Progress Made in Chinese-Japanese Talks on Marine, Air Security

While Xi Jinping wants to please the US by intensifying military exchange with the US, China is making efforts to improve relations with Japan and ease the tension in the East China Sea. says in its report on China’s reply to the question on the fourth round of expert talks on marine liaison mechanism in Chinese Defense Ministry’s recent routine press conference.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun says that in mid-January, Chinese and Japanese defense departments held the fourth round of talks in Tokyo on marine liaison mechanism and reached the following consensuses: 1. confirmation of the various consensuses reached in previous talks mainly concerning the purpose, structure, methods of operation and relevant technical rules of the mechanism; 2. change of the name of the mechanism from “maritime liaison mechanism” into “maritime, air liaison mechanism”; 3. agreement that there are basic technical conditions for commencement of the operation of the mechanism and that the mechanism shall be put into operation as soon as possible; and 4. consensus on perfecting the communication rules.

Yang stressed the importance of Chinese-Japanese defense relations in the bilateral ties between China and Japan. The Japanese side shall keep its promise and adopt earnest measures to improve their bilateral ties.

Source: “Defense Ministry confirms progress made in Chinese-Japanese talks on maritime, air security” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

Related posts:

  • China and Japan to Set Up Maritime, Air Crisis Management Mechanism dated January 14, 2015
  • China Tries Hard but Finds It Hard to Please the US dated today

China Tries Hard but Finds It Hard to Please the US

Troops march ahead of President Obama’s arrival in Beijing in November.  Photo:  European Pressphoto Agency

Troops march ahead of President Obama’s arrival in Beijing in November. Photo: European Pressphoto Agency

Before US began to adopt its pivot to Asia to contain China, China is an active US supporter in lots of events. A typical example was its support for UN resolution on Libya in spite of the heavy loss it might suffer and actually suffered later. US Libya move in fact contained Russia, but Russia dared not veto as it was isolated at that time.

However, in spite of China’s hard efforts to please the US, the US is jealous of China’s quick rise in strength and adopted its policy of pivot to Asia to contain China. In my previous posts, I regarded China as an unrequited lover of the US.

Now, the US is suffering setback in the Middle East. Despite the huge expense and lots of casualties it has suffered in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Islamic extremists have grown stronger than ever while the US is unable to send ground troops to defeat them.

In Ukraine, Russia has stepped up its military operations in disregard of Western sanctions that according to US president Obama have put Russian economy in tatters. The US is utterly incapable of giving Ukraine military support as Russia has threatened it with nuclear war.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping, however, does not take advantage of US predicament. Instead, he seeks good relations with the US because he knows that one shall avoid having any enemy, especially strong enemy. Moreover, China benefits and will further benefit from its good relations with the US.

True, China is conducting an arms race with the US, but that is aimed at having the force of deterrence to prevent a war with the US that may be caused by US interference with China’s disputes with its neighbors.

According to SCMP report “China to increase military exchanges, says President Xi, but US rethinks plans for further ties”, Xi’s attempt met cold response as the US is rethinking expansion of its ties with China until rules for airborne encounters are agreed, which means China has to first accept US condition on allowing US aircrafts to conduct reconnaissance close to Chinese coast?


Does Chinese military deployment along its coast  threaten the safety of the US that lies thousands of miles away from China?

Does the US want to do so in order to protect its allies Japan and the Philippines? Letting Japan and the Philippines conduct the reconnaissance will be a better alternative.

The real reason: The US is world overlord so that it must have the freedom to watch others close to their coasts.

US overlord may say: The US allows China the freedom to watch it close to its coasts. Will the US really be happy that China watches it close to its shore? Even if that is true, that is an asymmetric equality. The US has lots of military bases near China to facilitate such reconnaissance while China has no military bases at all to enable it to do so.

The following are the full texts of SCMP and Wall Street Journal’s reports on Chinese efforts and US rejection:

The SCMP report:
China to increase military exchanges, says President Xi, but US rethinks plans for further ties
PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 January, 2015, 2:57am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 January, 2015, 10:05am
By Minnie Chan

Pledge by president coincides with report suggesting US is rethinking expansion of ties until rules for airborne encounters are agreed

President Xi Jinping vowed to step up military exchanges with other nations yesterday, but there were reports that the Pentagon had decided against increasing interaction with the People’s Liberation Army.

In a meeting with military officers in Beijing, Xi, also the chairman of the Central Military Commission, said exchanges played a significant role in national security and that military authorities should stick to the Communist Party’s “absolute leadership” in exchanges with other nations.

