Russian Su-35 Deployed by China, ‘Headaches for US Forces’

Su-35, Image Creative Commons

US media National Interest says at the end of its report “Why Russia’s Su-35 (Now in China’s Air Force) Could Be Taiwan’s Worst Nightmare”, “Thus, the introduction of the Su-35 significantly boosts Chinese capability and increases the headaches for U.S. forces in the event of a war.” That is because it has the information that China has been developing a 400-km long-range missile that may hit US tanker or AEW&C aircrafts.

So China’s Su-35s are not only Taiwan’s but also America’s nightmare.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on National Interest’s report, full text of which is reblogged below:

Why Russia’s Su-35 (Now in China’s Air Force) Could Be Taiwan’s Worst Nightmare

May 8, 2018

The Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E has entered service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) according to the Chinese Ministry of Defense. The advanced Russian-built fourth generation fighter is a significant boost to the PLAAF and could be used to good effect by Beijing in over the South China Sea.

“The Su-35 is a multi-purpose fighter jet capable of air combat and precision strike against land and surface targets,” Senior Colonel Wu Qian, Director General of the Information Office of China’s Ministry of National Defense, said during a April 26 press conference. “Currently, the aviation troop units of the PLA Air Force have been armed with the Su-35 fighters.”

With the jets now in service, the Su-35 would significantly bolster Chinese forces operating over the South China Sea or the Taiwan Straits. Indeed, Beijing has in recent days been conducting exercises in the region near Taiwan, which it considers to be a breakaway province. “Recently, the PLA Air Force dispatched multiple types of warplanes to carry out real combat training exercises in the airspace over the sea to further enhance the capability of safeguarding China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Wu said. “The island the PLA warplanes patrolled around is, of course, China’s Taiwan Island.”

Wu promised that China would take action if Taiwan were to attempt to formally declare independence. “The series of actions we have taken are targeting the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces and their activities, and are to protect the well-being of the people in Taiwan from being undermined by the ‘Taiwan independence’ conspiracy,” Wu said. “If the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces continue to act recklessly, we will take further actions.”

If push comes to shove, the Su-35 could feature prominently in any Chinese attempt to subdue Taiwan. The Flanker-E is arguably the PLAAF’s most capable fighter apart from the Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter, which is not likely to fully operational yet even if it has achieved some level of operational capability. Particularly, if the Su-35 is armed with long-range air-to-air missiles such as the very long range PL-15, it could be used to attack American aerial refueling tankers and other support aircraft such the E-3 AWACS that are crucial for conducting air operations over the vastness of the Pacific.

“The PL-15, could enter service during the course of 2018, and has already been cited by senior U.S. Air Force personnel as a significant concern, including remarks by Gen. Hawk Carlisle, then head of U.S. Air Combat Command, in 2015,” IISS military analyst Doug Barrie wrote for War on the Rocks. “The PL-15 may have a maximum range in the order of 200 kilometers and is thought to be fitted with an advanced seeker using an active electronically scanned radar. The maximum range describes how far the missile could reach with an optimized trajectory requiring no maneuvering and with little energy left at the end of the flight. But given that a missile in the class of the PL-15 would often be used to engage a combat aircraft of a similar class, its actual maximum engagement range against a maneuvering target would be considerably less, though likely still in excess of the present Western generation of solid-rocket medium-range missiles. One of the limitations of several of the current generation of beyond-visual- range AAMs is that the probability of a successful engagement is reduced significantly against a maneuvering target. This is because the missile rapidly bleeds off energy as it turns to try to close with the threat aircraft.”

An even more dangerous missile has already been spotted being carried onboard China’s own domestically developed J-16 advanced Flanker derivative, which is in some ways comparable to the Su-35 in capability. However, the Su-35 probably still has an overall edge over the Chinese Flanker knockoff. “An even longer-range AAM is also in the later stages of development,” Barrie wrote. “In late 2016, images appeared on the Internet of a Shenyang J-16 Flanker carrying two large missiles. The missile configuration suggested the design was intended to provide a very-long-range air-to-air capability, at up to around 400 kilometers, and intended to be used against tankers, airborne early warning and control aircraft, and intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, at extended engagement ranges.”

