China’s Way to Reduce Military Budget: Sell Its Best Weapons


China’s CH-4 hunter-killer drone

SCMP says in its report “Chinese drone factory in Saudi Arabia first in Middle East” yesterday that China will earn US$65 billions by selling its most advanced CH-4 drone technology to Saudi Arabia.

It says China is able to do the transaction as CH-4 is cheaper than US MQ-1, but it is exceptional to sell the technology in helping Saudi Arabia build a CH-4 factory.

China has just succeeded in developing CH-5 more advanced than CH-4, but as it has just been developed and not tested in war, CH-4 remains China’s most advanced reliable drone. China displayed its confidence in developing more advanced drones by selling its most advanced drone technology. That is what the US dare not do and the reason China can compete with the US with a much smaller military budget. China is able to recover its R&D costs through export.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2081869/chinese-drone-factory-saudi-arabia-first-middle-east


Breaking down China’s electronic warfare tactics


By: Mark Pomerleau, March 22, 2017

In the wake of Russia’s demonstrations of advanced electromagnetic spectrum and communications jamming capabilities, most recently displayed in their incursion into Ukraine, China also is upping its game in this space, demonstrating similar capabilities in the Pacific.

The U.S. Department of Defense, in an annual report to Congress on China’s military and security developments, assessed that the country is placing greater importance upon EW, on par with traditional domains of warfare such as air, ground and maritime.

“The [People’s Liberation Army] sees EW as an important force multiplier, and would likely employ it in support of all combat arms and services during a conflict,” the 2016 report asserts. “The PLA’s EW units have conducted jamming and anti-jamming operations, testing the military’s understanding of EW weapons, equipment, and performance. This helped improve the military’s confidence in conducting force-on-force, real-equipment confrontation operations in simulated EW environments.”

According to the report, China’s EW weapons include “jamming equipment against multiple communication and radar systems and GPS satellite systems. EW systems are also being deployed with other sea- and air-based platforms intended for both offensive and defensive operations.”

According to some outside experts, the Chinese merge cyber and electronic warfare into a singular discipline.

“Electronic warfare, which in our system, has tended to be hived off into thinking about jamming and various other aspects,” Dean Cheng, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, said during a March 20 event at the think tank. “But for the Chinese has long been characterized as integrated network and electronic warfare. That the two are two sides of the same coin; one focusing on the data, the other on the electronic equipment.”

Similarly, a report published by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, a think tank in Tallinn, Estonia, unaffiliated with the multination defense alliance, explained that units within the People’s Liberation Army that were responsible for EW are now assuming the task of computer network operations.

The PLA, in line with the Chinese historic understanding of information as the key to victory, the report stated, has focused on countering American C4ISR systems through GPS jamming, Joint Tactical Information Distribution System countermeasures and synthetic radar jamming. These capabilities would be coordinated with computer network attack tools for a more holistic and complete attack against an adversary’s command networks, the report said.

When assessing the capabilities of certain actors in this space, it is important to distinguish their capabilities from how they are used. “Their technical capabilities aren’t limited to them because they’ll sell those technical capabilities to someone else, as will China, as will other folks,” John Willison, director of the Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate, told C4ISRNET over the summer on the sidelines of the TechNet Augusta conference.

“We’ve got to factor that in that those capabilities won’t be limited. Now the way they fight is a different perspective and the theater is a different perspective as well.”

“When a lot of people talk about threats they talk about box on box — we’ve got a box and they’ve got a box; good starting point,” Willison added. “How are those boxes deployed? What’s the quantity? What other things do they work with?”

Officials within the DoD declined to comment or offer many specifics regarding China’s capabilities in this domain or the threat that the United States says they pose to the region.

China does “have an electronic warfare capability that we respect and we train to it,” Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, commander of the 7th Fleet, which is responsible for the Pacific regions, told C4ISRNET during a February conference.

He described China’s EW capability as all-encompassing, meaning they can employ effects from air-, ground- and sea-based mediums. “They’re growing their capability, but I feel confident that we also have very good capability and can be decisive if called upon.”

From the air, China has touted EW payloads outfitted aboard unmanned systems that are capable of disrupting enemy fighter radars and missiles while jamming and spoofing communications between enemy bombers, airborne early warning and control aircraft, other unmanned aircraft and their datalinks between satellites, and land-based missiles below.

