China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Rakesh
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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Rakesh » 05 Jan 2021 22:19

vivek_ahuja wrote:Satellite images of production facilities for the larger tech items like the J-20, Y-20, H-6 etc. Same with naval warships. That's how everyone has been maintaining their numbers. That's how we know, for example, how weakly deployed the J-20 is within field units.

BVR missiles are much harder, for obvious reasons. But I didn't make that example in my original comment. So for something like that, the rule is: don't post until verified reliably.

Satellite images of aircraft is at best a guess, but it does not provide an accurate picture of production numbers. But numbers alone is just one part of the story. The key parameter lies in performance and as you stated is propaganda. Numbers - when viewed in isolation - do not win wars. Since there are a number of J-20s in service - based on satellite images - it is interesting to see why the IAF and the Navy is doggedly pursuing a 4th+ generation fighter acquisition program. If the J-20 is truly a fifth generation platform, then it would make sense to pursue a similar one.

In the absence of verifiable performance data, to then make assumptions is disingenuous and serves no purpose. To assume that everything on a PLAN CATOBAR aircraft carrier will be ready in 5 - 10 years, without any data to back it up, is not analysis. To suggest that their EMALS system will be on par with their American counterpart is not based in reality. And to then vouch for purchases - to counter those very platforms - is based on a flawed understanding. I asked him to provide performance data, but he is unable to do so. As it is CAPEX is scarce and the last thing the CDS needs to do is invest meagre funds (at minimum, for the next decade and a half) into financial white elephants like the proposal that the Indian Navy is asking for. The budget will come out soon and we should have a good understanding of where the proposal stands.

BRF certainly does not want to be promoting Chinese propaganda based on their production numbers. And since you requested him to take it offline (by asking him to email you), perhaps he can fulfill his fantasies in that manner. We are not interested in reinventing this thread in some alternate format either. As I mentioned earlier, he has indicated that he will not post in this thread hereafter and I hope he follows his own advice. Because continuing on the similar path - posting pictures of Chinese propaganda - will result in the Damocles sword coming down.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Rakesh » 05 Jan 2021 23:02

This was posted on this thread before I believe. This is why numbers - when viewed in isolation - do not win wars. Neither will they give the PLAN any significant advantage in peace time.

As per the link below, this Captain joined the PLAN in January 2012. She becomes Captain of the Zhengzhou (151), a Type 052C destroyer in 2017. So in five years, she becomes Captain of a capital warship. Now compare that to any other professional navy and one will easily see that no five year veteran gets to command a capital warship. What experience can she claim, compared to someone who has been in service for 15 - 20 years before they get to command such a vessel. How is her 5 year professional experience, going to help her against a much more seasoned veteran?

And the reason why they appointed her to this vessel, is because they are building vessels at such a rapid pace, that they do not have sufficient trained and experienced personnel to effectively exploit these platforms. So they are now resorting to appointing individuals with minimal experience. This is why numbers - when viewed in isolation - do not win wars. What we see (a mighty PLAN, with a large flotilla and awesome weaponry) is not the reality. But if you read the link below, the spin they have provided on this Captain is amusing. They thrive on propaganda, but they are hollow inside. That is how Communism functions.

Commander Wei Xiaohui to be Chinese Navy's first female warship captain
http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/view/2019-03 ... 445034.htm
08 March 2019

Push come to shove, the US Navy will trounce the PLAN in their own backyard - the South China Sea. If the PLAN is unable defend their own territorial waters, how are they planning to be a blue water navy? To underestimate your enemy is dangerous, but the same is true for the reverse as well. So lets get realistic and not dhoti shiver over pictures and guesstimate production numbers. In a recent press conference, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhaduria Sir put it best. He is one of the serving military chiefs. He is aware of the threats more than anyone on this forum.

https://twitter.com/TheWolfpackIN/statu ... 01729?s=20 ---> Another month of winter has passed, yet not a single PLA section along LAC has got even a day's worth of food via drone delivery despite CCP media propaganda harping about them. As IAF Chief said yesterday, don't take China's capability claims at face value.

chola
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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby chola » 06 Jan 2021 00:09

Rakesh wrote:BRF certainly does not want to be promoting Chinese propaganda based on their production numbers. And since you requested him to take it offline (by asking him to email you), perhaps he can fulfill his fantasies in that manner. We are not interested in reinventing this thread in some alternate format either. As I mentioned earlier, he has indicated that he will not post in this thread hereafter and I hope he follows his own advice. Because continuing on the similar path - posting pictures of Chinese propaganda - will result in the Damocles sword coming down.


Rakesh, why do I need to fulfill any "fantasies" about the PRC? Why make statements like that? I post PRC propaganda? Just look through the thread, I never post any chini claims this and that.