Thus, the introduction of the Su-35 significantly boosts Chinese capability and increases the headaches for U.S. forces in the event of a war.


China’s Trade War with US Continues though Tariff War Postponed

In its report “‘It’s not over yet’: key sticking points remain for US and China on trade, analysts say” on May 20, SCMP shows its insight by saying, “Fundamental disputes between Beijing and Washington over China’s industrial policies and technology investment remain unresolved, even though the two sides made progress in the latest round of trade talks, analysts have said.”

True, China has promised to import more US agricultural and energy products, but China has been planning to divert river to Xinjiang to turn vast desert into farmland to put an end to its import of US agricultural products.

It has built artificial islands turn the South China Sea into its lake so as to tap the energy resources there, which will put an end to its dependence on imports oenergy.

In addition, China has been carrying out its Made in China 2025 plan vigorously to be free from its reliance on foreign hi-tech goods.

On the other hand, China will move its labor-intensive industries to the Silk Road economic belt it has been building to make goods it exports to the US in other countries.

By so doing China continues to fight a trade war with the US without tariff war as tariffs are not a powerful weapon for trade war. When China has succeeded in the above of its trade war with the US to put an end to its reliance on US market, what can the US do to be benefited from China’s vast market? Do US leaders have vision to deal with that future situation?

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at

Wait Till China Has Developed Capabilities to Attack US Homeland!

Washington Free Beacon’s article “China Rapidly Building Advanced Arms for Use Against U.S.” shows that the US is scared by China’s rapid military modernization, but the writer of the article knows well that so far China has only been developing weapons to resist US attack at Chinese homeland. I said in my book “Space Era Strategy” that it is no enough. China cannot prevent US attack until it has developed weapons to attack US homeland.

I foresee that such weapons are aerospace bombers China is developing (Popular Science regards them as space aircrafts and says China will begin their maiden flights by 2030). I call such weapons China’s conventional deterrence like China’s nuclear deterrence based on its second-strike capabilities.

Peace will be secured only when there is military balance. The US has to hurry up in developing its military but there will only be a balance between two instead the military hegemony of one hegemon. Or perhaps there will only be one hegemon but not the US as the US seems to keep on declining?

The following is the full text of Washington Free Beacon’s article:

China Rapidly Building Advanced Arms for Use Against U.S.

Space weapons, drones using artificial intelligence priority in Beijing military buildup

BY: Bill Gertz
May 11, 2018 5:00 am

China is rapidly building space weapons and other advanced arms infused with artificial intelligence capabilities as part of Beijing’s bid for military dominance, according to a congressionally sponsored study.

Anti-satellite missiles and orbiting killer satellites, swarms of attack drones, hypersonic missiles, maneuvering warheads, lasers, and high-speed rail guns are key systems China is fielding in the coming years in a bid to leap ahead of the U.S. military supremacy.

“All of China’s advanced weapons systems are moving forward at ‘full speed’ and are all seen as ‘priorities given [China’s] overarching emphasis on finding a vulnerability in the U.S. armor,'” the report warns, quoting a 2013 Chinese military strategy.

The advanced weapons are part of a shift in Beijing’s military focus from deploying high-technology “informatized” weapons to “intelligentized” arms—revolutionary capabilities boosted by artificial intelligence and machine learning, the report said.

The study examined five advanced arms being developed by China: space weapons, unmanned vehicles, maneuverable missile warheads, directed energy weapons, and electromagnetic railguns.

“Past history and existing potential point fairly clearly to the likelihood that these systems will become a feature of the strategic landscape in a decade. Or less,” states the report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

The report was produced by five analysts for the defense contractor Jane’s IHS Markit and made public Thursday.

Publication of the congressional report comes as the Trump administration has undertaken a strategic shift that recognizes China as one of the major nation state threats facing the United States.

The advanced weapons systems will destabilize the Asia-Pacific region by upsetting alliances as China seeks to control the area and will increase the danger of regional conflicts.