Xi’s remarks coincided with a Wall Street Journal report that the Pentagon had put on hold efforts to expand major military exchanges with the PLA until the two countries could agree on rules for airborne encounters.

The report cited Republican congressman Randy Forbes as saying that the Pentagon had been pushing exchanges without clearly stating what they hoped to achieve, and were potentially emboldening the PLA by giving it insight into the US Army.

The report said the new stance, which would not affect existing exchanges, reflected concerns in the US that expanded defence ties over the past 18 months had not stopped China from pushing its territorial claims in Asia. It said the Pentagon had decided to defer sending an aircraft carrier to China, a visit proposed by both countries last year.

Defence ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said the report was “confusing” and that exchanges between the two militaries had “good momentum”.

He said attempts had been made to improve trust and that talks on a code of conduct for naval and air encounters were under way.

Mainland observers said there was still a lack of trust.

“The US congressmen always complain that the Pentagon shares too much military information with the PLA, while the Chinese army only gives them a glimpse of its achievements on military modernisation,” said Jin Canrong , an international relations specialist at Renmin University.

Retired naval senior colonel Li Jie said Beijing could understand the Pentagon’s decision as Sino-US exchanges made notable breakthroughs last year and it would be hard to expand them further this year.

Ni Lexiong , a Shanghai-based military expert, said Xi wanted military officers to part with the traditions of diplomats.

“Chinese diplomatic officials are known for their passiveness because many of them just stay in embassy buildings and keep their distance from local communities,” Ni said. “Such a tradition was caused by a fear of being recruited by foreign intelligence agencies.”

The PLA Daily also said that in the past two years, the army’s auditor handed over 4,024 senior officials to graft-busters, more than in the previous 30 years.

Additional reporting by Amy Li

Wall Street Journal’s report:
Pentagon Pauses New Exchanges With China

Decision Delayed Until Washington and Beijing Can Agree on Rules for Encounters Between Warplanes
By Julian E. Barnes in Washington and
Jeremy Page in Beijing
Updated Jan. 28, 2015 7:33 p.m. ET

The Pentagon put on hold an effort to expand defense ties with China, saying it wouldn’t agree to a major new military exchange until the two countries can agree on rules for airborne encounters between their warplanes.

The delay, which doesn’t affect existing military-to-military exchanges, reflects concerns among some U.S. politicians and military officials that an expansion of defense ties with Beijing over the past 18 months hasn’t stopped China from trying to enforce its territorial claims in Asia.

Top U.S. and Chinese naval officials had proposed the U.S. send an aircraft carrier on a visit to China, but Pentagon officials have deferred any decision until work on an air-intercepts agreement is complete, officials said.

Rep. Randy Forbes (R., Va), who leads a House subcommittee on sea power, has said the Pentagon has been pushing military exchanges without clearly stating what they hope to achieve with the exchanges.

“We think if you are going to do military-to-military exchanges, you should have strategic goals for why we are doing it,” he said.

Mr. Forbes added that military exchanges with China risk sharing too much information, potentially including critical elements of U.S. military strategy. “It gives them a better understanding how we might react in a situation and so it may embolden them more,” he said.

In a letter to Mr. Forbes this month, Pentagon officials defended their approach, saying it has “elements of cooperation and competition.”

“U.S. policy toward China is based on the premise that it is profoundly in both countries’ interest that we develop a cooperative relationship that brings a rising China into that system while constructively managing the differences between our two countries,” wrote Christine Wormuth, the undersecretary of Defense for policy, in the letter to Mr. Forbes.

Defense officials said they have a vetting process in place to ensure that sensitive information isn’t shared during military exchanges with China. One official said the delay in the carrier decision was an example of how the Pentagon is following the approach advocated by Mr. Forbes.

Leaders of both countries have pushed for expanded military ties and improved communications. That objective was a key part of the deal the administration reached with Beijing during President Barack Obama ’s trip to China in November.

During that visit, Chinese and U.S. officials announced an agreement designed to prevent confrontations at sea, with a new set of rules for maritime encounters. The agreement followed a 2013 incident when a Chinese ship came within 100 feet of the USS Cowpens, a guided missile cruiser, in the South China Sea. China said its ship followed proper procedures.

Officials said at the time that the maritime agreement would be followed by one covering air-to-air engagements, which have been a source of friction, including an August encounter when the Pentagon said a Chinese fighter plane came within 50 feet of a Navy P-8 surveillance plane. China said its pilot kept a safe distance. It also demanded that the U.S. stop surveillance flights near its coastline.

U.S. officials remain hopeful a deal will be possible this year, but said that reaching an agreement on rules for air incidents is more complicated than the maritime agreement.

