US Defense News publishes an article by former senior US Navy official Dave Majumdar titled “Chinese and Russian Radars On Track To See Through U.S. Stealth” about his worry that Chinese radars may detect US stealth aircrafts by the year 2020. I give the full text of the article and point out in my note at the end of the article that there have already been three types of Chinese radars able to detect and track US stealth aircrafts:
A growing trend in Russian and Chinese radar could make U.S. stealth fighters easier to see and — more importantly — easier to target for potential adversaries, a former senior U.S. Navy official told USNI News.
U.S. fighters — like the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) — are protected by stealth technology optimized for higher frequency targeting radars but not for lower frequency radars.
Until now a focus on higher frequencies have not been a problem because low frequency radars have traditionally been unable to generate “weapons quality tracks.”
JSF and the F-22 are protected from higher frequencies in the Ku, X, C and parts of the S bands. But both jets can be seen on enemy radars operating in the longer wavelengths like L, UHF and VHF.
In other words, Russian and Chinese radars can generally detect a stealth aircraft but not clearly enough to give an accurate location to a missile
But that is starting to change.
“Acquisition and fire control radars are starting to creep down the frequency spectrum,” a former senior U.S. Navy official told USNI News on Monday.
With improved computing power, low frequency radars are getting better and better at discerning targets more precisely.
“I don’t see how you long survive in the world of 2020 or 2030 when dealing with these systems if you don’t have the lower frequency coverage,” the former official said.
Further, new foreign rival warships are increasingly being built with both high and low frequency radars.
“Prospective adversaries are putting low frequency radars on their surface combatants along with the higher frequency systems,” the former official said.
Chinese warships like the Type 52C Luyang II and Type 52D Luyang III have both high and low frequency radars, the former official said.
“If you don’t have the signature appropriate to that [radar], you’re not going to be very survivable,” he said.
“The lower frequency radars can cue the higher frequency radars and now you’re going to get wacked.”
Nor will the Navy’s vaunted Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) do much to help the situation. Firstly, given the proliferation of low frequency radars, there are serious questions about the ability of the F-35C’s survivability against the toughest of air defenses, the former official said.
“All-aspect is highly desirable against this sort of networked [anti-air] environment,” he said.
Secondly, the Chinese and Russians are almost certain to use cyber and electronic attack capabilities to disrupt NIFC-CA, which is almost totally reliant on data links.
“I question how well all these data links are going to work in a heavily contested [radio frequency] environment where you have lots and lots of jamming going on,” the former official said.
Moreover, in certain parts of the world potential adversaries —China and Russia— are developing long-range anti-radiation missiles that could target the central node of the NIFC-CA network—the Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye
“I think the anti-radiation homing weapons that are passive and go long-range are very, very difficult for the NIFC-CA concept to contend with,” the former official said.
Fundamentally, the Navy’s lack of an all-aspect broadband stealth jet on the carrier flight deck is giving fuel to advocates of a high-end Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft that can tackle the toughest enemy air defenses.
Without such capability, the Navy’s carrier fleet will fade into irrelevance, the former official said.
This blogger’s note:
In my soon-to-be-released book Space Era Strategy, there are the following passages on China’s three radars that are able to detect stealth aircrafts:
The 2014 9th China International Defense Electronics Exhibition opened at China International Exhibition Centre (the old exhibition hall at Jingan Village), Beijing on May 8-10, 2014. Lots of strengthened military computers, radar electronic equipment and other defense electronics are displayed there. They draw keen interests from military and electronics fans.
It is the only defense electronics exhibition approved by PLA General Armaments Department. Since its debut in 1998, military media at home and abroad have given intensive publicity to it. In addition, the exhibition provides the perception from high-end professional and authoritative point of view and creative tailor-made services.
The most attractive exhibits are China’s most advanced radars including the following radars that can detect stealth aircraft with detailed description:
JY-50 Passive Radar for Detecting and Tracking Stealth Aircrafts
JY-50 is a new kind of passive system radar. It utilizes the electromagnetic signals transmitted by distributed Radio Frequency stations around it to conduct detection, location and tracking of aerial targets including electromagnetic silence targets. JY-50 radar mainly accommodates air defense warning mission to important direction and sensitive area.
