler react to Neville Chamberlain?
    One thing I do predict is that if the US moves against Iran, China will feel it has a right to move against Taiwan. Russia may take advantage of the situation and move against Georgia, maybe even the Ukraine.
    Strong military capabilities have keep the world from a world war for over 60 years. There have been conflicts, yes, but none to rival what was seen between 1939 -1945. The wild card today is nuclear proliferation and terrorism. Will China join the US, Russia, the European Community and others in trying to keep the peace and contain radicalism. Time will tell, but one thing is certain for sure, China will not be ignored.

  • Steve

    This is sick. China watched and learned – how do you win a World-War (US in WWI and WWII). They learned that you need heavy manufacturing, steel production, ship building, textile manufacturing, etc. And we were soooo smart – what did we do? Gave it all away in the name of cheaper production costs – pure greed. God help us now. They'll likely to send it all back in ships, planes, bombers, etc.

  • Steve

    We used to send Bombers 1,000's of miles to bomb factories in WWII. Now we send them overseas (our lifeline in time of conflict) free of charge! China says "Thank you dumb Americans"

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  • Wesley69

    Mr. Harold Estes, I am honored by your military service, but I am honored by your service now. People across this country need to read this letter. I hope and pray you will live long enough to see Mr. Obama return to private life and begin work on his presidential library.

    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Thomas Jefferson

    You, Sir, did not and God bless you for it!!!!!!!