Some agree a better understanding of Washington’s China strategy is needed. “Everyone is accusing people of being off the reservation. But we need to know where the fence line for the reservation is,” said a defense official.

The Pentagon is beginning work on a new report mandated by Congress last month to lay out its military strategy in Asia. The defense official said that will amount to a clearly stated approach to China, and should address Mr. Forbes’s concerns.

Officials said that a continuation of military-to-military exchanges between China and the U.S. would remain a cornerstone of the American approach to maintaining stability in Asia.

“The option of ignoring each other is not a grown-up option,” the defense official said. “Everything has to be done for a reason, and is. We aren’t doing things just to do them.”

China’s defense ministry didn’t respond to a request to comment on planned exchanges this year, including the carrier visit and the air-encounter agreement.

Asked about the plans for a carrier visit for China, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Pool, a Pentagon spokesman, said he wouldn’t comment on internal decision-making but that the military would “publicize our decision in the established manner.”

While the decision on the aircraft carrier is on hold, other smaller exchanges are continuing, officials said. This month, 38 U.S. personnel and 50 Chinese service members participated in a humanitarian relief exercise in Hainan Island.

Hainan is where a Navy P-3 plane landed after it was disabled in a midair collision with a Chinese fighter jet in 2001.

Source: SCMP “China to increase military exchanges, says President Xi, but US rethinks plans for further ties”

Source: Wall Street Journal “Pentagon Pauses New Exchanges With China”

Chinese Firms to Go Abroad on Large Scale with Government Support

China is certainly not large enough for its huge population of 1.3 billion; therefore, it is only natural that lots of Chinese (though not a large percentage but the number is large due to the base figure) like to seek opportunities abroad.

The Chinese government has told its state-owned enterprises to go abroad for quite a long time but without substantial support. However, seeing the potential of the development of Chinese enterprises abroad, Chinese government is adopting a series of measures to help Chinese enterprises including private ones’ expansion abroad.

Reuters describes China’s measures to support the expansion in its report yesterday titled “China says to throw its weight behind firms expanding overseas” including the provision of reasonable and convenient financing, subsidies for rent, broadband and software and low-cost buildings for businesses,

That is certainly not enough. Chinese military shall ensure the security of their investment abroad. That is why China is developing 50,000-ton amphibious attack warship that concurrently serves as a light carrier of VTOL stealth fighter jets. I said in my post “Bare the Mystery of China’s VTOL Stealth Fighter Jets” yesterday based on Chinese media’s reports:

The other purpose for China to have light carriers is to defend its investment abroad. For example, China’s investment is now in danger in South Sudan. If China had such a light carrier, it could send its ground force to protect its assets there. One light carrier will carry enough VTOL aircrafts for air supremacy and helicopters and landing crafts to deliver quite a strong ground force. For relatively big operation, China’s first batch ground force from the carrier can take an airfield to enable its Y-20 to send more ground force needed.

The following is the full text of Reuters report on Chinese government supporting its enterprises’ expansion abroad:

China says to throw its weight behind firms expanding overseas

China is rolling out a series of measures to aid overseas expansion by firms across industries, especially nuclear power and railways, the cabinet said on Wednesday.

China’s outbound investment last year hit $102.89 billion, for an annual increase of 14 percent, state news agency Xinhua said, but the country’s decade-old “going out” policy has primarily aimed to help state-owned firms establish themselves abroad.

The new measures would also aid steel, construction and equipment-making firms in “going out” by boosting trade and investment deals, and pushing domestic economic restructuring, the government said in a statement on its website.

The government pledged greater support for firms issuing stocks and bonds overseas and to broaden the use of foreign exchange reserves of $3.84 trillion to drive their growth.

It also promised “reasonable and convenient” financing for enterprises, and the use of “policy-based financial tools” to boost Chinese firms, besides working to foster angel investment and venture capital.

The new policy move could create friction between Beijing and some of its largest trading partners, including the United States, which has seen greater competition from China in emerging markets in recent years.

China’s government will also help provide subsidies for rent, broadband and software, as well as low-cost buildings for businesses, it said.

Chinese equipment makers have gained traction overseas, bolstered by a construction boom in Southeast Asia and South America, where new home and infrastructure building has lifted demand for affordable gear.

Private enterprises account for the majority of jobs created in China but often face a disadvantage against state-owned counterparts in tapping financing or government support.