JYL-1A Radar to Detect and Highly Precision Track Stealth Aircrafts and Tactical Ballistic Missiles
JYL-1A is a state-of-the-art mobile anti-missile air surveillance radar. It adopts advanced 2D digital active phased array system technology able to provide azimuth, range, height and IFF information of air target (with optional IFF unit). JYL-1A radar accomplishes mid-long range air defense warning mission and guidance mission, meanwhile, carry out detection and tracking mission of tactical ballistic missile.
The above two radars able to detect stealth aircrafts are both land-based mobile radars.
JY-27A Air Surveillance & Guidance Radar to Detect, Track Stealth Aircrafts and Missiles
JY-27A is a state-of-the-art meter wave band 3D long range air surveillance radar. It adopts advanced 2D digital active phased array system technology able to provide azimuth, range and height information of air target. The radar has powerful capability to detect stealth target, good anti-jamming capability and mobility. It is featured with excellent airspace coverage performance, high measure accuracy, and excellent track performance for high speed high maneuvering target.
This is a long-range land-based radar able to detect and track stealth aircrafts and tactical ballistic missiles.
Source: USNI News “Chinese and Russian Radars On Track To See Through U.S. Stealth”
Source: Chan Kai Yee Space Era Strategy
Related post: Chinese Radar Detects, Locks on F-22, Causes US Withdrawal of F-22s from Japan dated April 2, 2014
It is a question similar to the never solved conundrum: Hen or egg, which exists the first? As hen lays egg, it must exist the first, but as hen comes out from egg, the egg must exist the first.
Now, some analysts believe that by bringing down powerful elder Zhou Yongkang Chinese President Xi Jinping has gained great power while others hold that Xi has shown the great power he has by doing so.
The conundrum is: Had Xi already had the power to punish Zhou before he brought down Zhou or does he punish Zhou to obtain such power?
I pointed out in my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements Expanded 2nd Edition the difficulties to fight against corruption in China. Whenever an official of a substantially high rank is to be investigated for corruption, not only the powerful elder of his faction but also those of other factions will come out to protect him. They all know most officials in China are corrupt. Then why targeting that specific official? Is it not a power struggle aiming at weakening the faction the official belongs to?
The elders of other factions suspect that it is the trick to weaken and eliminate other factions one by one; therefore, they have to unite in defending the official in order to maintain the balance of strength.
That was why Hu Jintao’s anti-corruption efforts failed. Hu lacked the power to deal with powerful elders’ resistance.
That would also have been the case with the commencement of Xi’s investigation of Zhou Yongkang who has become one of the powerful elders after his retirement. Zhou’s faction and the elders of various other factions would have come out to protect Zhou. They would have regarded Xi’s efforts as a trick to establish Xi’s own power and weaken Zhou’s faction just as most analysts believe.
The situation must be: Xi had already had the overwhelming power to overcome the resistance of all the elders. If that is the case, there is no need for Xi to conduct the power struggle to build up his power in the first place.
Then there is the question: Where has Xi got such overwhelming power? Has he got the power because he is the general secretary of the Party and the chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC).
Hu Jintao also was the general secretary and CMC chairman before he retired but at that time he did not have such overwhelming power to fight corruption. As a result, Jiang Zeming expressed his dissatisfaction through Zhu Rongji.
During Zhu’s visit to Tsinghua University for its centennial celebration in late April, 2011, he expressed his dissatisfaction about corruption. He told his audience not to disclose what he said to outsiders, but the then Party leaders learnt what he said and were upset. They issued a ban on public speeches by retired leaders
However, on January 18, 2012, Zhu broke his silence and spoke again about corruption before 500 bureau-level officials in Shanghai. In his speech, he recalled his work in Shanghai under the leadership of President Jiang Zemin and what he once said: “We will have a satisfactory clean government in Shanghai and Shanghai will be able to achieve successes however great if only we watch closely our 506 bureau-level officials and give play to their talents.”
Jiang sent a clear message through Zhu that he was unhappy about the serious corruption.
Xi Jinping knew what his mentor Jiang Zemin wanted from Zhu’s speech, but what could he do? When he succeeded Hu Jintao, he would not achieve what Jiang wanted as like Hu, he lacks the power to overcome powerful elders’ resistance in his fight against corruption.
Hu Jintao even lacked the power to deal with Bo Xilai, the head of the powerful conservative faction when Hu had established quite a sound powerbase after being the Party general secretary and CMC chairman for quite a few years.. How could Xi do what Hu is unable to do when he has just taken over from Hu without setting up his own powerbase.
