China’s secretive military cracks open door for glimpse inside


A tank is driven down a slope during an organised media tour at a People's Liberation Army (PLA) engineering academy in Beijing July 22, 2014.  Credit: REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic

A tank is driven down a slope during an organised media tour at a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) engineering academy in Beijing July 22, 2014.
Credit: REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic

With dancing robots and smiling soldiers and to the strains of British singer George Michael, China cracked open the door on its secretive armed forces on Tuesday during Beijing’s annual attempt to assuage worries about its growing military might.

China has jangled regional nerves over the past few months with an increasing assertiveness over territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas, set against the backdrop of rising defense spending.

But on a yearly trip for foreign reporters to a Chinese military base, this time to an engineering academy in Beijing’s southwestern suburbs, officers went to great lengths to put a non-threatening face on the world’s largest military.

“It is not necessary to pick an enemy or an opponent for combat while developing ones military. I think the People’s Liberation Army’s development is in line with China’s overall development,” base commander Xu Hang told reporters.

During a carefully escorted tour of the leafy base, soldiers stopped to chat and patiently answer questions about everything from their salary to why they wanted to join up.

At one point a group of cadets proudly showed off miniature dancing robots they had designed, as piped Western pop music played in the background, including a musak-version of George Michael’s “Careless Whisper”.

“When I was small I wanted really badly to be a soldier,” said a beaming Liao Guofeng, 26. “In China soldiers get respect and now my dream has come true.”

The base, though, exists for a more serious purpose — to train up and coming officers for leadership with a specific focus on tanks.

The base also sits very close to one of China’s most potently symbolic sites, the Marco Polo Bridge, where a skirmish in 1937 sparked an all-out Sino-Japanese war and which today is a place of somber remembrance.

China-Japan ties are at the lowest ebb in years due not only to the dispute over a group of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, but also friction over a shared bitter wartime past.

Commander Xu said his cadets made regular visits not only to the bridge but other places of historic importance.

“It is a normal practice for us to educate cadets about the fine traditions of the People’s Liberation Army and bring them to important locations that tell the history of the military and the country,” he added.

Despite the military’s attempts at openness — this visit was the seventh of its kind for foreign journalists — a culture of secrecy and suspicion remains deeply embedded in China.

That had added to concern that China is not telling the whole truth when it comes to defense spending, a figure that this year will rise by 12.2 percent to 808.2 billion yuan ($130 billion), a number many governments and analysts say is not representative of the country’s true defense outlays.

Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng brushed off such worries, saying Beijing was committed to transparency and explaining itself to the outside world.

“We’ve noticed in recent years that along with China’s international influence increasing so has exposure globally to its military. But there are some reports on China’s military which are not quite accurate or are mistaken,” he told reporters. “So giving foreign reporters this experience is extremely necessary.”

Still, Geng prevaricated when asked if next year’s trip might be to visit China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.

“I can’t say that this possibility does not exist,” Geng said. “At this time of year there are lots of military exercises going on, so perhaps going now would not work.”

($1 = 6.2061 Chinese Yuan)

Source: Reuters “China’s secretive military cracks open door for glimpse inside”


Mystery of China’s Top Shipbuilder’s 2 Super Contracts: Are They for Aircraft Carriers?


China to build 110,000-ton aircraft carrier rival to US the Ford

China to build 110,000-ton aircraft carrier rival to US the Ford

At a press conference of the Defense Ministry, spokesman Geng Yansheng gave relies to questions concerning the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone, the near collision between Chinese and US warships, peace keeping troops in South Sudan, tests of ICBM and SLBM within 10 days, etc.

A report said that China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) has disclosed that the value of military orders including two recent super orders received by it in the fourth quarter exceeds the total value of the military orders it received in the preceding three quarters and asked whether the two super orders were for aircraft carriers. Mr. Geng gave no clear reply.

