China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby r_subramanian » 31 Jan 2014 15:50

China is playing chicken with the US military in the South China Sea
As anyone who has seen “Rebel Without a Cause” knows, playing chicken is dangerous for California teenagers in hot-rods.

But playing chicken with warships, cruisers, and fighter jets — well, that’s just another level of crazy.

Unfortunately, vessels from the US military and from other countries increasingly find themselves in such high-stakes confrontations on the East Asian seas, where China has adopted a strategy of making rivals flinch or risk collision.
...
What can the US do?

Short of a military confrontation, the options are limited, particularly when it comes to cooling down the confrontation between Japan and China.

“It’s tragic and it is difficult to see how both sides can back down while saving face,” says Victor Teo, expert on Sino-Japanese relations at the University of Hong Kong.

That’s perhaps why some US strategists recently called for the American military to, in effect, stop being the first to flinch when provoked by Chinese vessels.

In a recent article for Foreign Affairs, Elbridge Colby and Ely Ratner of the Center for a New American Security argued that the US should raise the stakes for China, putting the onus on them to be the peacemaker who backs down.

“China is taking advantage of Washington’s risk aversion by rocking the boat,” the authors write, “seeing what it can extract in the process and letting the United States worry about righting it.”


link: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news ... ea-chicken

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby Singha » 31 Jan 2014 16:36

people should take a leaf from PLAN book but outdo it. use small , fast cheap OPVs to flood the area and harass larger PLAN vessels, throw logs of wood in the water ahead of PLAN ships, moon them, plant flags on random rocks, throw mysterious "spy drums" filled with electronics into the water just outside chinese 16km line...let them spend resources hunting these decoys and some real spy drums among them from the sea bottom.

that famous of pic of around 10 ships spraying water on each other in melee combat is the way to go.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby member_23455 » 31 Jan 2014 18:09

r_subramanian wrote:China is playing chicken with the US military in the South China Sea
As anyone who has seen “Rebel Without a Cause” knows, playing chicken is dangerous for California teenagers in hot-rods.

But playing chicken with warships, cruisers, and fighter jets — well, that’s just another level of crazy.



Actually it is par for the course in the escalation continuum that characterizes big power confrontations. USN and Soviet Navy vessels in the Cold War were frequently involved in maritime "fender benders" which led to the INCSEA agreement being signed.

China and US of course have the (in) famous EP3-J8 mid-air in their history.

Expect things to get worse before they get better.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby Lalmohan » 31 Jan 2014 19:02

gong xi fa cai to any chinese browsers on this forum
hope you get many nice red envelopes

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby DavidD » 31 Jan 2014 22:13

RajitO wrote:
DavidD wrote:1) What's the spending breakdown of the Indian military? I seem to recall it being very heavily skewed toward the land forces, which was surprising to me given the abundance of Indian shores vs. land borders, especially when considering that most of the land borders are protected by the best natural barrier possible in the Himalayas.

2) I'm not a Chinese-American per se, but close enough. Japan is not a pushover like Mexico, Japan would be more similar to Spain, a 2nd tier power that China may have to contest a few islands with. The invasions era is largely over, as it was fairly early on in American history. The conflicts from now on will be more strategic with little if any territory exchanging hands.

3) The current geopolitical jockeying are mere positionings for the future. By far the most important thing China needs to do right now is to secure its economic progress. China will be putting itslef in a position to score these goals as long as it continues to develop economically and militarily at a rapid pace. It's much easier to play international politics when you've got sweet carrots and a very big stick.


1. It's also roughly 50% of China's budget. Yes, not only is there a land forces skew, the opex - salaries and maintenance of a large standing army, leaves very little for capex - new equipment and formations. So paradoxically, any capital investment in the army, is viewed as correcting an imbalance not deepening it.

The Himalayas are precisely where we had to fight our last little war with our "common friend." Our western borders have no such barriers - and mountains from the times of Hannibal (not the cannibal) have offered very little defence against a determined and canny adversary.

2 and 3 . Do keep in mind that when you are "contesting" those few islands with "Spain-like 2nd tier power" Japan that the US has a military treaty with them and troops on their soil. On the issue of big sticks, Theodore Roosevelt is supposed to have said "Speak softly, and carry a big stick, and you will go far."

Most powers tend to forget the speak softly part...no?


China has a far longer land border, especially vis-a-vis its maritime borders, compared to India. A far smaller section of the Chinese land borders is protected by the Himalayas as well. That India lost a border war across the Himalayas in 1962 shows how absurdly ill-prepared and arrogant Nehru was at the time. You don't need to be paranoid to protect that stretch of the border, you just need to be not absurdly ill-prepared and arrogant.

As for Japan, we'll see what happens in 10-20 years. I'm sure you guys have some good first hand experience with just how fickle the Americans can be.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby DavidD » 31 Jan 2014 22:26

Viv S wrote:
DavidD wrote:I suppose it's just a difference in opinion then. I don't see an alliance of Asian states forging in the future. I don't think you understand how much Asians distrust each other. South Korea hates Japan far more than they do China, and it's well known that the ASEAN nations have trouble building any sort of consensus in any arena. Short of a wanton series of invasions by China, there won't be any alliance between Asian states. Again, just my opinion.


Not an overt alliance. At least not until military standoff ratchets up. A NATO-like organisation is not the only approach for the East/SE Asian states. Nor is the ASEAN a basis for a military alliance, with the majority of its members not party to any dispute with China. But a basic framework for cooperation is already being provided by the US, which has military bases in Japan, South Korea, Philippines and Australia.