If one does not know China’s unique politics, one can never understand that the positions of general secretary and CMC chairman do not give Hu and Xi the power a person at such positions must have.
That is not the case unique for the Chinese Communist Party. It has been so for more than 2,000 years.
In my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements Expanded 2nd Edition I give quite detailed description of that. Here I only give limited excerpts for fear that my post will be too long.
One thing quite interesting in Chinese politics is that there are no definition, codes or rules whatever about the power of an emperor in the past and the core of CCP now. In fact, even if there are some codes or rules, there is no institution or mechanism to enforce them.
An emperor could have absolute power like Emperor Shihuangdi of Qin (259-221 BC), but might have almost no power like Shihuangdi’s successor Huhai, whose power was usurped by Zhao Gao, a eunuch. Zhao Gao even dared to give Huhai a stag as a gift and told Huhai that the stag was a wonderful horse. Huhai protested, “It is a stag not a horse”, but most of the officials in the court echoed Zhao Gao’s view as Zhao Gao had already usurped almost all the power and would punish those who dared to challenge him. Huhai was later killed by Zhao Gao.
Seeing that the sovereign power in quite a few states was usurped by powerful courtiers at the end of the Period of Warring States (476-221 BC), Han Fei Tzu, a Legalist master, wrote a book entitled Han Fei Tzu to teach sovereigns of state the art for being an emperor. He taught sovereigns to use law to govern the people and power, tricks and intrigues to control the officials. Emperor Shihuangdi praised the book highly and adopted Han Fei Tzu’s ways to rule the country.
What is the situation now? In my book, I quote the following words of Zhao Ziyang (Party general secretary deposed by Deng Xiaoping in 1989 due to his sympathy with Tiananmen protesters):
As long as there are the elders, there will still be the rule of the elders. For example, though I was the general secretary, I was but the secretary general then and there remains elders’ dominance; even if one elder has passed away or fallen out of power, there are other elders.
Zhao Ziyang: Captive Conversations by Zong Fengming
I describe how Xi Jinping obtained the power for his fight against corruption:
Xi Jinping clearly knew the problems (corruption, etc.). Before formally elected as Hu Jintao’s successor, he was absent for two weeks when he went to powerful elders to ask for permission to resign unless he was given full authority to resolve the problems.
He made clear to the powerful elders that his fight against corruption was entirely aimed at saving the Party from collapse. It had nothing to do with power struggle. With his deep insight of the danger the Party was in and his eloquence and understanding of the elders’ mindsets, he convinced the elders and obtained the power he needed.
That showed his wisdom and vision. He knew that if his fight touched some heavyweight of a certain faction, he would encounter the resistance of quite a few factions who would regard what he wanted to do as power struggle. It would have been utterly impossible for him to get elders’ consent to bring down even the high officials ranking lower than such heavyweights as Xu Caihou and Zhou Yongkang.
What Xi did during his absence is described in details in Chapter 15 of my book “The Mystery of Xi Jinping’s Absence in September, 2012—Xi’s Inaction before and Xi Cyclone after His Absence”.
Source: Chan Kai Yee Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements Expanded 2nd Edition
The prototype conducted its maiden flight for 2 hours on July 26. Such a long test flight gives the impression, the technology of that prototype is very mature; therefore, mass production of J-20 may begin earlier.
Source: Huanqiu.com “Grab the First View of a Picture of Double-Seat J-20 drawn by a web user” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
- China Begins Intensive Test Flights of J-20 Prototypes dated July 26, 2014
- China’s J-20 Stealth Fighter Armed with PL-10 missile Is Superior to US F-22 dated July 8, 2014
- China’s J-20 But the Foreplay, the Real Killer Is in Space dated May 7, 2014
- China’s New J-20 Equipped with EODAS Similar to F-35 Surpasses F-22 dated March 18, 2014
- China’s New J-20 with More Powerful Engine, Better Undetectability–Major General Zhu Heping dated March 5, 2014
- Details of New-Version J-20 Stealth Fighter Jet with Lots of Improvement dated January 19, 2014
- China’s J-20 Stealth Fighter Armed with PL-10 Missile Capable of Rear Firing dated October 27, 2013
China’s regional economies enjoyed a revival in growth in the second quarter, data from provincial governments showed, chiming with earlier figures that suggest a burst of government stimulus measures is re-invigorating activity.
