Monday, April 18, 2011

China Military Construction on US-Soviet Templates

by Alexander Khramchikhin

The Information Office of the State Council issued another - the seventh since 1998, White Paper, "China's National Defense 2010". Familiarity with it causes a lot of troubling questions.

Peace in the world - an illusion

Certainly, like all such documents, the White Paper of China is largely demagogic, propagandistic nature. To bring about this claim is meaningless, such are the laws of the genre. Accordingly, passages such as "China will never seek hegemony and will never seek military expansion" can be ignored. It makes no sense to focus on the records of the various components of the PLA's combat with Somali pirates, the Chinese organized crime and natural disasters, as well as participation in UN operations.

Unlikely to be seriously treated and the statements of opposition to China's militarization of space (especially if we recall that anti-satellite weapon it tested were even more active than the USA). On the contrary, it is easy to believe that China is sincere in favor of a nuclear-free world, as well as a first step towards it - for the fact that all countries have committed themselves not to use nuclear weapons first. After all, it would have made the PLA invincible (at least in Eurasia). But since this is clearly unrealistic, the White Paper says that the countries with the largest nuclear arsenals in the world (of course, refers to the U.S. and Russia), bear special and primary responsibility for nuclear disarmament and should substantially reduce nuclear arsenals. This is a necessary condition for a final, comprehensive and complete nuclear disarmament. And only when conditions are ripe, the other nuclear powers must also adhere to the multilateral negotiating process on nuclear disarmament. Of course, the criterion of maturation conditions in the White Paper is not reduced.

In the meantime, Beijing is opposed to the creation of any missile defense system (to be understood - not just American) as it greatly devalue the Chinese nuclear arsenal.

Despite a number of such banalities, the White Paper is of considerable interest. Under a layer of propaganda and demagoguery in it you can find some very informative information.

The document's authors rightly state that world peace remains an illusion. It is noted that the continued stiff competition in the military field, "Countries" are updating their policies, carry out military reform and vigorously pursue new lethal technologies. Some of them are developing strategies of war in cyberspace, outer space and the polar regions, the means for rapid global strike and missile defense. Are these against the U.S. - is not very clear.

Generally, directly and indirectly throughout the U.S. White Paper is addressed to only one complaint - about the arms sales to Taiwan. The proposed "Taiwan itself at the opportune moment to hold contacts and exchange of views on military matters" which are necessary in order to discuss ways of establishing a mechanism for military security and mutual confidence. Beijing's approach to the Taiwan issue is nothing new there, it generally does not change over the last few years.


Preparing for a major war

From the White Paper makes it clear that China is very well studied all the latest American military theory and based on them is hosting a "revolution in military affairs with Chinese characteristics." A typical mechanized army will be implemented the provisions of the network-centric warfare. The Chinese have borrowed from the Americans as the concept of "joint operations" (ie, the interaction of all branches of the armed forces).

The White Paper says that the focus of the PLA is shifting from quantity to quality and the scale and efficiency. The leitmotif of the entire document as is the idea of ​​the maximum capacity of Chinese military power based on the latest scientific and technological achievements. Any reduction or limitation is not even a hint. On the contrary, all kinds of armed forces should steadily improve the firepower, mobility, improve the combat and logistical support (mapping, navigation, meteorological, etc.), all based on information technologies.

Particular attention is given to ground troops. Before the armored units and artillery PLA tasked to cause fire damage to a greater depth and with high accuracy. Interestingly, the army aviation, which has hitherto been one of the weaknesses of the Army, now becomes their main strike force. This will significantly increase capacity by helicopter gunships on strikes, project-ability and supporting troops..

However, and PLA Air Force must also deal with strategic power projection, and the Navy - to operate in distant waters of China. In this case does not involve any special emphasis on the conduct of amphibious operations. Or, here we have the real cover-up purposes, or, more likely, in relation to Taiwan general line of Beijing today is in fact a "stranglehold in the arms."

Emphasizes the importance of intensification of training and joint operations forces to conduct multilateral training exercises in complex electromagnetic, geographical and weather conditions. Exercise should be conducted at the divisional and brigade headquarters under the leadership of a higher level in an environment as close to combat. Increased attention to the various types of combat and logistic support.

Very remarkable point: within the next five years in each military unit level Brigade/Regiment appears at least one professional psychotherapist, and in each Division company level – at least three of his aides. If the latter plans to "saturation" the PLA will psychologists; it seems to be first in the world. I wonder why would they?