They wouldn't sign a mutual defence pact yet, but military cooperation is certainly being ramped-up. India and Japan had their first ever bilateral naval exercise in 2012 and have already decided to make it a regular affair. Its also started participating in the Indo-US Malabar exercises. Plus you have Vietnam scaling up military relations with the US, with still greater involvement still with India. All in space of about five years. Its doubtful if affairs would have proceeded so rapidly without China's new assertiveness in Asia. And its unlikely to be a temporary thing, unless regional disputes get resolved in surprisingly quick time.



So where do you expect these developments heading, and how do you expect the various actors to react should a war break out between China and one of the actors? I just have trouble seeing any of the actors taking definitive action for the sake of another country. I mean, India didn't even ally itself with anybody in the cold war, do you really think the GOI will, for example, authorize a blockade of the Malacca straits if a shooting war breaks out over the Diaoyu/Senkakkus? Heck, Japan, being completely devoid of resources instead of just being deficient of it like China, would probably be hurt much more by a blockade of the Malacca Straits than China would be. Short of sailing into the SCS to confront the PLAN, I see few realistic ways for India to come to Japan's aid.

Considering how India doesn't even threaten the SCS for its own disputed lands, I can hardly imagine India doing so for Japan's disputed lands thousands of miles away.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby member_22019 » 31 Jan 2014 22:43

This may be the reason why china is after arunachal pradesh so badly :mrgreen:
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/ ... melted-map

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby DavidD » 31 Jan 2014 22:48

Lalmohan wrote:gong xi fa cai to any chinese browsers on this forum
hope you get many nice red envelopes


Happy new year everyone!

Unfortunately we're mostly in the age of handing out red envelopes rather than receiving them lol

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby Viv S » 01 Feb 2014 01:21

DavidD wrote:So where do you expect these developments heading, and how do you expect the various actors to react should a war break out between China and one of the actors? I just have trouble seeing any of the actors taking definitive action for the sake of another country. I mean, India didn't even ally itself with anybody in the cold war, do you really think the GOI will, for example, authorize a blockade of the Malacca straits if a shooting war breaks out over the Diaoyu/Senkakkus? Heck, Japan, being completely devoid of resources instead of just being deficient of it like China, would probably be hurt much more by a blockade of the Malacca Straits than China would be. Short of sailing into the SCS to confront the PLAN, I see few realistic ways for India to come to Japan's aid.


You don't have to engage in a battle to influence a war. India can, for example, boost the scale of deployment on the LAC, precipitating counter-deployment. China-bound shipping can be delayed through 'anti-terrorism' operations. New oil drilling operations can be started in the SCS and/or the Indian Navy can engage in a naval exercise in the SCS, albeit in the EEZ of a host nation. The Taiwanese can coincide that with (loose) talk of formal secession, forcing the Chinese military to adopt a threatening posture on that front. The Vietnamese can mobilize its forces for a round of military exercises. The US Navy will likely do a fly-the-flag carrier run, if its not already engaged in fighting the war.

Its a similar situation here in the subcontinent. China is unlikely to go to war with India. That doesn't change the fact, that in any war with Pakistan it cannot commit its military resources fully, because of the need to man the Chinese border/LAC, maintain a defensive posture and be prepared to tackle unforeseen circumstances, no matter how unlikely they may be. And vice versa where the western front needs to watched in an Indo-China war. If you have more than one adversary (as both China and India do), you have to watch your flanks, even if the threat appears benign.

And these are just overt actions in wartime. During peacetime joint training and more importantly intelligence sharing can be invaluable. Then there's also the possibility of some degree of pressure applied through trade though nothing as crude or counter-productive as sanctions. In fact the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership has been interpreted in some quarters as step in a containment strategy (its a strongly disputed theory though).

But, more important is the question of why China is letting it happen. The US is the dominant power in the Atlantic (and the rest of the world too of course) but it has fairly good relations with most of Europe and the Americas (barring Cuba, Venezuela and the occasional diplomatic headache).

I'm not convinced by the idea that a flaring up of regional tensions is/was an inevitable result of the China's meteoric rise, and could not have been foreseen and tempered by active intervention.


Considering how India doesn't even threaten the SCS for its own disputed lands, I can hardly imagine India doing so for Japan's disputed lands thousands of miles away.


You're thinking in absolutes instead of degrees. When India, US, Australia and Japan conducted a large scale naval exercise, they weren't plotting an attack on China. But China still delivered a diplomatic demarche to each of them. India tapered down the exercise for the next couple of years (until now), but not because of the looming threat of a Chinese invasion. It too pushes and prods its neighbours to ensure China's influence doesn't get too widespread.

Its a question of a balance. In general, most parties want to maintain the status quo. But if relations start deteriorate beyond a point, then all the things we take for granted and call unimaginable, become a lot more real. These things never start out in war because they are always nipped in the bud long before they get out of hand. In this regard, China appears to have (uncharacteristically) dropped the ball letting events slide, to the detriment of its own national interests.
Last edited by Viv S on 01 Feb 2014 04:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby Viv S » 01 Feb 2014 01:28

DavidD wrote:I'm sure you guys have some good first hand experience with just how fickle the Americans can be.


I think you mean the Pakistanis have first hand experience, alternating every decade or so, from being an ally to being hit with sanctions, to being ally again.

