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.


5 Comments on “China Does Not Develop Marines for Aggression like the US”

  1. johnleecan says:

    If during this modern era and any colonizers like the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, British and Japan were to have the same military power as the United States, they will surely behave like the Americans. These people talk about human rights, freedom and democracy but in fact they use these terms as propaganda and as a tool to conquer the minds and hearts of other people and nations.

    China is different. They don’t use these terms because Chinese don’t believe in it. China is like a wise and responsible Chinese parent who always guide their children when growing up. Even when their child has grown up, the parents would still worry and guide their children. Most of the time, the children would complain of not having full freedom but when they grow up, get married and have children, they realized their parents were correct and do the same things their parents do. A never ending cycle. This is the Chinese way.

    A more obvious example is China’s internet police and censorship of pornographic contents, obscene words, rumors and illegal activities. This is a must have for any country. I certainly believe that news and books that detailed how a crime or illegal activity is done should also be banned because people will emulate these activities.

    Comparing the psychological makeup of the Chinese and the past and present colonizers, China will never become and behave like what the Americans do. This is a fact and it cannot be disputed.


  2. Walter Tseng says:

    The Washington Free Beacon article is nuanced to give the impression of an aggressive China bent on hegemony whereas the reason is basically very transparent. When their heavy investments along their OBOR (One Belt One Road) routes grow into important economic/strategic interests, China must have a method to protect them – hence the Marines.


  3. alking1957 says:

    Yes its true that such authors will always assume China or Chinese are like America or Americans – invade, bomb, or overthrow other countries when you have strong military power. That is because they are scoundrels, scoundrels always assume others think n act as they do given the same power.


  4. Steve says:

    Absolutely, China need to expand its marine special forces. The marines task are varied from amphibious to combined arms task force from sea, land and air. Even a backward Philippines military has a marine task force and other countries like Vietnam. The marines will be first used in China’s distant foreign military bases to protect valuable and strategic assets. The Chinese marines will probably be the first to land in Taiwan during its military unification.


  5. Joseph says:

    Obviously the American develops their marines so aggressively that they forgot to train their marines to swim, let alone combat swimming. As it was not embarrassing enough, American marines were well known to have drown in large number crossing Tigris river in Iraq invasion. Anyhow, apart from the movies, American marines ‘achievements’ were very colorful, including the capturing and chaining of the pacifist Hawaiian queen who had no standing army when the American annexed the country, and cutting the penis from the corpse of Father of Phillipines, Jose Rizal. Wow, it was really glorious aggression. Victory against a defenseless woman ruler and dead men. No other country marines would even think to do those things for sure.