The report also concludes the United States is falling behind China in the development of advanced weapons and will have to hurry to avoid being overtaken.

“The United States has a small window, only a decade at most, to develop new capabilities and concepts for countering China’s advanced weapons programs,” the report said.

According to the report, China’s space warfare efforts are currently the highest priority. China has demonstrated all components of its weaponry. They include direct ascent anti-satellite missiles, lasers, and high-powered microwave guns and other beam weapons, weaponized orbiting satellites, and cyber anti-satellite capabilities.

Other Chinese space warfare support systems include a hyper-spectral imaging satellite designed to detect stealth aircraft and a quantum satellite for secure communications.

The strategic competition between China and the United States, from Beijing’s view, is designed to counter what China perceives as regional efforts to “contain” Chinese hegemony, the report said.

“China views its role as capitalizing on the opportunities presented by globalization and the informatization of society to propel itself forward economically, socially, and technologically,” the report said.

A key capability the Chinese military is pursuing is artificial intelligence—the fusing of masses of data with high-speed computing to produce weapons capable of reacting very quickly without human intervention.

“Artificial intelligence stands out as an especially powerful catalyst of the development of ‘gamechanging’ military capabilities,” the report said. “China recognizes that AI will transform warfare.”

AI weapons will greatly help intelligence operators to know the strategic and operational environment, spot patterns and imminent threats, and track enemies very rapidly.

Pilots and vehicle drivers also will be relieved by AI systems in mundane tasks of interpreting data streams allowing greater focus on missions of flying or driving.

“Drone swarms, autonomous (or semi-autonomous) munitions and cognitive electronic warfare systems all pose new challenges to even the most technologically advanced militaries,” the report said.

China’s development of quantum computing and encryption also will hamper military intelligence collection, a key advantage of the U.S. military.

Quantum computing involves the use of emerging technology known as quantum bits that operate differently than digital electronics based on electronic transistors.

Quantum computers are expected to be extremely powerful and will assist in the use of AI for both military and civilian purposes.

Chinese advanced manufacturing and materials, robotics, and cloud computing also “are improving China’s military capabilities as well as the proficiency of China’s industry to design and build more advanced capabilities,” the report said.

Among the potent asymmetric weapons China is expected to deploy in the future are large numbers of AI-managed swarm or cluster deployments of unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles and hypersonic glide vehicles.

Hypersonic vehicles are launched atop ballistic missiles or from aircraft and travel at speeds of 7,000 miles per hour or greater, making them difficult to counter with air or missile defenses.

China’s drone weapons are progressing quickly and its defense industry is shifting from copying western drones to developing indigenous systems. Air, land and underwater drones are being developed.

Its maneuverable strategic arms include warheads capable of changing course to avoid defenses and a hypersonic glide vehicle that has been tested seven times since 2014.

Directed energy arms are primarily for use against satellites, and development of Chinese electromagnetic rail guns has progressed slower than other advanced arms.

The study urges the United States to fortify a “quadrilateral” alliance in Asia to counter China, with key allies Japan, Australia, and India.

“The appropriate response must gather these overlapping interests and bundle them to American and allied advantage, notably via deliberate plans to understand and counter China’s destabilizing moves,” the report said.

“China does not stand ten feet tall. It remains vulnerable to internal stresses and discord. Adversaries can play on China’s anxieties and phobias.”

Utilizing limitation agreements and playing on Russian fears of China also should be exploited by the United States.

For example, because China’s hypersonic missiles are destabilizing strategic weapons that will be deployed in the not too distant future, the study urges the Pentagon to build hypersonic weapons.

“Given the progress in China’s hypersonic research, and an expectation of future production and deployment by late in the next decade, the United States and its technologically competent defense partners, have little choice but to regain superiority in hypersonic glide vehicle capability,” the report said.

Countering hypersonic missiles also should be stepped up, including the use of electro-magnetic rail guns that fired non-explosive projectiles at high speeds and more advanced missile defenses.