India on the other hand has never had any significant strategic congruence with the US until recently. Bilateral relations ebbed and flowed but even at their peak (in the Kennedy years), there was more pleasant sentiment than practical substance.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby KrishnaK » 01 Feb 2014 06:28

DavidD wrote:So where do you expect these developments heading, and how do you expect the various actors to react should a war break out between China and one of the actors? I just have trouble seeing any of the actors taking definitive action for the sake of another country. I mean, India didn't even ally itself with anybody in the cold war, do you really think the GOI will, for example, authorize a blockade of the Malacca straits if a shooting war breaks out over the Diaoyu/Senkakkus? Heck, Japan, being completely devoid of resources instead of just being deficient of it like China, would probably be hurt much more by a blockade of the Malacca Straits than China would be. Short of sailing into the SCS to confront the PLAN, I see few realistic ways for India to come to Japan's aid.

Considering how India doesn't even threaten the SCS for its own disputed lands, I can hardly imagine India doing so for Japan's disputed lands thousands of miles away.

It is quite likely that nobody will intervene, say in the case of Senkakkus. Losing the Senkakkus is not going to take Japan out of the fray. Are you willing to risk that won't make everybody get into an overt alliance against you ? There are lots of very realistic ways to increase the pressure on China. Those will be resorted to only when all other hope is lost. China will have only one shot at making war. If and when that happens, I hope it ends up being worth it, because after that you will be contested every inch of the way.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby gashish » 01 Feb 2014 07:23

DavidD wrote:And then Abe visited Yasukuni. There's no need to pay attention to these little ups and downs. The deepest feelings between Korea, Japan, and China have been the same for centuries, and it'll remain the same in the foreseeable future.


can you please elaborate on this?
How would you characterize China's deepest "feelings" towards Japan over centuries, especially prior to 1930s? One characterized by animosity/fear/condescension or respect/inspiration? Thanks. I am just curious.

A century ago, as far as I understand, Japan was a source of inspiration to many Chinese. Many chinese intellectuals and political dissidents, including founders of CPC and KMT, either studied or took refuge in Japan. Japanese victory over Russia in early 20th century was much celebrated in China (including by Mao himself), for asian brethren had defeated western power. Things/feelings seem to have started going downhill only from 1930s...

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby member_23455 » 01 Feb 2014 08:49

DavidD wrote:
China has a far longer land border, especially vis-a-vis its maritime borders, compared to India. A far smaller section of the Chinese land borders is protected by the Himalayas as well. That India lost a border war across the Himalayas in 1962 shows how absurdly ill-prepared and arrogant Nehru was at the time. You don't need to be paranoid to protect that stretch of the border, you just need to be not absurdly ill-prepared and arrogant.

As for Japan, we'll see what happens in 10-20 years. I'm sure you guys have some good first hand experience with just how fickle the Americans can be.



First, let me congratulate you on sticking around for this 1 vs. 4 engagement. I say this, because I am about to get a bit blunt, apologies in advance, :)

1. If you are stuck in 1962, as many of our own defence planners also are, let me tell you the worst thing Generals can do is to fight the last war. Speaking purely in land-warfare terms, post-1962, there was a minor but bloody skirmish at Nathu La, where we demonstrated both intent and preparation.

Then there was 1987 - SumDurong Chu - where it was totally bloodless but we totally out-maneuvered China in military terms. Sun Tzu's axiom "The acme of excellence is to win a thousand wars without fighting any" comes to mind. Deng Xiaoping and Rajiv Gandhi's much publicized photo ops later were symbolic of some equations having changed.

2. Lack of preparation and arrogance is not a monopoly of any nation. So by just cherry picking one data point - I could go on and on about the Sino-Vietnamese border bust-up - I would not dismiss the adversary's intent and capability. If you browse other threads or even on-the-ground reports from credible media sources, our land infrastructure pales in comparison to Chinese, so in a country where we move spectacularly only during crises, this paranoia is a necessary and belated precondition to playing catch up.

3. Our relationship with the Americans is a really complex one - it would take a whole thread to de construct it. Since you put some stock into history, in the past, there have been two occasions where India and the US have found themselves on the same side versus China. The Korean War, and during the 60s post China's move into Tibet.

Ironically, Chinese actions are creating the grounds for a third-such partnership, increasingly marginalizing those Indians who share your view that they are fickle partners.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby svinayak » 01 Feb 2014 22:47

DavidD wrote:
China has a far longer land border, especially vis-a-vis its maritime borders, compared to India. A far smaller section of the Chinese land borders is protected by the Himalayas as well. That India lost a border war across the Himalayas in 1962 shows how absurdly ill-prepared and arrogant Nehru was at the time. You don't need to be paranoid to protect that stretch of the border, you just need to be not absurdly ill-prepared and arrogant.

Very funny. Still PRC China Mao had to ask Americans before he attacked Nehru's India. Does PRC leadership still needs American help before it wants to enter IOR or start wars against India and Japan?

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby DavidD » 01 Feb 2014 23:18

Viv S wrote:
You don't have to engage in a battle to influence a war. India can, for example, boost the scale of deployment on the LAC, precipitating counter-deployment. China-bound shipping can be delayed through 'anti-terrorism' operations. New oil drilling operations can be started in the SCS and/or the Indian Navy can engage in a naval exercise in the SCS, albeit in the EEZ of a host nation. The Taiwanese can coincide that with (loose) talk of formal secession, forcing the Chinese military to adopt a threatening posture on that front. The Vietnamese can mobilize its forces for a round of military exercises. The US Navy will likely do a fly-the-flag carrier run, if its not already engaged in fighting the war.