Yes, photos and satellite captures are practically all I have here. But how else do you watch a communist regime? When we don't trust their words? I don't even post pictures from Chinese sources. The entirety of my posts here in this thread came from these watchers:

German
https://mobile.twitter.com/RupprechtDeino
https://mobile.twitter.com/AlexLuck9

French
https://mobile.twitter.com/HenriKenhmann

Japanese
https://mobile.twitter.com/jpg2t785
https://mobile.twitter.com/OedoSoldier
https://mobile.twitter.com/KushigumoAkane

Israeli
https://mobile.twitter.com/nudelsinpita

Desi
https://mobile.twitter.com/detresfa_
https://mobile.twitter.com/rajfortyseven

American
https://mobile.twitter.com/RickJoe_PLA
https://thediplomat.com/authors/rick-joe/

At some point, yes, the photos (to be perfectly honest, nothing is trusted unless it is a photo) came from the chinese but I try to post them only after they are examined and studied by people around the world with far more experience than I do.

If we don't trust their words and their pictures create dhoti shivering then what do we have? At any rate, I DON'T want to post in this thread any more. But I'm not going without at least defending myself.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Rahul M » 06 Jan 2021 00:24

Chola, no need to fall on your sword & commit harakiri here.

Yes, china's mil development needs to be watched carefully & photos are one of the relatively unbiased ways of doing that.
Thus far, we are in agreement.

However, even while posting from non-chinese sources we have to be careful about chinese propagandist influence. In today's connected world china buys influence across borders & their influence operations are pervasive, moneyed & competent. It is unlike anything else we know. Who knows, Deino himself might be paid by PRC to inflate their numbers. I have certainly seen him uncritically accepting production runs from serial numbers alone, which every country worth their salt obfuscates to hide production numbers if they so want.

What Rakesh is saying, no info about china can truly be considered unbiased & this needs to be kept in mind while considering every little snippet of info, whatever the source. Every datapoint must necessarily be accompanied with a contrarian view that asks "okay, this is what PLA wants me to see. why ?" Now that, would be the kind of analysis that BR needs.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Avinandan » 06 Jan 2021 00:28

Chola Sir,
kindly reconsider, I for one follow your post diligently.

Rakesh Sir,
We don't dhoti shiver based on the information we get, but it provides some points to talk over. Otherwise what is there to discuss in this thread then ?

BRF Motto: Vidya Vinamrata Veerta :)

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby vivek_ahuja » 06 Jan 2021 01:05

Rahul M wrote:Yes, china's mil development needs to be watched carefully & photos are one of the relatively unbiased ways of doing that.
Thus far, we are in agreement.


I think the moderators here need to decide between themselves on what they want for this thread. Because another moderator upstream is unabashedly mocking any attempt (or claims to try to attempt) what you are proposing here.

I was under the impression that photos and sat images are the most robust tools we have to do some analysis of chicom capabilities. But now we are told that there is no point to them (??). The amount of confidence here that every analysis about chicom is propaganda is almost as ludicrous as the chicom propaganda itself.

It was painful enough to watch the absurd comments in the previous page that I felt the need to jump out of lurk mode to defend a fellow poster. There is nothing productive to be had with such conversations, least of all with moderators who choose to go on a mocking rampage (see the tirade against Chola in previous page).

Rahul M wrote:However, even while posting from non-chinese sources we have to be careful about chinese propagandist influence. In today's connected world china buys influence across borders & their influence operations are pervasive, moneyed & competent. It is unlike anything else we know. Who knows, Deino himself might be paid by PRC to inflate their numbers. I have certainly seen him uncritically accepting production runs from serial numbers alone, which every country worth their salt obfuscates to hide production numbers if they so want.


Yes, and this is why the photos/data need to be posted and the appropriate concerns highlighted. Else what is the counternarrative to the chicom propaganda on the internet?

Rakesh
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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Rakesh » 06 Jan 2021 01:13

vivek_ahuja wrote:Yes, and this is why the photos/data need to be posted and the appropriate concerns highlighted. Else what is the counternarrative to the chicom propaganda on the internet?

That counter narrative is being highlighted in this thread. Those concerns are being raised, but no answers are being provided. Other than, the standard answer ---> it will be ready in due time and it will not match what the US has, but it will be ready. I asked him to define or quantify that, but he is obviously unable to.

Posting pictures and then expecting people to believe the claims of these China watchers is NOT an effective counter narrative to ChiCom propaganda. Asking questions on the other hand is. I did not realise that asking questions of the ChiCom causes this much takleef on BRF.