Of the 30 regions and provinces that released their local gross domestic product (GDP) data, 23 reported first-half economic growth accelerated from the first quarter.
About three-quarters posted growth that was higher than the national average of 7.4 percent in the first six months.
Growth also diverged sharply between eastern and western China. The coastal and northeastern regions fared the worst, while activity was most buoyant in the central and western areas, where double-digit growth rates were concentrated.
Analysts said this suggested China’s bid to rebalance its economy is paying off.
From redefining job targets to shifting investment to inland areas and cutting obsolete capacity in energy-guzzling sectors in the north, China wants to overhaul the world’s second-largest economy and encourage more sustainable and higher-quality growth.
“The growth gap is an expected result of Beijing’s efforts to rebalance regional economies and let the fruits of growth be more evenly shared by the poorer inland regions,” said Nie Wen, an analyst at Hwabao Trust in Shanghai.
For a table of regional GDP data, please click on
In Hebei — China’s top steel producer — for instance, GDP growth stayed sluggish in the first six months, even though activity picked up slightly to 5.8 percent compared with 4.2 percent in the first quarter.
Hebei’s drowsy performance is in part due to its efforts to remake itself. Hebei wants to slash total steel capacity by 60 million tonnes by 2017 and to shut more outdated steel mills this year to cut air pollution in northern China.
Similarly in the northeastern Heilongjiang province, the only province that has not released its GDP data, a local statistician who declined to be identified said first-half GDP growth was likely to be the lowest in China at under 5 percent.
A hub for China’s heavy industry and a major coal producer, Heilongjiang was also the weakest performer in the first quarter, when its GDP growth fell to 4.1 percent.
INLAND REGIONS OUTPACING
In contrast, economies in the west such as Chongqing, Guizhou and Qinghai all posted double-digit GDP growth between January and June, helped by policy support. Just last month, Premier Li Keqiang had vowed to sink more cash into the industries and infrastructure in western China.
“Most of Beijing’s recent piecemeal pro-growth measures have targeted the central and western provinces,” Nie said.
Meanwhile, the biggest export-oriented provinces of Guangdong and Zhejiang saw GDP growth slacken in the first-half of 2014 to between 7 percent and 7.5 percent.
Cooling growth along China’s eastern coast is in line with Beijing’s goal of cutting its economic reliance on exports in favor of a more sustainable expansion in domestic consumption.
Data earlier this month showed China’s economic growth quickened to 7.5 percent in the second quarter, as a raft of stimulus measures helped lift the pace from an 18-month low of 7.4 percent between January and March.
Still, a Reuters poll this month found that China’s economy is forecast to grow 7.4 percent this year, the slowest pace in 24 years, and many economists believe more government measures may be needed to maintain its momentum.
In eastern Shandong province, growth edged up to 8.8 percent in the first half from 8.7 percent in the first quarter, but strains are evident from the earlier slowdown in growth, government efforts to reduce excess capacity and a cooling property market.
The amount of bad bank loans in the province surged 25.8 percent between January and June this year, the official Financial News reported last week.
Many economists see the property slowdown as the key risk to national and regional economies this year. A growing number of cities and local governments have eased restrictions on property purchases in recent months to shore up revenues and boost economic activity.
Source: Reuters “China’s local GDP data points to recovery, rebalancing”
- China July HSBC flash PMI at 18-month high dated today
- China June HSBC flash PMI shows first expansion in six months as orders surge dated June 23, 2014
- China ramps up spending to spur economy, central bank sees stable policy dated June 17, 2014
- China official services PMI hits six-month high as orders rebound dated June 3, 2014
- China signals focus on reforms and leaner, cleaner growth dated March 5, 2014
Activity in China’s vast factory sector likely expanded at the fastest pace in eight months in July, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday, adding to evidence that the economy is regaining momentum after a burst of government stimulus measures.
China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) is expected to rise to 51.4 in July, up from June’s 51, according to the median forecast of 24 economists in a poll.
A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in activity while one below that level points to a contraction.
The expected improvement in manufacturing is in line with signs of a pick-up in broader economic growth, which quickened to 7.5 percent in the second quarter from a 18-month low of 7.4 percent between January and March.
“With the effect of mini-stimulus measures gradually filtering through, the PMI data could pick up further in the coming months, supported by reviving domestic production and improving exports,” said Wen Bin, economist at Minsheng Bank in Beijing.