“We’re certainly concerned about [China’s EW cababilities in the region],” Rear Adm. Nancy Norton, the director of warfare integration for information warfare and the deputy director of Navy cybersecurity, told C4SIRNET. “Even more so, what’s happening in the South China Sea and as they build up what used to be nothing are becoming pretty robust islands for a capability that just expands on the potential for electronic jamming from all of that island mass in the South China Sea.”

Brig. Gen. (promotable) Patricia Frost, the head of the Army’s cyber directorate, which places cyber, electronic warfare and information operations under one hat, couched China’s EW capabilities under the guise of multi-domain battle.

“What the Army is working on right now is the multi-domain battle concept. U.S. Army Pacific has the lead. So how would we organize and integrate the capabilities to do the [anti-access, area denial] fight to open opportunities for the joint fight,” she told C4ISRNET following an appearance at an AFCEA D.C. chapter event on March 22. “How do you get the concept of operation; how do you maybe fight a little differently; and then what are the capabilities that you need that would open those windows of opportunity? So I think we’re still in that kind of conceptual stage.”

China’s efforts in the Pacific theater can be viewed under similar pretenses as Russia’s projection of power and use of jamming capability.

Russia has not taken kindly to Ukraine, a former Soviet satellite state that historically has been under its orbit, drift closer to western arms — NATO and the European Union, for example.

Similarly, China has begun massive land reclamation endeavors in the Pacific Ocean, building man-made islands as a means of both asserting its territorial claims to areas classically under their sphere and projecting power.

These man-made islands further push China’s defense perimeter, Scott Harold, associate director at the Center for Asia-Pacific Policy at the think tank Rand, told C4ISRNET. The islands, he said, allow China to control the area while breaking regional U.S. alliance networks, and they give China a platform to operate forward.

It’s important to recognize that EW and non-contact warfare, in Chinese lexicon, look to deny U.S. operations in areas that China historically regards as its own or, at the very least, valuable assets, Harold added. The U.S. aside, he said China’s EW capabilities could be used against far less sophisticated nations such as Vietnam, India, Taiwan or Japan, and could complicate those nations’ abilities to command and control their own forces.

Source: c4isrnet.com “Breaking down China’s electronic warfare tactics”

Note: This is c4isrnet’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


China Surpasses US in Large Fixed-Wing Drone Formation Technology


Pakistan’s formation of CH-3s

Large formation of fixed-wing reconnaissance-strike drones can conduct three-dimensional reconnaissance to find quite a few targets, identify their exact locations, analyze the extent of threat of those targets and ensure relay of communications. They will use small ammunition to strike small targets and provide information to manned fighter jets to strike large targets they have found. In addition, they can assess the effectiveness of the strikes and control the theater after the strikes.

Large formation of fixed-wing drones is difficult to form as the navigation technology shall ensure accuracy of fly to avoid bumping and crushing between drones and coordinate the communications between drones and with ground stations.

On March 23, Pakistan showed its capabilities to form a formation of many CH-3 fixed-wing drones to celebrate its national day. It’s a rare show in the world but its technology certainly comes from China. What about China then?

During Zhuhai Airshow 2016, Xihua reporters Chen Fang learnt that China has tested formation of 67 fixed-wing drones, breaking the record of 50 fixed-wing drones set by the US. It proves China is now in the forefront of the technology of military artificial intelligence.

Source: mil.huanqiu.com “CH drones give a super show of large formation, that may be the first in the world” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)


Trump’s U.S. jobs push may open doors to China in Mexico: ICBC bank


By Anthony Esposito, Dan Freed and Noe Torres | ACAPULCO, Mexico Fri Mar 24, 2017 | 8:15pm EDT

U.S. President Donald Trump’s push to force U.S. industry to bring jobs home is opening investment avenues for Chinese companies in Mexico, an executive with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the country’s largest lender, said on Friday.

Fears of a hit to foreign investment ran high when Ford Motor Co (F.N) canceled a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico’s central state of San Luis Potosi in January.

Trump, who had railed against U.S. manufacturers investing in Mexico, hailed the decision as a major victory, but Ford put it down to declining demand for small cars.

Yaogang Chen, head of ICBC’s (601398.SS)(1398.HK) Mexico unit, said U.S. industry’s loss could be China’s gain.

“If some U.S. investment projects don’t (happen), there has to be somebody to invest. … If Chinese companies think it is profitable, they will invest,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of a banking conference in the resort of Acapulco.