Source: “Bare the Mystery of China’s VTOL Stealth Fighter Jets”

Source: Reuters “China says to throw its weight behind firms expanding overseas”

Bare the Mystery of China’s VTOL Stealth Fighter Jets

Japan’s Asahi Shimbun was the first to publish a report on the successful test flight of China’s J-18 VTOL stealth fighter jet at the beginning of 2013. Soon afterwards, US Defense News weekly published an article that believed that China was developing short-distance vertical taking-off and landing (VTOL) stealth fighter jet, i.e. J-18 Red Eagle VTOL fighter jet, with superb stealth function and installed with laser active phased array radar, internal weapon bays and two vector engines with great thrust.

There had been no evidence of the existence of J-18 whatever until early July, 2014 when Britain’s Jane’s Defense Review published a report on the fighter containing a photo copied from a post at a Chinese military forum on the Internet

I mentioned China’s test flight of its stealth VTOL fighter jet J-18 based on the above reports in my post “Jane’s: It’s beyond All Doubt China Is Developing J-18 VTOL Stealth Fighter” on July 5, 2014.

Since Obama launched its new strategy of pivot to Asia to encircle China, China has started an intensive arms race with the US. China has developed quite a few anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles to deal with US aircraft carrier battle groups near its coast but the US can easily cut China’s trade lifelines with its navy that dominates the oceans.

In my book Space Era Strategy: The Way China Beats The U.S., I point out that according to China’s strategy on the development of integrated space and air capabilities, it will develop aerospace bomber to destroy US aircraft carrier battle groups at high sea with hypersonic missiles.

Development of the said bombers will take less time and costs less than the development of Chinese nuclear aircraft carrier battle groups comparable to US ones. However, what shall China depend on before such bombers are available? I said in the section “China’s Expedient Measures to Deal with Aircraft Carriers at High Sea” in Chapter 1 of my book:

In our missile era now, to counter aircraft carrier combat fleet at high sea, a country need not build nuclear carriers that are too complicated and expensive to build and maintain. The best expedient way is to build stealth VTOL aircrafts and light aircraft carriers to carry VTOL aircrafts. China’s experience in building Type 071 landing platform dock (LPD) with 20,000-ton displacement may be useful as the LPD is of the right size for such light carrier, but it has to be installed with more powerful engine to increase its speed from 22 to more than 30 knots.

Such carriers cost much less and take much less time to build. The major drawback is that such carriers are unable to carry large fixed-wing AEW&Cs. China has to develop smaller AEW&C aircrafts or send large AEW&C aircrafts to escort the carriers by means of refuel.

Assisted by enough conventional and attack nuclear submarines, a light aircraft carrier battle group with 3 to 4 light carriers and their supporting warships will be able to deal with a U.S. carrier battle group though without superiority.

As China has no ambition to replace the US as world leader, its 50,000 light aircraft carriers are only used to defend its trade lifelines in case of a conflict with the US; therefore, China does not need such a large number of aircraft carriers as the US has nor shall Chinese carriers be nuclear ones.

The other purpose for China to have light carriers is to defend its investment abroad. For example, China’s investment is now in danger in South Sudan. If China had such a light carrier, it could send its ground force to protect its assets there. One light carrier will carry enough VTOL aircrafts for air supremacy and helicopters and landing crafts to deliver quite a strong ground force. For relatively big operation, China’s first batch ground force from the carrier can take an airfield to enable its Y-20 to send more ground force needed.

As a result, the development VTOL stealth fighter jet is China’s top priority. reveals in its article “China’s 50,000-ton amphibious warship is a hot topic now: Bare the mystery of the producer of VTOL fighter jet” that China began development of such stealth fighter jets some time after the year 2,000.

It says that there is an article on China Aviation News about Zhao Xia, the first female deputy general designer in the 4 decades since the establishment of Shenyang Aircraft Company. The article gives a story of Zhao winning an award for her achievement in a project. It says that after Zhao was appointed as deputy chief designer in the summer of 2000, she was in charge of the research and development of a certain type. It was a project with great technological risk and difficulty, short development cycle and a special mission.

The description of “great technological risk and special mission” rouses much speculation. Was Zhao in charge of J-15? Perhaps so, but J-15 is based on Su-33 Prototype D10K imported from Ukraine. It does not involve great technological difficulty or risk.

The article says Zhao is a new generation of leader in designing aircraft who not only pays attention to navy’s and air force’s urgent need for advanced weapon of the 21st century but also has the ambition to be at the forefront of world aviation technology. The type of weapon Zhao is in charge of development must be a most advanced aircraft for both navy and air force.

Judging by the description of “special mission”, the type must be related to aircraft carrier. J-20 and J-31 are difficult but do not involve great risk. Only a VTOL stealth fight jet can be said to incur not only great difficulty but also great technological risk

Therefore, Chang Xunlei, the writer of article believes that Zhao got the award for her achievement in developing China’s VTOL stealth fighter jet.