Its a similar situation here in the subcontinent. China is unlikely to go to war with India. That doesn't change the fact, that in any war with Pakistan it cannot commit its military resources fully, because of the need to man the Chinese border/LAC, maintain a defensive posture and be prepared to tackle unforeseen circumstances, no matter how unlikely they may be. And vice versa where the western front needs to watched in an Indo-China war. If you have more than one adversary (as both China and India do), you have to watch your flanks, even if the threat appears benign.

And these are just overt actions in wartime. During peacetime joint training and more importantly intelligence sharing can be invaluable. Then there's also the possibility of some degree of pressure applied through trade though nothing as crude or counter-productive as sanctions. In fact the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership has been interpreted in some quarters as step in a containment strategy (its a strongly disputed theory though).

But, more important is the question of why China is letting it happen. The US is the dominant power in the Atlantic (and the rest of the world too of course) but it has fairly good relations with most of Europe and the Americas (barring Cuba, Venezuela and the occasional diplomatic headache).

I'm not convinced by the idea that a flaring up of regional tensions is/was an inevitable result of the China's meteoric rise, and could not have been foreseen and tempered by active intervention.

You're thinking in absolutes instead of degrees. When India, US, Australia and Japan conducted a large scale naval exercise, they weren't plotting an attack on China. But China still delivered a diplomatic demarche to each of them. India tapered down the exercise for the next couple of years (until now), but not because of the looming threat of a Chinese invasion. It too pushes and prods its neighbours to ensure China's influence doesn't get too widespread.

Its a question of a balance. In general, most parties want to maintain the status quo. But if relations start deteriorate beyond a point, then all the things we take for granted and call unimaginable, become a lot more real. These things never start out in war because they are always nipped in the bud long before they get out of hand. In this regard, China appears to have (uncharacteristically) dropped the ball letting events slide, to the detriment of its own national interests.


I think you're speaking from a hyper-vigilant Indian perspective. China has no fears of India or Vietnam invading China, neither country has neither the capabilities nor the intentions to conquer and, more importantly, hold Chinese territory. Any build up along the borders will be seen as posturing, which in peace-time may require counter-posturing, but in wartime when resources are scarcer, mere words of warning combined with some mobilization of Pakistani troops would be sufficient. In other words, China would feel pretty comfortable calling the bluff. Similar for TI talk, we all know the best thing that could happen to the PRC is if Taiwan declares independence. They'd have an excuse to take the grandest prize of them all! I mean, really, who cares about the Senkakkus when you can get Taiwan! You don't need to be prepared for TI, the whole nation will be geared up for total war if necessary to take the island--it would just be a matter of time.

The USN will be by far the biggest concern, but that's really no different from say 5 years ago. In other words, nothing's changed. I stand by what I said before, that China's most important thing is to keep its economic and military growth, because only with a weakened China would the calculus change, would an invasion from India or Vietnam become a real threat, would TI become more than empty talk. China's main competitor has always been the United States.

"In general, most parties want to maintain the status quo", and therein lies the problem. Status quo powers want to maintain the status quo, but ascendent powers such as China do not want to maintain the status quo. There is simply no way around this problem and conflict must ensue. Now, I don't necessarily mean military conflict, but there will necessarily be fighting of some sort until a resolution is reached.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby TSJones » 02 Feb 2014 00:38

^^^^^China should be careful about pushing Japan around. China might re-awaken them. They've been slumbering for 60 years and they know tech.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby DavidD » 02 Feb 2014 00:40

KrishnaK wrote:
DavidD wrote:So where do you expect these developments heading, and how do you expect the various actors to react should a war break out between China and one of the actors? I just have trouble seeing any of the actors taking definitive action for the sake of another country. I mean, India didn't even ally itself with anybody in the cold war, do you really think the GOI will, for example, authorize a blockade of the Malacca straits if a shooting war breaks out over the Diaoyu/Senkakkus? Heck, Japan, being completely devoid of resources instead of just being deficient of it like China, would probably be hurt much more by a blockade of the Malacca Straits than China would be. Short of sailing into the SCS to confront the PLAN, I see few realistic ways for India to come to Japan's aid.

Considering how India doesn't even threaten the SCS for its own disputed lands, I can hardly imagine India doing so for Japan's disputed lands thousands of miles away.

It is quite likely that nobody will intervene, say in the case of Senkakkus. Losing the Senkakkus is not going to take Japan out of the fray. Are you willing to risk that won't make everybody get into an overt alliance against you ? There are lots of very realistic ways to increase the pressure on China. Those will be resorted to only when all other hope is lost. China will have only one shot at making war. If and when that happens, I hope it ends up being worth it, because after that you will be contested every inch of the way.


Yes, that's risk that China will more and more be willing to take the stronger it gets. Again, the key for China is to keep getting stronger.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby DavidD » 02 Feb 2014 01:02

gashish wrote:
DavidD wrote:And then Abe visited Yasukuni. There's no need to pay attention to these little ups and downs. The deepest feelings between Korea, Japan, and China have been the same for centuries, and it'll remain the same in the foreseeable future.


can you please elaborate on this?
How would you characterize China's deepest "feelings" towards Japan over centuries, especially prior to 1930s? One characterized by animosity/fear/condescension or respect/inspiration? Thanks. I am just curious.

A century ago, as far as I understand, Japan was a source of inspiration to many Chinese. Many chinese intellectuals and political dissidents, including founders of CPC and KMT, either studied or took refuge in Japan. Japanese victory over Russia in early 20th century was much celebrated in China (including by Mao himself), for asian brethren had defeated western power. Things/feelings seem to have started going downhill only from 1930s...