A preliminary PMI survey released last week by HSBC and Markit showed that rising new orders have lifted the growth of factory sector activity to a 18-month high in July.
Some economists say the economic recovery still hinges on the magnitude of Beijing’s pro-growth steps and whether the government can successfully curb the downside risks stemming from the cooling property sector.
The real estate industry is undergoing a downward correction after rising for nearly two years, with home prices, property sales and new construction all dipping, in what analysts describe as the biggest risk to the world’s second-largest economy.
Local governments have recently scrambled to relax home purchase restrictions in hopes of reviving the struggling sector, which contributes a hefty amount of their revenues.
So far, at least 20 regional governments in small to mid-sized cities have openly or quietly lifted bans on the number of homes that people are allowed to buy.
China’s top leadership pledged on Tuesday that it would focus more on targeted measures to help shore up the economy, while keeping macro economic policies stable and consistent.
“To maintain the growth momentum, the government may have to launch more mini-stimulus steps in the third quarter and the existing measures must also be intensified to guarantee a sustained effect,” Wen said.
As one of the leading indicators that help gauge the economic momentum, the official PMI data is closely watched by the market and an improvement in the reading could bode well for other July indicators.
The official PMI figure will be released on Friday at 9 a.m. Beijing time (0100 GMT) (9.00 p.m. EDT).
Source: Reuters “China July official PMI seen hitting eight-month high”
- China July HSBC flash PMI at 18-month high dated July 24, 2014
- China June HSBC flash PMI shows first expansion in six months as orders surge dated June 23, 2014
- China ramps up spending to spur economy, central bank sees stable policy dated June 17, 2014
- China official services PMI hits six-month high as orders rebound dated June 3, 2014
- China PMI steadies, but doesn’t dispel growth worries dated May 2, 2014
- China’s 7.5 percent GDP growth target is flexible: finance minister dated March 6, 2014
- China signals focus on reforms and leaner, cleaner growth dated March 5, 2014
China formally indicted a prominent ethnic Uighur professor for separatism on Wednesday, as security forces flooded into the far western region of Xinjiang amid more reports of violence following what the government called a terrorist attack.
Police in Beijing in January detained Ilham Tohti, a well-known economist who has championed the rights of the Muslim Uighur community, who come from Xinjiang.
He was subsequently taken to the regional capital Urumqi and accused of promoting and supporting Xinjiang’s independence from China, a red line for Beijing which views the region as an inseparable part of the country.
A brief statement on the official microblog of the Urumqi prosecutor said that Tohti’s case had been turned over to a city court, the next legal step needed before he can be put on trial.
It gave no details.
His wife has denied the allegations, and the case has attracted high-level concern in the United States and Europe.
The case against Tohti is the latest sign of the government’s hardening stance on dissent in Xinjiang, where unrest in the past year or so has killed more than 200, including several police, according to state media.
Western tourists saw a body lying in a pool of blood in a major Xinjiang city on Wednesday, as well as a heavy security presence after the government said dozens of knife-wielding attackers were shot dead elsewhere in the region earlier in the week.
State media said a gang armed with knives first attacked a police station and government offices on Monday in the town of Elixku, in Shache county, about 200 km (125 miles) from the old Silk Road city of Kashgar in China’s far west.
Some moved on to the nearby town of Huangdi, attacking civilians and smashing and setting fire to six vehicles, in what the official Xinhua news agency called an “organised and premeditated terrorist attack”.
“Police officers at the scene shot dead dozens of members of the mob,” the brief report said.
Xinjiang, home to many Turkic-language speaking Uighurs, has been beset by violence for years, which the government blames on Islamist militants or separatists who it says are bent on establishing an independent state called East Turkestan.
There were indications that unrest had spread by Wednesday to Kashgar, a popular tourist site especially during the summer.
A French traveller said he saw a body lying outside the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar’s old town on Wednesday morning, and armed police pouring into the city by afternoon.
“We heard shouting and my friend saw two people running away with knives. Police came quickly and told people not to take pictures. They checked mobile phones,” he told Reuters by telephone.
He added that the reasons for the violence were unclear and he could not tell if those involved were Uighur or members of China’s majority Han ethnicity.
When leaving Kashgar on Wednesday, the traveller said a long convoy of armed police vehicles, including at least five armoured personnel carriers, drove into the city.
“All cars coming into Kashgar were being turned around,” he said.
“These were urban tanks with machine guns, not water cannon,” another European citizen accompanying him said.