A distinctive feature of the White Paper is the extensive section on engagement activities. It should be noted that in Western countries (except, of course, Israel), the term "mobilization" of more or less out of use since the end of the Cold War. Even in the ever-belligerent United States under the mobilization now refers almost exclusively to attract a certain number of civilian vessels and aircraft for the global rendition of troops, equipment and means of support.In China, we are still talking about the "Soviet" type of general mobilization of personnel, industry and transport (although there are now stating that the quality and efficiency is more important than quantity and size).

Widely used concept of "civil defense", which is virtually forgotten at home and in the West. The term "civil defense" explicitly states that urban development and the entire transport infrastructure should be built in conjunction with the mandatory tasks of civil defense and the general plan of mobilization activities. It focuses on the protection of basic economic facilities and transport communications, training, public behavior in crisis situations.Officers the reservists each year should receive military and political training lasting 240 hours.

Therefore, the conclusion suggests itself: China seriously preparing for a major war in which, in contrast to overseas, peacekeeping operations and mobilization is really needed.

The White Paper states the fact that in 2008 China's military expenditure rose by 17.5 percent compared with the previous year, in 2009, increased by one percent, in 2010, rose another 7.5 percent. It may be recalled that in 2011 the growth of military expenditures amounted to 12,7 percent, reaching 91 billion dollars. Military expenditures are divided roughly equally between the maintenance personnel, training, maintenance and repair of equipment and purchase new high-tech weaponry. The authors write about the White Paper that the proportion of military expenditure in total public spending decreases. True, passed over in silence the moment that their share in GDP is growing. It must be noted that GDP growth in China almost every year, the highest in the world (and this despite the enormous absolute size of GDP) while military expenditures are growing almost twice as fast as GDP. Here again the question arises: why would it?


The third characteristic is

Almost simultaneously with the White Paper, China has unveiled a program of development of the country's 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015). For the first time paid special attention to strengthening the PLA on the principle "to accelerate the reform process model of combat capability." This implies a qualitative leap in its development and to strengthen the combat power, the total rearmament of all aircraft, not just the individual parts and assemblies, creating a common information network battle. As noted in this regard, one of the Chinese military experts, against the backdrop of globalization with the expansion of the public interest of China will come soon the era of its armed forces.

Of course, the White Paper refers to a purely defensive character of the military buildup in China. In this case, however, can not see that from the standpoint of defense today PLA is super-excess. In addition, it is clear that nobody would never commit aggression against China. Neither Russia nor India nor Japan, not to mention any other countries, it is unlikely from military or a political point of view. Quite impossible to admit that the Chinese military and political leadership does not understand this.

Even if we assume the aggression against China by the U.S. (which is also absolutely impossible, but let's say), then more than obvious: it can only be realized in the form of air-missile strikes on targets PLA, the defense industry and infrastructure in China. The landing of the same American troops on the Chinese coast is only possible if the U.S. government is some way wants to get rid of its Marine Corps. Accordingly to reflect such an extremely unlikely aggression China needs to develop the air force and Navy, the army is not useful at all, hardly need (more precisely, useless) mobilization activities.

However, China continues to shock, and increases the speed to increase power and high-quality equipment of all components of the PLA. And the nature of its development is such that the reflection of air-missile strike on the U.S. side is clear, is considered only as one of the tasks, and, perhaps, not home. China is deliberately preparing for a big classic war in the first place - to the war on land. And a war offensive, because the defensive for China simply irrelevant. This is confirmed by qualitative and quantitative growth of the PLA's combat power, and priority development of armored forces, artillery and Army aviation, and increased attention to the mobilization measures, and even so sudden interest in military psychology. Hence the antipathy to nuclear weapons, because the PLA can only contain it.

Before Beijing is an enormous amount of countervailing concerns - an extreme overpopulation of the country. In addition, it should be noted that if the Chinese economy and the welfare of its population if continue to grow at their current pace, even in very near future to address them China has not enough resources, not that of China itself, but the entire Earth!! If the West struggle for resources - the maintenance of high standards of living, then to China is a matter of survival of the country in general. Therefore, in China have openly discussed the fact that the choice of countries is limited: either an internal disaster and civil war, or aggression to seize resources and territories. No middle ground.Clearly, what choice will guide China.

This choice is very clearly seen even in the propaganda and demagogic and extremely lacquered white paper. Book published two years ago - "China is not happy!"; Language was much more frank: "We must first and above all protect the interests of China. We must ensure that China got to the place of the older and could run all over our world ... What are the objectives of China in the future? China, of course, must dispose of more resources and facilities in the world, I'm here do not require their accession to our territory, I mean the leadership and management. "

Alexander Khramchikhin ,
Deputy Director of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis


Post a Comment

Have a say...