Condescension is shared by all Asian nations for all other Asian nations, and in the end that's what fractures the Asian powers and why an Asian NATO is simply not viable.

As for your other questions, while it may seem paradoxically, Japan is still a source of inspiration for many Chinese. Most nationalists around the world feel some sort of exceptionalism, but the Chinese one differs from the Western ones. Whereas westerners, feel that they're exceptional because they're the best at everything, the Chinese feel that they're exceptional because they can adapt to everything. That way, when the newest best thing comes along, they can incorporate it into their own culture. This perhaps has something to do with religions from the west (Christianity, Islam, Judaism), who each proclaim that their truth is the absolute truth and that their mission is to make all others see the one truth. Either way, this makes the Chinese more open to learning from the enemy rather than simply casting everything they do in an evil light. I think this characteristic is shared more or less by all the East Asian cultures.

Many wondered why all the Communist powers imploded after the USSR collapsed but China (and Vietnam, but few cares to wonder about them) did not, I think the adaptability played a key role.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby DavidD » 02 Feb 2014 01:16

RajitO wrote:
DavidD wrote:
China has a far longer land border, especially vis-a-vis its maritime borders, compared to India. A far smaller section of the Chinese land borders is protected by the Himalayas as well. That India lost a border war across the Himalayas in 1962 shows how absurdly ill-prepared and arrogant Nehru was at the time. You don't need to be paranoid to protect that stretch of the border, you just need to be not absurdly ill-prepared and arrogant.

As for Japan, we'll see what happens in 10-20 years. I'm sure you guys have some good first hand experience with just how fickle the Americans can be.



First, let me congratulate you on sticking around for this 1 vs. 4 engagement. I say this, because I am about to get a bit blunt, apologies in advance, :)

1. If you are stuck in 1962, as many of our own defence planners also are, let me tell you the worst thing Generals can do is to fight the last war. Speaking purely in land-warfare terms, post-1962, there was a minor but bloody skirmish at Nathu La, where we demonstrated both intent and preparation.

Then there was 1987 - SumDurong Chu - where it was totally bloodless but we totally out-maneuvered China in military terms. Sun Tzu's axiom "The acme of excellence is to win a thousand wars without fighting any" comes to mind. Deng Xiaoping and Rajiv Gandhi's much publicized photo ops later were symbolic of some equations having changed.

2. Lack of preparation and arrogance is not a monopoly of any nation. So by just cherry picking one data point - I could go on and on about the Sino-Vietnamese border bust-up - I would not dismiss the adversary's intent and capability. If you browse other threads or even on-the-ground reports from credible media sources, our land infrastructure pales in comparison to Chinese, so in a country where we move spectacularly only during crises, this paranoia is a necessary and belated precondition to playing catch up.

3. Our relationship with the Americans is a really complex one - it would take a whole thread to de construct it. Since you put some stock into history, in the past, there have been two occasions where India and the US have found themselves on the same side versus China. The Korean War, and during the 60s post China's move into Tibet.

Ironically, Chinese actions are creating the grounds for a third-such partnership, increasingly marginalizing those Indians who share your view that they are fickle partners.


I'm out traveling from city to city for interviews, so I've got some free time right now! My interview break is almost over tho, gonna be back in school pretty soon....

1) I think you've made my point re: 1962. The equation has changed, this isn't 1962 anymore. Red China isn't about to cross the Himalayas for a "surprise" attack, and Indians aren't gonna be so ill-prepared.

2) Not sure the point you're trying to make, I think both Vietnam and China knew each other's intentions fairly well. It was the intentions of the USSR that was at doubt before that conflict, as in: would it honor the brand spanking new defense treaty with Vietnam or not? The question was answered by the conclusion of the war.

3) I was more trying to make a point regarding America's relationship with Japan. They've slowly weaseled their way out of a commitment to defend Taiwan, and I'm sure there are ways they can weasel their way out of a commitment to defend the Senkakkus.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby DavidD » 02 Feb 2014 01:18

TSJones wrote:^^^^^China should be careful about pushing Japan around. China might re-awaken them. They've been slumbering for 60 years and they know tech.


I've always said that power is a zero-sum game, if Japan gains more power, who loses? If Japan gains more independence in policy-setting, who loses the power to set Japan's policies? Japan has been slumbering for 60 years for a reason, and that reason is not China.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby KrishnaK » 02 Feb 2014 02:19

DavidD wrote:China has no fears of India or Vietnam invading China, neither country has neither the capabilities nor the intentions to conquer and, more importantly, hold Chinese territory. Any build up along the borders will be seen as posturing, which in peace-time may require counter-posturing, but in wartime when resources are scarcer, mere words of warning combined with some mobilization of Pakistani troops would be sufficient.
:rotfl: You're clutching at straws now. Pakistan ain't mobilizing against us for you. Your warnings of not to meddle in the south china sea haven't exactly been effective either. The only thing that it ensured is vocal "we'll stand our ground" by the IN and the resumption of multilateral naval exercises by India, Japan and the US.
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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby KrishnaK » 02 Feb 2014 02:23

DavidD wrote:
KrishnaK wrote: It is quite likely that nobody will intervene, say in the case of Senkakkus. Losing the Senkakkus is not going to take Japan out of the fray. Are you willing to risk that won't make everybody get into an overt alliance against you ? There are lots of very realistic ways to increase the pressure on China. Those will be resorted to only when all other hope is lost. China will have only one shot at making war. If and when that happens, I hope it ends up being worth it, because after that you will be contested every inch of the way.