In February, China’s Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Co Ltd (JAC Motor) (600418.SS) and Mexico’s Giant Motors, along with distributor Chori Co Ltd (8014.T), said they would invest over $210 million in an existing plant to build SUVs in the central state of Hidalgo.

Prior to Trump’s campaign against U.S. manufacturers shipping jobs overseas, Chinese companies were making tentative inroads into Mexico.

China’s BAIC Motor Corp Ltd (1958.HK) in June 2016 started selling in Mexico its own cars imported from China and has said that it will look into building an industrial plant in Mexico to produce cars and electric vehicles.

BAIC is already a client of ICBC’s in Mexico.

ICBC, one of the world’s top banks by market capitalization and assets, received its banking license in Mexico in 2014 and started operations there in mid-2016.

“JAC, we think, will be a client of ours in Mexico too,” Chen said.

Still, Chinese foreign direct investment in Mexico is a tiny fraction of what U.S. firms have plowed in over the years.

State-controlled ICBC expects to grow its assets and loan portfolio in Mexico tenfold over the next three years to some 10 billion pesos ($533 million), Chen said.

The executive said ICBC aims to offer a service to allow clients to convert Mexican pesos to Chinese renminbi and vice versa, and make cross-border transactions cheaper.

(Reporting by Anthony Esposito, Dan Freed and Noe Torres; Editing by Richard Chang)

Source: Reuters “Trump’s U.S. jobs push may open doors to China in Mexico: ICBC bank”

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 Does Not Develop Marines for Aggression like the US


Chinese marines. Photo from Washington Free Beacon’s article.

Washington Free Beacon publishes an article titled “What to Expect When You’re Expecting Chinese Marines” to show Americans’ worries that China will follow US examples to develop its marine for aggression. The author is honest to describe US invasion of South American and Asian nations with marines. He worries that other countries and the US may miss US predominance when China has stronger marines than it. Some Americans will perhaps miss, but not the people in other nations.

However, China has made clear in its defense white paper that its strategy is active defense, i.e. defense with the capabilities to attack and annihilate enemy troops of aggression; therefore, it must have marines to invade the country that is trying to invade it. It certainly will not invade other countries with its marines to bring disasters to other countries like what the US has been doing in Afghanistan and Syria.

If China had had marines capable of invading Japan, would Japan have dared to invade China in the 1930s?

Moreover, if the US sent its marines to invade China, China shall be able to send its marines to invade the US. If China has such capabilities, the US will never attack Chinese homeland.

As for taking Taiwan by force, China does not need marines, but if Japan tries to send its troops to Taiwan to help Taiwan, China shall be able to invade Japan for active defense of its own province Taiwan.

US strategists are fond of the imagination of China following American failures in pursuing world hegemony. Will China be falling in quagmire like the US in invading other countries such as Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan? Judging by Chinese leaders’ wise strategy of active defense, China will not do so.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Washington Free Beacon’s article, full text of which is reblogged below:

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Chinese Marines

Analysis: The explosive growth of the PLA Marine Corps tells us something important about China’s ambitions

BY: Aaron MacLean March 24, 2017 4:56 am

Recent press reports that have received little attention in the West indicate that China is quintupling the size of its marine corps, from roughly 20,000 to 100,000 troops.
We really should be paying more attention.

Why does a development like this matter? After all, at least some of the growth will come from moving regular People’s Liberation Army units out of the army and under the banner of the marines—moving troops from one administrative basket into another, really. But the fact is, any country needs an army to defend itself, and a large country in a complex region probably needs a large and capable army to pull this off. You only need a large marine corps if you intend to assert yourself overseas.

Just consider the example of the United States. For most of its first century-plus of existence, the U.S. Marine Corps, famously founded in a Philadelphia tavern in 1775, was a highly limited force in both size and capability. With few exceptions, it performed modest tasks in support of the Navy, like port security, limited ship-to-shore expeditions, and putting down the occasional mutiny. This all changed following the Spanish American War, when the United States adopted a much more assertive posture regionally and internationally. Contingents of Marines, already used to operating in relatively small formations and in concert with the Navy, pursued American interests throughout Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars—and in China during the Boxer Rebellion.

At the outset of America’s entry into World War One, the Marines’ expeditionary experience allowed them rapidly to throw together a brigade to join the allies in Europe. (Hence the slogan, “First to Fight.”) In the interwar period, the Corps went all in on the theory that naval infantry were key to securing overseas bases for a global power, and that amphibious landings would be key to such operations. Such planning led to the Marines’ leading role in the Pacific in World War Two.