State media only reported the attacks in Shache, also known by its Uighur name of Yarkant, late on Tuesday.
It is not clear why there was a delay, though China’s ruling Communist Party, which values stability above all else, has a habit of suppressing or delaying bad news.
Reuters could not reach the Xinjiang government for comment despite repeated attempts.
The government has yet to give a full account of what happened, or a death toll.
Exiled Uighur groups and human rights activists say the government’s repressive policies in Xinjiang, including controls on Islam, have provoked unrest, a claim Beijing denies.
China exercises tight control over Xinjiang, making visits by foreign reporters there to independently assess the situation extremely difficult.
Source: Reuters “More violence in China’s Xinjiang, prominent academic indicted”
- China: Terrorist Attack Again in Xinjiang, Tens of Attackers Shot Dead by Police dated July 30, 2014
- China sentences 55 in Xinjiang mass trial dated May 28, 2014
- China launches crackdown on ‘terrorist activities’ after attack dated May 25, 2014
- Blasts kill dozens at market in China’s restive Xinjiang region dated May 22, 2014
- China Terrorists Killed 3, Injured 79 with Knives, Explosive at Urumqi Railway Station dated May 1, 2014
- Knife Killing Sparks Panic All over China dated March 16, 2014
- China: 27 dead, 109 injured in knife attack on Kunming railway station dated March 1, 2014
In my post yesterday, I said China has got the most it can get without fighting in its dispute with Japan, but failed to tell readers what strategy Xi Jinping has adopted to achieve that. As it is related to China’s strategy in the South China Sea I promised to write today, I have first to give a description of the strategy.
Therefore, a person well skilled in warfare puts himself in an invincible position and does not miss any of enemy’s error that may enable him to defeat his enemy.
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Japanese Prime Minister believed that China did not want to fight a war with Japan due to Japan’s alliance with the US.
Unexpectedly, Xi Jinping set up China’s East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone to provoke Japan to start a war with China. Xi Knew that US would not support Japan if Japan started the war, but he was prepared, i.e. he has put himself in an invincible position.
If Japan starts the war, the US will not take part in the war seriously even if it supports Japan. China has made more than enough number of anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles to destroy two US aircraft carrier combat groups within their range. As all US land bases near China are within China’s medium-range ballistic missiles, it is impossible for the US to win a war remote from its homeland but close to Chinese homeland.
Xi wants the war because if China wins the war, he will firmly establish his position as the core of CCP Dynasty with the power as an emperor to conduct his campaigns against corruption and official despotism and economic liberalization without any hindrance.
However, Abe is not so stupid. He refrained from fighting. Since he cannot fight, he has to allow China to patrol the waters around and sky above the disputed islands.
On the other hand, China cannot start the war against Japan. If China take the initiative to drive Japanese ships and aircrafts from the are near the islands, the US will perform its obligations to defend Japan seriously. Even if the US cannot win the war near Chinese coast, it can cut China’s trade lifelines. As a result, China has to allow Japan to petrol the disputed waters and sky.
That is the best Xi can obtain. There is no war, but Xi has won and Abe has lost a share of the administration of the islands.
In the South China Sea, China has developed overwhelming naval strength but refrained from fighting. It is easy for China to take back the islands and reefs China claims as its but it does not because it wants to maintain good relations with ASEAN and the US.
Qianzhan.com reported in early January 2014, according to experts, Chinese navy had drawn up detailed combat plan to seize Zhongye Island. The battle will be restricted within the South China Sea. It is aimed at recovery of the island stolen by the Philippines from China. There will be no invasion into Filipino territories.
However, Xi Jinping did not approve the plan in order to maintain good relations with the US and ASEAN though China may be much benefited from a military, fishery, fish farming and tourism base it will build on the island.
Due to the great strategic significance of a military base in the middle of the South China Sea, qianzhan.com reported on February 11, 2014 that Chinese military drew up another plan for the base. China will build two artificial islands respectively on Mischief and Fiery Cross Reefs.
The Island on Mischief Reef will be a fishery center to provide fishing and fish farming income enough to recover the construction costs of the two artificial islands so that the construction will not be a financial burden on the state.
The artificial island at Fiery Cross Reef will be a military base with great strategic significance due to its location and size. Such a base will realize the value of the South China Sea for China and ensure China’s status in South East Asia.