Yes, that's risk that China will more and more be willing to take the stronger it gets. Again, the key for China is to keep getting stronger.
No matter how strong China gets, it can't match the combined might of the US, Japan and India. There is no inherent advantage that China has other than a rapidly growing economy. Both US and Japan have a top of the line economies and S&T base. India is no slouch on that front either, although we can and will do much better. We have the manpower needed. That is a dead end and no amount of growing stronger is going to change that.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby KrishnaK » 02 Feb 2014 02:29

DavidD wrote:
TSJones wrote:^^^^^China should be careful about pushing Japan around. China might re-awaken them. They've been slumbering for 60 years and they know tech.


I've always said that power is a zero-sum game, if Japan gains more power, who loses? If Japan gains more independence in policy-setting, who loses the power to set Japan's policies? Japan has been slumbering for 60 years for a reason, and that reason is not China.

You play a good game my friend. If Japan gains more power, only China loses. *Hint* No the US doesn't lose. Japan can't take on a country 10 times it's size by itself. It will always require the US and/or India to fend China off.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby Viv S » 02 Feb 2014 03:47

DavidD wrote:I think you're speaking from a hyper-vigilant Indian perspective. China has no fears of India or Vietnam invading China, neither country has neither the capabilities nor the intentions to conquer and, more importantly, hold Chinese territory. Any build up along the borders will be seen as posturing, which in peace-time may require counter-posturing, but in wartime when resources are scarcer, mere words of warning combined with some mobilization of Pakistani troops would be sufficient. In other words, China would feel pretty comfortable calling the bluff. Similar for TI talk, we all know the best thing that could happen to the PRC is if Taiwan declares independence. They'd have an excuse to take the grandest prize of them all! I mean, really, who cares about the Senkakkus when you can get Taiwan! You don't need to be prepared for TI, the whole nation will be geared up for total war if necessary to take the island--it would just be a matter of time.


You're again thinking in absolutes. Total war or nothing. While reality is a lot more nuanced. I'm not sure how familiar you are with the status of the LAC but fact is its never been mutually demarcated. So yes in fact Indian troops regularly patrol areas that China formally claims extend into their side of the LAC. And in the Indian Ocean, shipping can be policed without blocking the routes, though this will be a fairly radical step. (Like commercial aircraft, commercial ships have to declare their itineraries as well). Lets take Taiwan for example - they replace 'China' on all government buildings with 'Taiwan'. Does China invade? Lets say they a member of the legislature demands a debate on independence, and is obliged. Does China invade in response to a 'debate'? Lets say they decided to add 'Taiwan' on their passports (in addition or instead of ROC). Is that grounds for an invasion? What if tomorrow, the US, Japan, SK, India etc upgrade their trade offices into consulates? Will China respond with an invasion, even though the ROC constitution remains unchanged? What if they called them embassies instead? The point is, nations don't simply get up one day and decide to change the status of their country's sovereignty. Nor do nations mobilize and go to war at moment's notice.

The other thing you're failing to appreciate is the time aspect. You're looking at the situation today or a year from now, or five years from now. While the fact the hard power in the Pacific is massively tilted in favour of the US and its allies. The US can dispatch a fraction of its fleet and that'll be sufficient to achieve its objectives. The current debate on the other hand is about the balance of power in the future i.e as China military and economically catches up with the US. Ordinary, one would have expected an expanding Sinosphere in Asia, so to speak. Similar to Brazil in South America.

But China is this case seems to be undermining its own position. The immediate effect may be relatively mild but over the long term, a lot of the 'certainties' that are taken for granted get called into question. Japan is constitutionally pacifist nation, will it remain so in a decade or two? Japan and South Korea have an unpleasant history, will that continue on to the next generation? India has traditionally had a policy of strict non-alignment, can we say for a fact that it will retain a similar distance from other countries in the future? Vietnam has limited strength at present, but can we say for certain that it will not be the next S Korea, with commensurate economic and military muscle?

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby DavidD » 02 Feb 2014 04:17

KrishnaK wrote:
DavidD wrote:China has no fears of India or Vietnam invading China, neither country has neither the capabilities nor the intentions to conquer and, more importantly, hold Chinese territory. Any build up along the borders will be seen as posturing, which in peace-time may require counter-posturing, but in wartime when resources are scarcer, mere words of warning combined with some mobilization of Pakistani troops would be sufficient.
:rotfl: You're clutching at straws now. Pakistan ain't mobilizing against us for you. Your warnings of not to meddle in the south china sea haven't exactly been effective either. The only thing that it ensured is vocal "we'll stand our ground" by the IN and the resumption of multilateral naval exercises by India, Japan and the US.


Do you think it's more likely that India would mobilize for Japan against China, or that Pakistan would mobilize for China against India? I don't know why you would think it's such a preposterous suggestion.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby DavidD » 02 Feb 2014 04:33

KrishnaK wrote:
DavidD wrote:I've always said that power is a zero-sum game, if Japan gains more power, who loses? If Japan gains more independence in policy-setting, who loses the power to set Japan's policies? Japan has been slumbering for 60 years for a reason, and that reason is not China.

You play a good game my friend. If Japan gains more power, only China loses. *Hint* No the US doesn't lose. Japan can't take on a country 10 times it's size by itself. It will always require the US and/or India to fend China off.


From your mouth to the ghosts of Yasukuni's ears :rotfl:

I suppose we'll see what happens in the future, although keep in mind that one can only lose power when one has power and that the whole reason there's a conflict brewing in the ECS is because China seeks to change the status quo and gain power. You can't lose what you don't have, right?