The rise of the U.S. Marine Corps is inseparable from the rise of America as a global power. Put another way, if you have no intention of being a global power, you have no need of a marine corps.

China’s marine corps was first established in 1953 and grew rapidly, having been created with a fight for Taiwan in mind. The immediacy of this goal faded for a spell, and the fortunes of the marines faded with it. Re-established in the 1970s, the PLA Marine Corps became a small, specialized force not unlike the early American Marines in some respects—an organization tied to the PLA Navy, with certain commando-like capabilities.

In recent years, in the context of a broader effort to modernize and restructure the Chinese military, the marines’ star has risen. A perceptive piece last year in The National Interest surveyed this development, asking if China can “copy the U.S. Marine Corps?” and pointing out how the patterns of major training exercises indicate that the organization was mimicking the flexibility of the U.S. Marines, who have long noted modestly in their hymn that they have fought in “every clime and place.” The article asked readers to consider “the potential ramifications of such a Chinese amphibious force maintaining a constant presence in, say, Southeast Asia,” or indeed that it “may routinely operate in the Indian Ocean as well—and, for that matter, even in the Mediterranean.”

With such an increase in size that we now expect, such expectations are entirely reasonable. Considered along with Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative and its newly aggressive basing strategy, with naval facilities operating and/or under construction in Pakistan and Djibouti, it also seems that merely regional goals are not the extent of China’s ambitions. Not that those goals aren’t important—indeed, a marine corps that is 100,000 strong, properly supported by airlift and amphibious capabilities (which are also enjoying a surge of investment as part of the PLA’s modernization efforts) poses a real threat to Taiwan. Even if a full scale, conventional assault seems reckless and unnecessary, given the other tools that Beijing has at its disposal, the mere credible threat of such an invasion is a powerful political tool in its own right.

Far from a peaceful rise as a nation comfortable with existing international norms and reasonably concerned with its own security, China gives every indication of a desire to call the shots globally. If it achieves such a position, the world will come to miss American predominance—and so will Americans

Source: Washington Free Beacon “What to Expect When You’re Expecting Chinese Marines”

Note: This is Washington Free Beacon’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


Philippines Frustrated, Enraged by US Failures to Help It


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while answering questions during a news conference upon arrival from a trip to Myanmar and Thailand at an international airport in Manila, Philippines March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

The Philippines is weak and poor. It relies on the US to protect its interests in its South China Sea disputes with China. However, it has turned out that the US is unable or unwilling to protect Philippines’ interests. Then Philippine leaders are faced with the questions: Why had the US pressured the Philippines to challenge China? Why did the US tell the Philippines to file an arbitration against China but had not helped it enforce the arbitration award? Did the US use the Philippines as a pawn to create trouble for China?

Entirely disappointed and frustrated and greatly enraged, Philippine President Duterte took a 180 degree turn in Philippine diplomacy to seek friendship with China and become unfriendly and to some extent hostile to the US, Philippines’ old ally.

Quite some media ascribe Duterte’s change in Philippines diplomacy to his personal factors, but I repeatedly made the above analysis in my previous posts.

Now Reuters report “Philippines’ Duterte derides U.S. for past inaction in South China Sea” today precisely proves my analysis.

The report says that Duterte “accused the previous U.S. administration of pressuring the Philippines to take a stand against China, without a guarantee of military support” and said that the US was “bound by a treaty to protect the Philippines, but had done nothing when China started building in parts of Manila’s its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).”

It quotes Duterte as saying, “Why in hell, America, the only one who can act there, why did it want my navy to go there? It will be a massacre for my soldiers.”

The US simply does not want to fight for the Philippines as it has no actual interests in the South China Sea except those related to its world hegemony, but it is not strong enough to fight for the hegemony now. That is why its new president wants to make the US great again.

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

Philippines’ Duterte derides U.S. for past inaction in South China Sea

By Martin Petty and Neil Jerome Morales | MANILA Thu Mar 23, 2017 | 12:10pm EDT

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday accused the United States of having a provocative stance on the South China Sea and said its inaction when China started building manmade islands was the cause of tensions now besetting the region.