Source: huanqiu.com “CSIC has got 2 super contracts perhaps for China-made aircraft carriers: Defense Ministry does not give a clear reply” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

Related posts:

  • The Mystery of China’s Homegrown Aircraft Carriers dated October 3, 2012
  • China: Section of Aircraft Carrier Built to Attract Navy Contract for New Aircraft Carrier dated August 11, 2013
  • China Secretly Developing Huge 180,000-ton Double Hull Aircraft Carrier dated October 6, 2013
  • 300,000-ton Dock Yard Built in Dalian for Construction of Aircraft Carrier dated October 22, 2013
  • China Got Drawings of Nuclear Aircraft Carrier from Russia for Crazy Navy Buildup November 8, 2013
  • Exposure of Structural Drawings of Aircraft Carrier Being Built in Shanghai dated November 25, 2013
  • China to Build 110,000-ton Aircraft Carrier, Rival to the Ford of the US dated December 20, 2013

Chinese Rear Admiral: B-52 Flew Prudently for Fear of Being Shot Down by China


Map of overlapping defence identification zones: area within red line is Japan's while that with blue line is China's zone

Map of overlapping defence identification zones: area within red line is Japan’s while that with blue line is China’s zone

In an interview with media, Chinese military expert Real Admiral Yin Zhuo said on November 28: US military aircrafts flew merely along the border of China’s East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone to prudently display US hegemony. They have never flown over the Diaoyu Islands.

On November 27, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng says: The US aircrafts flew south and north along the eastern border of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone from 11:00 a.m. to 1:22 pm, Beijing time on November 26 and conducted activities about 200 km to the east of the Diaoyu Islands. Chinese military monitored their entire presence, conducted timely identification, and ascertained the type of US aircrafts. We have to stress that China will identify the activities of every aircraft in East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone according to the aircraft identification rules for the air defense identification zone China has announced. China is capable of imposing effective control over this airspace.

The US Displays Its Hegemony Prudently

Yin Zhuo says: Why do I say that what the US did was merely the display its hegemony? Because it has always done so. Since the 1970s, the US has regularly taken similar action against anything it regards as affecting its navigation or flight freedom.

It has taken such actions against India, Greece and other EU countries and even the former Soviet Union. It intentionally sent a warship into the territorial sea of the Soviet Union. Finally, the Soviet Union could not but send its warship to collide with US warship.

US military has to take such action but as such large aircrafts were bound to be shot down if Chinese military responded, it acted very prudently. The aircrafts flew merely along the border of the Zone and 200 km away from the Diaoyu Islands. However, US media gave the wrong impression that US aircrafts flew over the Diaoyus so that US aircrafts’ flight was interpreted as a willful provocation. That was media’s exaggeration.

Source: huanqiu.com “Chinese Rear Admiral: B-52 Flew Prudently for Fear of Being Shot Down by China”

In my post “China Monitored US B-52 throughout Their Flight along the Border of Its Identification Zone” on November 27, I said, “Chinese defense ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng seemed to hint that US aircrafts dared not enter the zone but flew along its border.”

Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo made that clear and mentioned the incident of Soviet warship colliding with US one.

That is similar to Hainan Island Incident I mentioned in my post. China has lots of outdated J-7s that have to be decommissioned. In addition, it is reorganizing its troops that will result in retirement of lots of officers and promotion of competent and honest young officers. It is time for Chinese fighter pilots and their commanders to display their daredevilry.

Related posts:

  • China advises nationals living in Japan to register with embassy in Tokyo dated November 26 (chinadailymail.com)
  • Sino-Japanese Air Confrontation, Repetition of Hainan Collision between Chinese and US aircrafts? dated November 26 (tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com)
  • Defying China, US aircraft fly over East China Sea without notification dated November 27 (tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com)
  • China Monitored US B-52 throughout Their Flight along the Border of Its Identification Zone dated November 27 (tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com)

China Monitored US B-52 throughout Their Flight along the Border of Its Identification Zone


US B-52 bombers

US B-52 bombers

China is not upset by US media report that US B-52 bombers flew into its newly established air defense identification zone. Chinese defense ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng seemed to hint that US aircrafts dared not enter the zone but flew along its border.