Source: Chan Kai Yee Space Era Strategy: The Way China Beats The U.S.

Source: “China’s 50,000-ton amphibious warship is a hot topic now: Bare the mystery of the producer of VTOL fighter jet” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

China to Show Muscles to the US instead of Japan

Reuters gave its report on China’s September parade yesterday the title “Xi Jinping’s first grand military parade ‘meant to deter Japan and corrupt officials’”, but I gave my post on the parade the title “China To Show Its Muscles in September Military Parade”. I provide the full text of Reuters report but do not use Reuters’ title as I have to point out China’s real intention to show its strength to the world.

It is very clear that China is now conducting an arms race with the US in order to surpass the US. China is much stronger than Japan and has no need to scare Japan by showing its muscles in the coming parade. China’s over 1,000 medium-range and intermediate ballistic missiles alone can destroy entire Japan within minutes even with conventional warheads. Japan simply has no defense against such saturate attack. However, China cannot do so in a conflict with Japan as Japan is protected by the US. That is why China has developed DF-21D ballistic and lots of cruise anti-ship missiles, flotillas of Type 022 missile fast boats, etc to deal with US aircraft carrier battle groups.

I have pointed out in my book Space Era Strategy: The Way China Beats The U.S. that US strategy to switch 10% more of its military to Asia for its pivot to Asia means sending more targets for Chinese missiles. It is hopeless for the US to win a war near Chinese coasts as China has lots of land-based aircrafts and missiles. What China fears is that US dominant navy can easily cut China’s trade lifelines at high sea.

To counter that, China is secretly developing aerospace bombers, VTOL stealth fighter jets, Type 055 destroyers, light VTOL aircraft carrier and nuclear attack submarines. China will keep strictly confidential the bombers and submarines but may reveal the weapons listed above other than the two.

That is really worth watching.

As for scaring Japan, there is no need at all. Japan is already scared. It is increasing its military budget to get more and better weapons but lacks fund to compete with China. Even the US is not rich enough to win an arms race with China. (See the description of China’s unlimited military budget in my book.)

Source: Chan Kai Yee Space Era Strategy: The Way China Beats The U.S.

China To Show Its Muscles in September Military Parade

Missiles displayed at the last big military parade in Beijing in 2009. The event is usually held every 10 years on National Day on October 1. Photo: Xinhua

Missiles displayed at the last big military parade in Beijing in 2009. The event is usually held every 10 years on National Day on October 1. Photo: Xinhua

Hong Kong’s SCMP says in its report “Xi Jinping’s first grand military parade ‘meant to deter Japan and corrupt officials’” today, China will hold a huge military parade in Beijing later this year, probably on September 3, to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

China’s last such parade in 2009 surprised many overseas military observers by its display of quite a few PLA’s new weapons. Military experts and fans in the world are waiting for more surprises as there have been lots of media reports confirmed or unconfirmed by Chinese official sources on China’s development of new advanced weapons.

SCMP quotes an opinion piece published on the social media account of the People’s Daily as saying that the parade would display new-generation fighter jets such as the J-20 and J-31, and showcase new missile systems.

However, this blogger believes J-20 and J-31 are by no means surprise as they are known for a couple of years. J-31 even gave a flight show late last year at Zhuhai airshow.

What will be real surprise will be China’s VTOL stealth fighter jet J-18 or J-10C, the development of which has not been confirmed by any Chinese official sources.

We are also interested in any news about China’s first homegrown aircraft carrier, Type 055 destroyer, 50,000-ton VTOL aircraft carrier, etc. Will there be models of them in the parade?

Let’s wait and see.

The following is the full text of SCMP report:

Xi Jinping’s first grand military parade ‘meant to deter Japan and corrupt officials’

Second world war anniversary march-past will also bolster president’s power, say analysts

A huge military parade to be held in Beijing later this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the second world war will also show off the nation’s growing international influence and military might and bolster the political power of President Xi Jinping, according to analysts.

The event will probably be held on September 3, according to academic and military sources, and it will the first time the president has attended a full-scale military parade in the capital since he took office in 2012. The events are usually held every 10 years in Beijing on China’s National Day, October 1.

“The parade will show the outside world that President Xi has full control of the party, government and army as well as highlight his success in the ongoing nationwide anti-corruption campaign,” said Li Jie, a Beijing-based retired senior colonel.

Macau-based military expert Antony Wong Dong said the parade would help the president further consolidate his personal prestige at home and overseas and would give the world a glimpse of China’s achievements in modernising its army.

“Military enthusiasts and politicians are waiting for more surprises in this year’s parade because China has been reported testing so many advanced fighter jets and missiles in recent years,” Wong said.