The study recommended improving U.S. intelligence capabilities by gaging China’s comparative strengths and vulnerabilities with that of the United States to create strategies to maintain U.S. military superiority.

The report makes several references to an authoritative 2013 Chinese military report called “The Science of Military Strategy.”

The strategy says the threat of a large-scale ground invasion is minimal but that the major threat will be an attack from the Pacific.

“The most severe war threat is a large-scale strategic sudden attack launched by a strong adversary, which aims at destroying our war potential to force us to surrender,” the strategy says. “The most probable war threat is a limited military conflict from the sea. The war we need to prepare for, particularly given the background of nuclear deterrence, is a large-scale and highly intensive local war from the sea.”

China is stepping up efforts to steal or buy foreign technologies related to artificial intelligence and big data analytics.

Other targets include the Internet of Things, virtual reality and augmented reality, smart sensors, 3D and 4D printing, robotics and unmanned systems, smart materials, quantum computing and encryption, semiconductors and energy capture, and storage technologies.

China Finished Maiden Sea Trial of Its Home-grown Aircraft Carrier

SCMP says in its report “China’s first home-grown aircraft carrier finishes maiden sea trial amid speculation Asia’s most advanced destroyer will be next” yesterday, “China’s first home-made aircraft carrier concluded its maiden sea trial on Friday.

“Footage of the vessel was released by state broadcaster China Central Television in a report that said: “Multiple types of equipment have been further tested and [the trial has] reached the anticipated goals.”

“The voyage of the 65,000-tonne Type 001A also came amid rising speculations that the PLA’s Type 055 destroyer, Asia’s most advanced and biggest destroyer and the carrier’s likely escort, will soon start sea tests”

Source: SCMP “China’s first home-grown aircraft carrier finishes maiden sea trial amid speculation Asia’s most advanced destroyer will be next” (Excepts of the report here, full text of which can be found at

Why is China expanding its air base 160 miles from Taiwan?

A Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force Sukhoi Su-35 fighters formate off the wing of a Xian H-6K bomber. (China’s Ministry of National Defense)

By: Mike Yeo   3 days ago

MELBOURNE, Australia — China is expanding an air base on the East China Sea coast, adding facilities that potentially allow it to permanently base combat aircraft closer to Taiwan and islands of which both China and Japan claim ownership.

Satellite photos taken in April show that the construction of new 24 aircraft shelters, taxiways and additional buildings are on the verge of being completed at the air base near the town of Xiapu, in China’s coastal Fujian Province.

The new aircraft shelters are built in a semi-dispersed state in six clusters of four, with two clusters built near the end of the single 1.7-mile-long runway and the rest located in one of two aircraft dispersal area which already has 15 of the 20 hardened and camouflaged aircraft shelters at the base. Each of the new shelters measures approximately 100 feet long and 60 feet wide, which is more than enough to accommodate China’s Sukhoi Su-30/35 and Shenyang J-11/15/16 Flanker family of fighter jets.

A satellite photo of Xiapu air base dated September 2017 showing the aircraft shelters being built. More recent satellite photos show these are close to completion. (Google, with annotation by Mike Yeo/Staff)

Several military buildings have also been built as part of the upgrading project, which also includes five new barracks blocks along with what retired Col. Vinayak Bhat, who previously served as a satellite imagery analyst with the Indian Army, told Defense News appear to be parking garages and testing and inspection facilities for vehicles. Land clearing is also taking place at the north eastern corner of the base complex, suggesting more facilities could yet be added.

The semi-dispersed nature of the new aircraft shelters is a departure from the normal practice at Chinese bases, whose shelters are normally built in straight lines with the housed aircraft parked side by side, and is likely to reflect the frontline nature of the air base.

The base is located just 160 miles from Taiwan’s capital Taipei and 225 miles from the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, making it closer to the islands than the nearest Japanese combat aircraft which are based 260 miles away at Naha in Okinawa. China is also claiming ownership of the islands, which it calls the Diaoyu Islands.