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby sanjaykumar » 02 Feb 2014 04:54

Japan can't take on a country 10 times it's size by itself. It will always require the US and/or India to fend China off.


So Manchuria, Unit 731 are Chinese propaganda?

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby ashi » 02 Feb 2014 05:42

Can you arm chair strategists structure/argue your grand plans in the political forum? I would like to see something about Chinese military hardware in this thread, not some LoL strategy/geopolitics

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby Shankas » 02 Feb 2014 09:20

TSJones wrote:^^^^^China should be careful about pushing Japan around. China might re-awaken them. They've been slumbering for 60 years and they know tech.


That ship has sailed. Japan is now up from its deep slumber and rumbling.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby Khalsa » 02 Feb 2014 11:58

SiddharthS wrote:This may be the reason why china is after arunachal pradesh so badly :mrgreen:
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/ ... melted-map


bye bye bangla_dish

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby KrishnaK » 02 Feb 2014 13:11

DavidD wrote:
KrishnaK wrote::rotfl: You're clutching at straws now. Pakistan ain't mobilizing against us for you. Your warnings of not to meddle in the south china sea haven't exactly been effective either. The only thing that it ensured is vocal "we'll stand our ground" by the IN and the resumption of multilateral naval exercises by India, Japan and the US.


Do you think it's more likely that India would mobilize for Japan against China, or that Pakistan would mobilize for China against India? I don't know why you would think it's such a preposterous suggestion.
Quite possibly India against China for Japan, if such a comparison has to be made. You are not and never were Pakistan's preferred sugar daddy. It was and still is the US. Not to mention the fact that Pakistan fears us. All of their bravado is merely to cover that fact. They're not going to mobilize against us any more than you did in 1971 for them :mrgreen:

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby KrishnaK » 02 Feb 2014 13:15

DavidD wrote:
KrishnaK wrote:You play a good game my friend. If Japan gains more power, only China loses. *Hint* No the US doesn't lose. Japan can't take on a country 10 times it's size by itself. It will always require the US and/or India to fend China off.


From your mouth to the ghosts of Yasukuni's ears :rotfl:

I suppose we'll see what happens in the future, although keep in mind that one can only lose power when one has power and that the whole reason there's a conflict brewing in the ECS is because China seeks to change the status quo and gain power. You can't lose what you don't have, right?
Everybody has some and you can always work to the detriment of what you do have. Communist China being an excellent case in point.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby raj.devan » 02 Feb 2014 15:24

Given that the biggest naval related Chinese threat that India faces currently is from the PLAN's submarine fleet, it may be prudent to discuss what kind of capabilities this force has against us. is there a possibility that in a future conflict with Pakistan, China's submarine fleet may resort to a surprise strike to cripple our naval defences and leave our western coast open to Pakistani naval attack?

http://www.jeffhead.com/redseadragon/2014.htm

PLAN continues to progress in its Nuclear and conventional submarine building programs
The Chinese shipyards continue to produce submarines of three varieties. Nuclear attack submarines, nuclear ballistic missile submaries, and advanced air independent conventionally powered diesel/electric submarines. The Type 093 nuclear attack submarines seem to have either been completed either at four or six units and construction has now moved on to a new class, the type 095. It is expected that this newer submarine will finally begin to achieve the more quiet standards that the PLAN has established as requirements, hoping to achieve a quietness equivalent to the later units of the US Navy Los Angeles class boats that have eluded them to this date. The Type 095 appears to be a larger displacement than the Type 093 and to have a propulsion duct over the prop.

The four Type 094 Jin Class ballistic missile submarines are now active with the fleet and are slated to begin ballistic missile patrols in 2014. They were in fact shown off for the first time in 2013 by the PLAN. Each of these vessels carry twelve JL-2 intercontinental ballistic missiles with a 8,000-12,000 kilometer range. But the PLAN is also moving forward in this regard with construction of the Type 096 Tang Class SSBN which will have 16 missile tubes.

In addition to these nuclear submarines, the PLAN continues to move aggressively forward with its conventional submarine forces. More new Type 041, Yuan Class SSK conventional submarines have also been produced in 2013, bringing the total of this class up to at least twelve boats. Late in the year, a newer variant was also seen that may represent an altogether new class with additional stealth features. With the twelve Yauns and the new boat, the 13 Songs and twelve Kilos, the PLAN now has thirty eight very modern and capable conventionally powered diesel electric submarines, at least thirteen or more of which are air-independent powered units which are extremely dangerous combatants in the littoral waters of the western Pacific.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby member_20292 » 02 Feb 2014 15:47

Yaun class nahi bhaiya, YUAN class.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby member_23455 » 02 Feb 2014 15:56

ashi wrote:Can you arm chair strategists structure/argue your grand plans in the political forum? I would like to see something about Chinese military hardware in this thread, not some LoL strategy/geopolitics


It is a thread in the "Military Issues and History Forum" titled China Military Watch - what aspect of that suggests a focus exclusively on military hardware? Parts of the BR forum resemble death by brochure-itis with people reducing warfare to a game of baseball trump cards. So if the strategy guys eat some bandwidth, how is that such a biggie?

I do think though that the initial momentum and thrust of DavidD's posts have got drowned out, and it's becoming one of those tit-for-tat conversations (mea culpa as well).