The last National Day parade in 2009 surprised many overseas military observers because it featured many of the PLA’s latest generation of weapons, he said.

An opinion piece published on the social media account of the People’s Daily said the parade would display new-generation fighter jets such as the J-20 and J-31, and showcase new missile systems.

The signed commentary also said the parade would show corrupt elements in the country that Xi had a tight grip on power, with the military, domestic security apparatus and the government’s anti-corruption agency now firmly under his command. The government has initiated a sweeping anti-graft campaign since the president took office, with hundreds of officials under investigation.

Foreign heads of state will also be invited to attend the military parade as guests for the first time. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has confirmed he will attend.

The gesture shows the two countries’ political ties are strengthening, according to Tian Chunsheng, an analyst at the government’s Russian Development Research Centre of the State Council.

“Beijing and Moscow want to reiterate their consensus in upholding Japan’s post-war pacifist constitution, which the administration of [Prime Minister] Abe is trying to overturn,” Tian said.

Deng Xiaoping resumed the convention of holding the National Day military parade in 1984 after the event was dropped in the 1960s.

Source: SCMP “Xi Jinping’s first grand military parade ‘meant to deter Japan and corrupt officials’”

Why the Supreme People’s Court is harnessing the NGO “genie”

China’s Judiciary is fighting pollution in earnest by the rule of law.

Supreme People's Court Monitor

u=3330605769,467553553&fm=15&gp=0 Obstacles to public interest litigation-filing suit & obtaining evidence

Many China observers were surprised to learn that in early January, 2015, the Supreme People’s Court (Court) issued an interpretation on enabling civil society organizations to sue polluters on behalf of the public, when most commentators take the view that those organizations are controlled more tightly than before.  The Court issued it after years of work, analysis, and low numbers of environmental lawsuits (highlighted in my earlier blogpost), particularly public interest ones.

This blogpost explains:

  • what the Interpretation does;
  • what its background is;
  • why the Court is enabling environmental NGOs to file suit; and
  • An assessment of its implications.

This blogpost should be read with Barbara Finamore’s blogpost, How China’s Top Court is Encouraging More Lawsuits Against Polluters.

What the interpretation does

The interpretation, entitled “Interpretation on Several Issues Regarding the Application of Law in Public Interest Environmental Civil Litigation (Interpretation)…

View original post 1,309 more words

The Real Military Threat from China: Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles

PLA's new anti-ship cruise missiles

PLA’s new anti-ship cruise missiles

During the 1982 Falklands War, Argentina possessed a measly total of five Exocet anti-ship cruise missiles with which to face down the Royal Navy in the South Atlantic. Had that number been more like 50 or 100, that conflict might well have had a very different ending. This important lesson has not been lost on China’s military chiefs. Indeed, China has placed great emphasis on anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) development over the last three decades and is now set to reap the strategic benefits of this singular focus.

Western defense analysts have taken up the habit of fixating on the “whiz-bang” aspects of Chinese military modernization, such as the anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM), or threats that are largely hypothetical, such as Beijing’s supposedly fearsome cyber arsenal. However, it will be unwise to ignore certain more mundane threats of proven lethality. These concern, at least in part, China’s emergent naval air arm and not the carrier-based part of that air-arm – which continues to be the red herring of Chinese naval development, at least for now. Flying from bases in the Mainland out to longer ranges with more sophisticated search radars and electronic countermeasures, the large fleet of land-based aircraft will now deploy some of the world’s most advanced anti-ship cruise missiles to boot. This rather mature capability might be described as “air-sea battle” with Chinese characteristics.

This edition of Dragon Eye probes a survey from the October 2014 issue of Mandarin-language defense magazine 舰载武器 [Shipborne Weapons] of “中国海军空基对海打击力量” [The Chinese Navy’s Air-Based Maritime Strike Force]. The magazine is published by a Zhengzhou institute of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), a primary actor in China’s ongoing naval modernization process.

Hardly Satisfied

The background sketch of this force reveals a keen appreciation by the Chinese analyst of the PLA Navy’s early difficulties in developing a naval air strike force. It is noted that the absence of such a force was plainly revealed during the 1974 battle with Vietnam for the Paracels in which Chinese supporting forces were totally absent in the air above the sea battle. With the initial deployment of the stubby Q-5 attack aircraft, as well as the low-performing H-6 bomber and J-7 fighter-bomber, China could be said to have a strike force, though admittedly one with rather pathetic capabilities. The Q-5 could hardly muster a combat radius of 300 km, the H-6 was too expensive, and the J-7 suffered from a weak radar, low survivability, and backward electronic systems.