Am I on BRF or somewhere else? :lol:

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Rakesh » 06 Jan 2021 01:34

chola wrote:Rakesh, why do I need to fulfill any "fantasies" about the PRC? Why make statements like that? I post PRC propaganda? Just look through the thread, I never post any chini claims this and that.

Yes, photos and satellite captures are practically all I have here. But how else do you watch a communist regime? When we don't trust their words? I don't even post pictures from Chinese sources. The entirety of my posts here in this thread came from these watchers:

Chola, I do not want to bring brar_w into this back-and-forth, but he made a post on the previous page of this thread...which has been conveniently ignored by you and others who place emphasis on pictures due to the lack of other information. Read the highlighted bolded part of your statement above and then read the highlighted bolded part of brar's statement below. I leave it up to you and other readers following this thread to make their own judgement.

brar_w wrote:The technology gestation period itself was decades in the case of the US. Even before they put a prototype system on land and launched the first aircraft in 2010. So instead of chasing tweets and grainy pictures on Chinese social media, and using that dubious information for wild guesses, one is probably going to be better off in looking at what the Chinese have published on these systems as far as academic publications are concerned and what one can make out from them in terms of how they've structured their development and test campaigns for these cutting edge technologies. 99.9% of the so called Chinese experts are nothing more than internet warriors who sift through Chinese social media for pictures and get excited even when the markings on one aircraft are off by 1-degree because that must mean something. It then bounces around their echo chamber and gets picked up and recycled. And then someone throws a wild guess based on other guesstimates (and just compound the errors in estimating) and we end up with "they must be X years away".


chola wrote:At some point, yes, the photos (to be perfectly honest, nothing is trusted unless it is a photo) came from the chinese but I try to post them only after they are examined and studied by people around the world with far more experience than I do.

If we don't trust their words and their pictures create dhoti shivering then what do we have? At any rate, I DON'T want to post in this thread any more. But I'm not going without at least defending myself.

Rahul M raised a very good point in his reply to you - "okay, this is what PLA wants me to see. why ?"

What studies have these Chinese watchers done? What experience do they have? Can you point me to them?

And you posting pictures of the PLA military does not make me dhoti shiver.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby brar_w » 06 Jan 2021 01:56

Watchers are great because they sift through the endless Chinese social media and provide us with OSINT which would be difficult to discover on our own. But that is really where their expertise begins and ends (unless they are of course qualified for something beyond that).

For example, consider this bio from the Diplomat:

Rick Joe is a longtime follower of Chinese military developments, with a focus on air and naval platforms.

His content and write ups are derived from cross examination of open source rumors and information. He is active on Reddit and can be found on Twitter.


A long time follower? What does that mean? It could mean that the said user has been trained in image analysis, or on a particular line of defense systems (for example, Sean O Connor on Jane's who in a prior profession was trained in what he now does for them) or it could mean that the person has just spent a lot of the time on the internet and particularly on Chinese social media and the dark web. So what is it? The bio does not say. This is a common profile for most of them. So while they may be experts at hunting for OSINT on Chinese social media they really aren't qualified to analyze that or to draw far reaching inferences based on that information. So even though they may be posting on the Diplomat or another publication that otherwise may have experts, they themselves don't have those credentials. It's like claiming that a reporter with a journalism background adds value in an analysis (value besides just reporting the facts) on military doctrine. They are in the same boat as other western reporters like the one guy from the Drive who has a background in conflict management.

So images of the Chinese testing Catapults are very important and relevant information. They tell us where they want to be. But when someone tells me they are X years away then that claim needs to be scrutinized before it is legitimatized. And for any system, maturity is measured by a set of clearly defined parameters, challenges that have to be overcome, a path to overcoming the same and then demonstration of a level of capability that allows one to form some sort of basis for that claim. And nations do that themselves when they want to signal.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby chola » 06 Jan 2021 02:38

^^^ Rakesh, I've high respect for Brar ji. And I have the same for you despite the insinuations. (In fact, I'm sorely disappointed that the person I've known for decades here as the "Admiral" would treat now me as clown at best and a PRC propagandist at worst.)

But I can said that I doubt you can get a better set of watchers unless they are military intelligence.

Andreas Rupprecht has written definitive books on the chini air forces, Sir. Rick Joe writes for "The Diplomat."

As far as "internet warriors" I am cognizant that these Germans, Japanese, French, etc. can be bought. Or they can simply go "native" because the hobby can be addicting with a definite reward cycle as pictures get progressively more revealing until they are confirmed by satellite captures.

But I find them to be as unbiased as we'll probably find these days. Get the widest range of non-Chinese opinions and sift through things from there. If everything is propaganda (including satellite captures?!) then we really shouldn't name this a "watch." There'll be nothing we can safely post to watch period.


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