Personally it has been very interesting to see a possible extrapolation from the conversation that:

1. China sees all this friction as a geostrategic inevitability. All parties in the region are aligned on this and thus a lack of strategic response from any will be grossly negligent (Yeah, I am looking at you, MEA babus and NSA)

2. China gets the fact that "The Great Game" will be maritime centric, but seems surprised that India's acting up so much on the land borders. Anything that surprises, inconveniences a potential adversary is good. Hope the Shuklas and Admirals who have been writing agenda pieces questioning the MSC are taking note.

3. This is the part that I have greatest trouble extrapolating DavidD's views to a larger Chinese position - that somehow a fickle America will "cut and run" and the locals will be too divided to rally. It seems a very rational explanation of their "island incidents". But the last chap to make a similar mistake about the Americans and a region was Saddam in GW I.

This is how wars start...
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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby raj.devan » 02 Feb 2014 16:00

mahadevbhu wrote:Yaun class nahi bhaiya, YUAN class.


Sorry sir. The mistake was in the quoted text only. :|

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby gashish » 02 Feb 2014 17:41

DavidD wrote:
gashish wrote:can you please elaborate on this?
How would you characterize China's deepest "feelings" towards Japan over centuries, especially prior to 1930s? One characterized by animosity/fear/condescension or respect/inspiration? Thanks. I am just curious.

A century ago, as far as I understand, Japan was a source of inspiration to many Chinese. Many chinese intellectuals and political dissidents, including founders of CPC and KMT, either studied or took refuge in Japan. Japanese victory over Russia in early 20th century was much celebrated in China (including by Mao himself), for asian brethren had defeated western power. Things/feelings seem to have started going downhill only from 1930s...


Condescension is shared by all Asian nations for all other Asian nations, and in the end that's what fractures the Asian powers and why an Asian NATO is simply not viable.

As for your other questions, while it may seem paradoxically, Japan is still a source of inspiration for many Chinese. Most nationalists around the world feel some sort of exceptionalism, but the Chinese one differs from the Western ones. Whereas westerners, feel that they're exceptional because they're the best at everything, the Chinese feel that they're exceptional because they can adapt to everything. That way, when the newest best thing comes along, they can incorporate it into their own culture. This perhaps has something to do with religions from the west (Christianity, Islam, Judaism), who each proclaim that their truth is the absolute truth and that their mission is to make all others see the one truth. Either way, this makes the Chinese more open to learning from the enemy rather than simply casting everything they do in an evil light. I think this characteristic is shared more or less by all the East Asian cultures.

Many wondered why all the Communist powers imploded after the USSR collapsed but China (and Vietnam, but few cares to wonder about them) did not, I think the adaptability played a key role.


So condescension is what characterizes Chinese deepest feelings towards Japan thru centuries?

Wasn't fear of communism/soviet bloc and another military adventure in europe which outweighed mutual "condescension" among western european powers led to NATO? If China keeps poking into eyes of asian neigbours and creates atmosphere of fear, it wont be much long before there is an asian version.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby chola » 03 Feb 2014 00:21

RajitO wrote:[

This is how wars start...


We can only hope. But the biggest problem for us with the chini military is that it never fights. For all the talk of 1962 from our dhoti shiverers, it was 50 years ago and the PLA had not fought a proper war since.

Why? Because the chinis know they have a sh1tty military and would be annihilated were it to come down to war against any of the US-backed militaries -- Taiwan, South Korea and definitely Japan. With all the the single child little Emperors, the appetite for fighting any real war get even less as time and their economy progresses.

But I state again this is actually THE China military problem for India. The PLA never fights so the US and its allies will never get the chance to crush it . Without a full war, China stays on top as the predominant Asian power because the paper tiger is never exposed. They will continue to eat away at the margins like in Arunachal or Senkayus and use the weight of their economy to dominate.

We actually WANT China to start wars, especially against Japan. And we are kidding ourselves if we think Japan needs India or even the US to assist them in dealing with China. Japan is the one nation outside of Germany that one can say is a truly martial nation. The US is actually the only reason that keeps them from re-arming and wiping the floor with China like they did in WWII.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby raj.devan » 03 Feb 2014 07:06

chola wrote:
RajitO wrote:[

This is how wars start...


We can only hope. But the biggest problem for us with the chini military is that it never fights. For all the talk of 1962 from our dhoti shiverers, it was 50 years ago and the PLA had not fought a proper war since..


Actually the PLA did fight a devastating and bloody war with Vietnam in 1979. In addition there was the conflict with the Soviets in '69 and the conflict over the Paracel Islands in '74.

The conflict with Vietnam resulted in more than 7000 fatalities for the PLA, mostly because of their use of Marshal Peng Du Hai's human wave tactics. Following this ghastly war, the PLA began to undergo a metamorphosis - that ultimately halved its strength but increased its lethality.

So you may be right. The new PLA has not yet been tested in war. But as Sun Tzu said, the best general is the ne who can win the fight without actually fighting it.

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Re: China Military Watch - Jan 11, 2011

Postby raj.devan » 03 Feb 2014 07:16

The war with Vietnam was watershed for the PLA, and it underwent many changes as a result.

The biggest change was the introduction of officer ranks within the Army. Prior to '79, the PLA had no such thing as ranks, and instead relied on the concept of comrades with greater leadership skills leading other comrades. The formalization of the military hierarchy also coincided with its opening up to the US military, and there was a lot of exchanges and mutual visits during this time.

The eighties were also when China's military industrial complex began to expand rapidly and which today produces nuclear submarines and ICBMs.

Lastly, this was also when China's economy opened up, allowing Rapid industrialization and a high rate of economic growth, that directly fuelled the matamorphosis of China's military as well.


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