The construction of the new aircraft shelters at the air base could point to China upgrading it to a fully-fledged operational air base with its own permanently assigned combat aircraft regiment or brigade. It had previously been used only as a deployment base since completion in 2012, hosting ongoing rotating detachments of approximately 12 People’s Liberation Army Air Force or PLAAF fighter jets.

These rotations, which satellite photos show almost always include the Sukhoi Su-30 multirole fighter or Chinese-built Shenyang J-11 interceptors, are believed to be increasingly utilised to accompany PLAAF bomber and intelligence-gathering aircraft flying out to the Western Pacific via international airspace over the Miyako Straits, with data released by the Japanese Ministry of Defense showing the fighters heading to and from the direction of Xiapu.

The fighters usually follow the bombers well past the Miyako Straits before turning back, which equates to a round trip of more than 1,000 miles from Xiapu.

PLAAF bombers have also been increasingly carrying out flights circumnavigating the island of Taiwan, which China views as a rogue province and has said it will take back by force if necessary. The latest reported mission on the 11th of May saw two groups of Xian H-6K bombers circumnavigate Taiwan simultaneously from both north and south of the island, with one group flying clockwise and the other going counter-clockwise.

According to the announcement by China’s Ministry of National Defense, Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets flew over the Bashi Channel south of Taiwan, which would make the first time the former has been known to be used on such missions. The flights prompted scrambles by both the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Taiwan’s Republic of China Air Force to intercept and observe the PLAAF bombers and intelligence gathering aircraft, which according to the Japanese MoD included a Tupolev Tu-154 and Shaanxi Y-8.

Source: Reuters “Why is China expanding its air base 160 miles from Taiwan?”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

China’s power investment group seeks new Brazil targets after $2 billion deal

Luciano Costa May 16, 2018

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – China’s State Power Investment Corp is looking for new Brazilian acquisition targets, even after spending 7.2 billion reais ($2 billion) for a license to operate a hydroelectric plant in the country last September, a senior executive told Reuters.

“Brazil is one of the top regional priorities for the group’s expansion,” said Adriana Waltrick, the country head for SPIC, as the Chinese company is known.

SPIC, which operates in 41 countries and owns 120 gigawatts in capacity, aims to expand its capacity by 30 gigawatts worldwide through 2020. In Brazil, the Chinese group controls 2 gigawatts, including a hydroelectric plant in the center-western region of Brazil as well as two windfarms in the northeast.

SPIC may acquire companies or bid for licenses to build new capacity, Waltrick said in an interview on Tuesday.

The company already plans to build around 280 megawatts in new windfarms, although that will depend on its ability to win competitive tenders in which Brazil’s government offers generators power purchase agreements with distribution companies. The next power auction is scheduled for August.

Waltrick declined to comment on a potential bid for the Santo Antonio hydroelectric dam, in the northern state of Rondonia, which has been put up for sale by its owners, Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais, known as Cemig (CMIG4.SA), and Odebrecht SA.

SPIC’s largest Brazilian investment has been the acquisition of the 1.7-gigawatt Sao Simao hydroelectric plant for $2 billion. The Chinese group took over the plant management last week, after six months of operation supervised by its former owner, Cemig.

Waltrick said the company was considering potential investments to upgrade the hydroelectric plant, built in 1978, but did not elaborate on how much would be spent or potential suppliers.

($1 = 3.6529 reais)

Reporting by Luciano Costa; Writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Peter Cooney

Source: Reuters “China’s power investment group seeks new Brazil targets after $2 billion deal”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

Economic Expansion abroad More Important for China’ Economic Growth

SubChina says in its report “The Party takes over China’s foreign affairs”, “Party Secretary Xi Jinping 习近平 has visited more foreign countries and received more visiting heads of states than any other former leader of the People’s Republic. But the ministry itself was barely mentioned in the top story on all Chinese central state media today: Xi stresses centralized, unified leadership of CPC Central Committee over foreign affairs (or in Chinese here).”

It shows a US China watcher’s sad ignorance of China’ CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Dynasty. He had better read China’ constitution to be better informed.