It is planned that the military base built through reclamation at Fiery Cross Reef will be 3 meters above sea level and has an area of 5 square kilometers. The construction of the base will cost US$5 billion and take 10 years similar to the construction of a 100,000-ton nuclear aircraft carrier.
If this plan is adopted by the government instead of the plan to seize back the Zhongye Island from the Philippines, there will be no war in the South China Sea to affect China’s relations with the US and ASEAN.
China has accepted the idea of the plan but has finally chosen other reefs for the construction of artificial islands. It is now conducting reclamation at Johnson South, Cuarteron, Hughes, Gaven and Eldad Reefs.
It turns out Johnson South Reef is better for a military base as it is 2.4 km wide and 3.8 km long. By reclamation of its lagoon, China can easily get an area much bigger than Zhongye Island. The Reef is located also in the middle of the South China Sea area China claims as its own, and a little further south than Zhongye Island, better for control of the remote southern area.
The reclamation on the other four reefs, I guess, is for construction of fishing and fish farming bases.
On July 29, Reuters said in its report “Satellites and seafood: China keeps fishing fleet connected in disputed waters” that the Chinese government provided 50,000 Chinese fishing boats with devices of China’s Beidou Navigation System charging them only 10% of the costs of the devices. The devices provide the boats not only global positioning services but also the ability to send distress signals to coast guards when they are interfered by other countries’ coast guards or encounter any other trouble.
Moreover, the government pays subsidies to fishermen based on Hainan Island to go to remote areas claimed by China. The amount of subsidy depends on the size of the engine. For a 500 horsepower engine, a captain can get 2,000-3,000 yuan ($320-$480) a day. If fishing boats are based on artificial islands built on reefs far away from Hainan Island, there will be no need to consume so much fuel and it takes much less time to go to their fishing grounds and much less risks in encountering bad weather.
Now, China’s rivers are polluted and sea areas near China, not much better. It is indeed a wonderful idea to use the islands and reefs as unpolluted fish farms and the fishery bases to satisfy Chinese people’s huge demand for fish.
In addition, Chinese oil rigs are busy in exploring the oil and gas resources in the South China Sea and will exploit the oil and gas found.
We see that China has adopted the strategy of exploiting and disallowing other claimants to exploit the resources in the areas claimed by it. By so doing, China gets all the benefit from the areas while other claimants cannot get any. China is thus benefited as the full owner of the waters and islands in the areas without fighting wars to get back the islands claimed by it but occupied by other claimants.
In this manner China has put itself in an invincible position.
When its enemy has committed an error, it does not miss the opportunity to defeat its enemy, for example the Scarborough Shoal standoff.
The Shoal is claimed by both China and the Philippines. Before Scarborough standoff, the two countries both patrolled the islands and their fishermen both fished there. The Philippines committed the mistake of sending a warship to capture Chinese fishermen so as to forbid them from fishing there and thus began the standoff there. China exploited the opportunity to send much stronger warships and coast guard ships to drive away the Philippines. As a result, the Shoal is now administered solely by China.
China sent an oil rig to explore oil and gas in a sea area claimed by both China and Vietnam. By so doing it provoked Vietnam to fight a war with China. If Vietnam starts the war, China will exploit the opportunity to recover the islands claimed by it but occupied by Vietnam. However, due to US interference, China withdrew the rig before Vietnam was able to make a decision on attacking China.
Tyrannies like Mao’s and reforms like Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zeming and Xi Jinping’s have taken place only twice in China’s more than 4,000 years of history. Mao’s tricks and intrigues and reformists’ talented wise strategies, tactics and moves are most worthwhile to write about for those who are interested in writing Chinese history. There are so many things that are mystic to people who do not have sufficient knowledge about China to understand. This blogger happens to be able to see through and get inside information to share with his readers. He hopes that readers enjoy his writings.
- Philippines Not to Respond to China’s Reclamation on 5 Disputed Reefs dated June 15, 2014
- Omen of Tempest in South China Sea by China’s Oil Rig Move, Reclamation dated June 12, 2014
- China Taking Offensives at South China Sea in Earnest and with Vigor dated June 7, 2014
- Design of China’s Military Base to Be Built on Reef in South China Sea dated May 25, 2014
- China’s Offensives in South China Sea: Coordinated with Russia’s in Ukraine? dated May 19, 2014
- China to Build USD5 Billion South China Sea Military Base at Fiery Cross Reef dated February 12, 2014