A turning point in Beijing’s quest to develop a credible “air-sea battle” strategy occurred in 2004 with the arrival of 24 Su-30MK2s from Russia. For the first time ever, the Chinese Navy possessed a modern, capable strike platform. Not only could this aircraft fly well beyond the first island chain to a radius of about 1,300km, but these imported planes came equipped with the highly prized Mach 3 KH31 ASCM. At the same time, Chinese military leaders were not content to rely on imported weaponry and during the late 1990s pursued extensive upgrades for both the H-6 bomber and the J-7 fighter bomber.

The H-6 M/G joined the Chinese Navy in 2003-04 and featured an advanced search radar, fire control, navigation, communications, and electronic countermeasures systems. Similar improvements and a new engine were among the major alterations to J-7 that resulted in the JH7A, which became a major focal point of Chinese naval strike aviation for the last decade. The author of this analysis concludes: “… JH7A has received lot of resources from the Chinese Navy, and at this time there are already three regiments comprising more than 80 aircraft in service. Together with the 24 Su-30 MKK2 multi-role fighters, they form the foundation of the Chinese Navy’s tactical strike force against sea [targets].”

Above all, however, it is the widespread use of the YJ83 ASCM (C802) with a 150 km range in combination with the new, upgraded aircraft variants discussed above that has radically improved China’s ability to strike naval surface targets from the air over the last decade. A copy of this missile made headlines when one struck and achieved a mission kill against an Israeli corvette in 2006. Its effectiveness is further suggested by the many countries that have sought to purchase this particular Chinese ASCM. The article interestingly notes that while the YJ83 is subsonic, the imported Russian-made supersonic KH31 “in certain situations with respect to combat effectiveness” actually does not compare favorably to the YJ83. But this analysis also suggests that, actually, even in the scenario of a multi-axial attack the YJ83 is “less than ideal” against a carrier battle group or large-size air defense destroyer. Summing up the appraisal of China’s first generation aerial maritime strike forces, the author concludes candidly that compared to neighboring armed forces, that Chinese forces were “并不强大” [not especially impressive], but against USN carrier battle groups or against Japanese forces “更难以发挥什么作用” [they would hardly have any use at all].

China’s New Generation of Aerial Maritime Strike Forces

By contrast, according to this late 2014 Chinese analysis, “… the second generation of long-range aerial maritime strike forces … will be completely able to satisfy the Chinese Navy’s strategic combat requirements for the new century.” It continues that internet sources and photographs reveal that the “second generation forces are already equipping combat forces …”

The JH-7B fighter attack represents a further dramatic refinement of this workhorse of Chinese maritime strike aviation. A prototype first flew in 2012, and serial production is apparently expected to begin in 2015. The improved aircraft is said to increase the combat radius to as far as 1,800 km and even out to 4,500km since it has the aerial refueling capability that its predecessor lacked. Within the Chinese Navy’s developing “high-low mix,” this airframe will form the lower class platform and this analysis explicitly suggests the JH-7B’s “low price” is a factor in the acquisition strategy. A more high performance strike aircraft will be the J-16, which seems to be an indigenized version of the Su-30MKK2. This report claims, moreover, that it will be superior to the Russian aircraft in several respects, including its sensors. This new aircraft is said to be already entering service with the PLA Navy. Interestingly, the article notes that while a large strike platform is desirable, the PLA Navy nevertheless does not expect to continue improvements to the H-6 bomber, but rather prefers a complete redesign of an aircraft intended to carry 8-10 long-range anti-ship missiles out to ranges of 3,000 km or more.

But as anyone familiar with the B-52’s long run in service with the U.S. Air Force, maritime strike is not really about the aircraft, which will be by and large “shoot and scoot,” but rather about the missile. Here, the news is grim. This Chinese analysis yields up two new and potent arrows in the Chinese Navy’s quiver. The first is the Mach 3 YJ-12. This supersonic ASCM is capable of ranges up to 300 km. The second is a sub-sonic ASCM with a range of up to 800 km that is designated as YJ-100. Such capabilities imply that, as least for the near future, U.S. forces may be “outgunned” by China’s emerging ASCM inventory. Nor is it clear that U.S. defense analysts fully understand the nature of the threat. A 2014 U.S. government-sponsored study of the Chinese ASCM threat, for example, seems to largely neglect the “second generation” of aerial maritime strike platforms, both missiles and aircraft, discussed in this Chinese analysis.