As for the 13th Party Congress, it was held in 1987 in a period between Mao Dynasty and CCP Dynasty at the beginning of China’s modernization. Just as US talented political scientist Samuel Huntington pointed out usually a country westernizes at the initial stage of modernization, but later it will return to its own culture.

China returned to its own culture very soon due to the Tiananmen Protests in 1989, which made Deng Xiaoping put an end to the westernized practice advocated by the 13th Congress and resume CCP’s absolute leadership in Chinese government.

Before Tiananmen Protests, he had abolished the system of Party leadership groups that dominate all government agencies, but after that, he restored the Party leadership group system. Now, the boss of each and every Chinese government agency is its Party leadership group!

Moreover, he put an end to the collective leadership advocated by him to avoid the repetition of Mao’s tyranny and upheld that CCP should have a core of collective leadership like Mao and him, the paramount leader, who has the final say. He had thus set up China’s CCP Dynasty, a dynasty with a core of leadership with the power of an emperor.

Deng designated Jiang Zemin as the core of the third generation of collective leadership. He told Jiang he would not rest at ease until Jiang had gained the power of final say.

He meant that Jiang had to be a strongman like him. Jiang lived up to his expectations but Deng’s chosen successor to Jiang Hu Jintao failed to be a strongman resulting in rampant corruption and local despotism that wuld have caused the CCP Dynasty to collapse like the Soviet Union.

CCP Dynasty was saved by Xi Jinping the strongman chosen by Jiang.

Xi is able to centralize power to be a real emperor like most of China’s dynasty founders, especially Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty.

To be in charge of everything, Zhu abolished China’s centuries-old prime minister system. He was able to run the empire with the assistance of prime ministers as he had infinite energy. It was a serious problem for the successors of the Dynasty as they simply lacked such energy to rule the country.

Like Zhu Yuanzhang, Xi is in charge of everything and has achieved wonderful results. His rapid modernization of Chinese military scares even the US. His militarization of the South China Sea by rapid construction of artificial islands has made the sea China’s lake. However, the most important but very difficult task he faces is to maintain China’s fast economic growth to realize his China Dream.

For that he has to reform China’s economy to make it an innovation and creation-led one, but that is not enough. As China’s export market is shrinking, he has to conduct economic expansion abroad. That is his real aim of his Belt and Road initiative, which will enable China to expand export market and have access to resources China needs for its economic growth.

For that, he has taken over China’s diplomacy. SubChina mistakes his takeover of diplomacy as CCP’s. Before Xi’s takeover, there has already been CCP leadership everywhere in China even in China’s public toilets.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SubChina’s report, full text of which is reblogged below:

The Party takes over China’s foreign affairs

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has long been known as one of the government’s weakest departments. This is changing: Foreign Minister Wang Yi 王毅 has been a prominent voice, and Party Secretary Xi Jinping 习近平 has visited more foreign countries and received more visiting heads of states than any other former leader of the People’s Republic. But the ministry itself was barely mentioned in the top story on all Chinese central state media today: Xi stresses centralized, unified leadership of CPC Central Committee over foreign affairs (or in Chinese here).
•The emphasis is on the leadership of the Party: “Xi Jinping…called for enhancing the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee over foreign affairs and opening up new prospects of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.”
•Premier Li Keqiang 李克强, Vice President Wang Qishan 王岐山, and Wang Huning 王沪宁 — sometimes called “the brain behind Xi Jinping” — were all mentioned in the Xinhua report.
•There was no mention of the foreign minister in the Xinhua report.
•It’s not just the Foreign Ministry: Under Xi, the Party has encroached on all functions of the state in an apparent reversal of the guidance issued in 1987 by the Party’s 13th National Congress, which suggested the Party should only participate in major decisions and retreat from daily government operations.

Why is this happening? Chen Daoyin 陈道银, a political scientist at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, last year told the South China Morning Post: “And the trend will continue…for instance, the decision-making role of the State Council will dwindle, and it’s the logic of a Leninist state.”

That explanation makes sense to me: For all Xi’s propaganda about Marx, it’s the operational methods of Lenin that seem to be truly close to his heart.

—Jeremy Goldkorn