Duterte said Washington’s freedom of navigation patrols risked a “miscalculation” that could spark conflict, and accused the previous U.S. administration of pressuring the Philippines to take a stand against China, without a guarantee of military support.
“You go there in the pretence of challenging them?” he said of the U.S. patrols that began under the Obama administration. “One single solitary shot, it could lead to an explosion and it could lead to a war and it will be a slaughter.”

The firebrand leader is open about his grudge against his country’s oldest ally, which he said was bound by a treaty to protect the Philippines, but had done nothing when China started building in parts of Manila’s its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“Why in hell, America, the only one who can act there, why did it want my navy to go there? It will be a massacre for my soldiers,” he told an audience of lawyers.

“Why did you not, the first instance, go to Chinese working there, building structures there?”

He added: “Why did you not reprimand them? Why did you not send five aircraft carriers? And you had to wait for the problem to ripen to an international issue involving, this time, so many countries.

“You could have cut the problem in the bud had you taken a decisive action.”

Duterte’s comments came amid concern in the Philippines that China would build several environmental monitoring stations in disputed waters, including on the Scarborough Shoal 124 miles off the Philippine coast. China has dismissed that as “not true”.

The United States insists it wants to preserve freedom of navigation and oversight in the strategic waterway and that its actions are not a provocation.

SURPRISE OVERTURES

In contrast to his tirade against Washington, Duterte did not criticize China, which he is trying to cultivate as a buyer of farm produce, and builder of its infrastructure.

His overtures toward a country long regarded by Manila as a maritime aggressor marked an astonishing foreign policy shakeup. Recalling his remarks at an October meeting with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, he said the two had a lot in common.

“I decided to change a little bit our foreign policy,” he said.

“Why is it that we are too far from trade and commerce with China? They said we are Americans. Said who? – China.

“I went to China, (and said) ‘I don’t like Americans, we’re the same. I came to shake your hand and if I can have participation in trade and commerce’.”

He invited China to send a battleship to visit the Philippines and suggested sharing offshore energy resources in the Philippine EEZ that China lays claim to.

“Even if I like to claim it all, I have no capital, even the rigs and everything, we cannot afford it,” he said.

Duterte said it was pointless trying to challenge China’s fortification of its manmade islands and ridiculed the media for referring to a comment he made during his election campaign, when he said he would ride a jet-ski to one Beijing’s reclaimed reefs, and put a Philippine flag there.

“We cannot stop them because they are building it with their mind fixed that they own the place. China will go to war,” he said. “People want me to jet ski. These fools believed me.”

(Editing by Alison Williams)


China says U.S. should respect China’s air defense zone


China said on Thursday the United States should respect its air defense identification zone (ADIZ), after Chinese officials warned a U.S. bomber it was illegally flying inside China’s self-declared zone in the East China Sea.

The Pentagon rejected the Chinese call and said it would continue its flight operations in the region.

China declared the zone, in which aircraft are supposed to identify themselves to Chinese authorities, in the East China Sea in 2013, which the United States and Japan have refused to recognize.

CNN, citing the U.S. Pacific Air Forces, said a B-1 bomber was flying near South Korea on Sunday, and that its pilots responded to Chinese air traffic controllers by saying they were carrying out routine operations in international airspace. The aircraft did not deviate from its flight path.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she had not heard of the matter, and referred questions to the Defence Ministry, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“But, generally speaking, I hope that in this region all countries’ actions consider the security concerns of relevant countries and be beneficial for mutual trust, peace and stability between countries,” Hua told a daily news briefing.

“The United States has its own ADIZs. I think if this matter is true, they should respect China’s relevant ADIZ rights,” she added, without elaborating.

A spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department, Commander Gary Ross, said the United States viewed China’s establishment of an East China Sea ADIZ in 2013 as “a unilateral change to the status quo … that raises regional tensions and increases the risk of miscalculation, confrontation and accidents.”

He said the U.S. military would not change how it conducts its operations.

“The United States will not acquiesce to unilateral acts of other States designed to restrict the rights, freedoms, and uses of the sea and airspace, as reflected in international law,” he said.” We do not accept, nor do we recognize, the East China Sea ADIZ declared by China,” he said.

The U.S. Air Force deployed a B-1B Lancer strategic bomber for bilateral training missions in Japanese and South Korean airspace on Tuesday, a show of force in response to recent North Korean missile tests.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Nick Macfie and Peter Cooney)

Source: Reuters “China says U.S. should respect China’s air defense zone”

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