According to this Chinese article, China aerial maritime strike has increased its combat efficiency in recent years by tenfold. It is noted that further breakthroughs are required (e.g. long range reconnaissance), but this Chinese author concludes: “The building of the second generation aerial maritime strike force will allow China to effectively control neighboring sea areas and sea lines of communication …” Future Chinese ASCM designs will seek to push the envelope on speed up to Mach 4 and even Mach 6, according to this analysis.

A standard response to concerns over Chinese aerial maritime strike forces is that U.S. aircraft and pilots are superior plane-for-plane and pilot-for-pilot. Perhaps that is still true. Hence, the Chinese attack aircraft will hypothetically be “splashed” before getting close enough to unleash their deadly array of missiles. Unfortunately, that perspective does not sufficiently account for not only the increasing range and sophistication of Chinese missiles, but also the likelihood that Chinese missiles will destroy air bases such as Kadena in the first phase of any conflict. That opening salvo from China’s Second Artillery could leave China’s large air forces a relatively free hand to establish air superiority and to hunt widely in the near seas and beyond for U.S. carrier battle groups and other adversary surface action groups. This Chinese article seems to provide even more of a basis for the argument to invest in the U.S. Navy’s submarine force, which is nearly invulnerable to Chinese ASCMs, or in the versatile F-35B that may yet succeed in hiding out and operating from remote and rugged airstrips around the Asia-Pacific. It also perhaps strengthens the argument for caution and restraint in our dealing with the Panda, which evidently has increasingly sharp claws.

The author of this article Lyle J. Goldstein is Associate Professor in the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI. The opinions expressed in this analysis are his own and do not represent the official assessments of the U.S. Navy or any other agency of the U.S. Government.

Editor’s Note: The following is part seven of a new occasional series called Dragon Eye, which seeks insight and analysis from Chinese writings on world affairs. You can find all back articles in the series here.

Source: The National Interest “The Real Military Threat from China: Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles”

China Building 50,000-ton Amphibious VTOL Aircraft Carrier carries the full text of Hong Kong’s Mingpao January 23 article titled “Shanghai Building 50,000-ton amphibious warship” by Hong Kong military commentator Liang Tianren.

Liang says that he wrote a long article three years ago that disclosed China’s development of a 40,000-ton amphibious attack worship or helicopter carrier. In November that year, Real Admiral Yin Zhuo disclosed at CCTV that China was developing a 40,000-ton amphibious attack warship. Later in 2013, a Chinese official website revealed a list of 18 kinds of equipment Chinese Navy is to develop during China’s twelfth five-year plan (2011-2015), in which China’s homegrown aircraft carrier no. 001 is item 7 while 50,000-ton amphibious attack warship is item 10.

China has built three Type 071 landing platform dock with quite strong landing capabilities, but they have the shortcomings of insufficient fire power and command hardware and limited air support and cannot serve as the cores of Chinese fleets far away from Chinese shore. China’s tens of billions US dollar investment in South Sudan was in danger when a civil war broke out there, but China can do nothing as it is not capable of sending ground force to protect its assets there in spite of the aircraft carrier and strategic nuclear submarines it has.

China has an urgent need for a large amphibious attack warship that carries advanced VTOL aircrafts to dominate the air and helicopters and landing crafts to send ground troops in to protect its investment.

According to the article, China’s 50,000 amphibious attack warship will be 265 meters long and carry six fixed-wing aircrafts and four large helicopters on its deck. It will be accompanied by two Zubr LCACs.

Liang said that China is developing stealth VTOL J-10 fighter jets. The amphibious attack warship will carry 12 J-10s if China has succeeded in series production of J-10B. It will, in addition, carry 10 to 20 helicopters of various types, drones and other New-concept flying vehicles. As a result, it is comparable in capabilities to Britain’s Queen Elizebeth aircraft carrier.

Shanghai’s Jiangnan Changxing Shipyard is building such a warship quickly section by section. It is expected that the sections will be assembled into one warship to be launched next year the latest. The shipyard will build 3 more such warships.

The shipyard is, in addition, building a 12,000-ton large destroyer. Shanghai is to build three more Type 071 large LDPs and conduct series production of Type 052D destroyers. Due to such heavy workload, it will not build any aircraft carrier.

Source: “Hong Kong media says China is building 50,000-ton amphibious warship to carry J-10 VTOL fighters” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

China Launched 3 Warships in One Day in Intensive Arms Race with US

Another of the warships launched

Another of the warships launched

One of the warships launched

One of the warships launched

A third of the warships launched

A third of the warships launched

Chinese navy is building warships very quickly. On January 22, one of its shipyards launched one 19,000-ton 071A LPD, one Type 815G electronic reconnaissance ship and one 054A frigate. Photos provided by Boy

Source: “Chinese military shipyard launched 3 large warships in one day” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)