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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Military Power of the People's Republic of China

Here's the Pentagon report on China-

ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS: The Military Power of the People's Republic of China 2005 [PDF]

Note this report doesn't include recent revelations that the J10 (F-16 lookalike) has entered service and that an ex-Russian Navy aircraft-carrier is being renovated.

Here is the summary of China's strategic philosophy (page 9):
Chinese military strategists define grand strategy as “the overall strategy of a nation or alliance of nations in which they use overall national strength” to achieve political goals, especially those related to national security and development. Put another way, Chinese strategy, as they define it, is one of maintaining balance among competing priorities for national economic development and maintaining the type of security environment within which such development can occur.

Two concepts central to understanding how China would achieve this balance are “comprehensive national power” (CNP) and the “strategic configuration of power,” or “shi.” CNP is the concept by which China’s strategic planners evaluate and measure China’s national standing in relation to other nations. It includes qualitative and quantitative measures of territory, natural resources, economic power, diplomatic influence, domestic government, military capability, and cultural influence. The “strategic configuration of power,” or “shi,” is roughly equivalent to an “alignment of forces,” although there is not a direct western equivalent. Chinese linguists also suggest that “shi” refers to the “propensity of things,” or the “potential born of disposition,” that only a skilled strategist can exploit. Conversely, only a sophisticated assessment by an adversary can recognize how “shi” can or will be exploited.

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 9/01/2005 05:32:00 PM

13 Comments:

Blogger Murray said...

I think you may be overplaying the carrier.

Air opps from carriers is an extremly dangerous activity. Even in peace time under favorable condotions the mortality rate is very high.

This is in the navies the have a history of air opps and have built a tradition of expertise from the very first carrier operations.

China has a second had carrier from a navy that never had a partiularly enviable record in this field and a history of producing ships that on paper looked great but are seriously flawed. Especially in the area of damage control which is critical for carriers. This ship is 20 years old. With a normal operational life of 25 years this carrier isn't going to even be around by the time China has any substantial naval aviation capablities.

Carrier operations require a depth of skill that takes decades to aquire. China does not have that.

While I not saying ignore it by any means, it is not an imediate tactical option for them. Unless they want to spend a lot of time hosing pilots off the deck anyway.

9/01/2005 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Oh I'm not saying they're about to sit it off the coast of Taiwan. But use it as a training vessel for people to man future carriers - most likely.

And who knows what they have hidden away in shipyards.

9/01/2005 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger Murray said...

Granted, but expect it to be used in the same way as the Idnoesian crusier Sipidan an ex soviet sverdlov class.

For years it was a major playing peice in the tensions during the Idonesian confrontation.

Turned out the bottom had dropped out years back and she was hard on the bottom.

9/01/2005 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

All I'll say is this little story: a close member of my family does regular fairly business with and in China, in an area of manufacturing requiring scientifically trained staff and skilled engineers.

Several years ago this family member was offered a job by some Chinese acquaintances - to rebuild a foreign factory which had been cut up and shipped in its entirety to China. With complete disregard for intellectual property of course (they would have simply stolen the engineering knowledge required to get it going properly, and then undercut their Western competitors).

That is the mainland Chinese mentality nowadays: anything is possible, ignore intellectual property rights, beat the big footed hair foreigners at their own game.

9/01/2005 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

The Varyag's sister ship is supposedly back in service with the Russian Navy:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/1143_5.htm

9/01/2005 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger reid said...

This came into my inbox last night. Chinese military intentions. I would recommend you don't dismiss it. The author behind this site has a serious understanding of China.

If you wish to raise the point that Haotian is no longer Defence Minister, he has addressed that by explaining that in China, when you step down from a position, the person still retains power and authority, unlike the way it happens in the West. I can provide more details on this point if required but don't wish to paste large swathes....

You may choose to think it's complete bs, that's your privilage, I simply put it before you for your own judgement. BTW, this site is one of the most informative on the web...

9/01/2005 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Chefen said...

In a word... moonbat. Watch out for aliens watching reruns of Happy Days!

9/01/2005 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Speaking of military power, check out my latest post, you guys will love it.

Sorry that it's unrelated to this topic.

9/01/2005 07:13:00 PM  
Anonymous exkiwiforces said...

Guys if u have acress to Janes Defence weekly dated 17 Aug 05 they have a article on China called: Is China building a carrier? a very good read.
Its talks about the ex Russain carrier Varyag but it doesn't say anything about the Kiev carrier or about the ex Oz Navy carrier HMAS Melboune that wasn't Scrapped in the 80's.
The big thing is that China has no Escort/ Air defence ships for a carrier battle group and may come at a cost for other defence projects that China has in the pipeline

9/01/2005 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Actually they're buying two brand-spanking new Sovremnemy's (apologies for bad spelling) off the Russians.

The Melbourne was interesting, as it was sold for scrap but instead ended up being examined by PLA (Navy) types for a couple of years. How about that.

We did indeed cover the Varyag just after the JDW story came out.

9/01/2005 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger reid said...

I expected one or two insults Chefen. The thing is, that stuff explains what's happening. For example, that stuff was predicting this time last year Iraq would end up in civil war. Lo it happens. It explains why too.

I don't disagree it's unusual. However, once you eliminate all the impossibilities, whatever's left, however improbable, must be the case. It's the only stuff that explains our world. Most people who come across it only ocassionally have your reaction. You only get the wider picture by reading a lot of it and of course you have to have an open mind.

9/01/2005 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger Chefen said...

Dude, it's not an insult. Read the rest of his site. His "insights" are hardly what you could call revelatory. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

9/01/2005 11:02:00 PM  
Blogger reid said...

Re: insult, yeah I thought about it after I posted that Chefen, sorry for that false accusation. I stand by his material though and I have read a lot of it. As I have said before, it maybe fantastic (at least until one builds up a mental model of it), but it's the only stuff that explains what's happening in our world today.

IMO, of course.

9/02/2005 11:56:00 AM  

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