I believe that the US might not be so foolish as to send B-52 bombers into the zone to Challenge China’s establishment of the zone.

What if like the Hainan Island Incident, China sent some J-7 fighter jets to force a B-52 to land on a Chinese airport? China will get all the secret technology of the bomber.

Even if China cannot force a B-52 to land in China, if a J-7 pilot made his fighter jet collide with a B-52, the US will suffer much greater loss as a B-52 is much more expensive than a J-7.

Better send some fighter jet that China is not able to deal with if the US really wants to challenge China.

I am sure that China will not fire at any US aircraft as the establishment of the zone aims at challenging Japan instead of the US.

Huanqiu.com says: On November 27, China’s defense ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng responded to Global Times on the report that US B-52 bombers entered China’s East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone.

Question: According to media report, quite a few US officials claimed that in the evening of November 25 Washington time, two American military B-52 bombers entered China’s East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone. What was China’s response to US military aircrafts’ entry into its air defense identification zone?

Geng replied: The US aircrafts flew south and north along the eastern border of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone from 11:00 a.m. to 1:22 pm, Beijing time on November 26 and conducted activities about 200 km to the east of the Diaoyu Islands. Chinese military monitored their entire presence, conducted timely identification, and ascertained the type of US aircrafts.

We have to stress that China will identify the activities of every aircraft in East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone according to the aircraft identification rules for the air defense identification zone China has announced. China is capable of imposing effective control over this airspace.

Source: huanqiu.com “Chinese Defense Ministry: US B-52 All-along Monitored When 200 km away from Diaoyus” (translated from Chinese by Chan Kai Yee)

Related posts:

  • China bolsters East China Sea claim, warns of ‘defensive measures’ dated November 24 (tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com)
  • US voices strong concern to China over East China Sea tensions dated November 24 (tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com)
  • China advises nationals living in Japan to register with embassy in Tokyo dated November 26 (chinadailymail.com)
  • China advises nationals living in Japan to register with embassy in Tokyo dated November 26 (chinadailymail.com)
  • Sino-Japanese Air Confrontation, Repetition of Hainan Collision between Chinese and US aircrafts? dated November 26 (tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com)
  • Defying China, US aircraft fly over East China Sea without notification dated November 27 (tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com)

Chinese Defense Ministry: Filipino Marines’ Water, Food Supplies Will Not Be Cut Off


Photo of Filipino wrecked warship taken by a Chinese helicopter

Photo of Filipino wrecked warship taken by a Chinese helicopter

At a routine press conference of the Defense Ministry on May 30, Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng gave replies to reporters’ questions.

Reporter: There has been media report that in early May, the Philippines sent a warship to Renai Shoal in an attempt to do some piling to strengthen the dilapidated landing warship that it wrecked at the Renai Shoal in 1999 and increase its military presence at Renai Shoal in case there is any opportunity. Later Chinese marine surveillance ships and warships went to patrol the sea area around the Renai Shoal. Would you please tell us how Filipino military actions at the Renai Shoal will be dealt with? Moreover, a Filipino official said today that the Chinese warships converged at the South China Sea area around the Renai Shoal will cut off Filipino military personnel’s supplies of water and food. Please confirm.

Geng Yansheng: China has undisputable sovereignty over the Nansha (Spratly) Islands and the sea areas near them. China is entirely justified to have its navy warships patrol the sea areas under its jurisdiction.

In 1999, on the excuse of stranding, the Philippines illegally wrecked a warship at the Renai Shoal of China’s Nansha Islands. China took up the matter with the Philippines sternly and demanded that the Philippines tow away the warship. However, the Philippines ignored China’s solemn stand and its own promise and attempted to intensify its illegal presence and illegally occupy the Renai Shoal. By so doing, it has seriously violated China’s sovereignty over its territory and the “Declaration on the Code of Conduct on the South China Sea”

It is necessary to make clear that Philippines side’s allegation has no support of fact at all. Chinese government’s and military’s determination and will to safeguard the country’s sovereignty over its territory is firm and unshakable. We are firmly against any act taken by a relevant party to complicate and worsen the situation.

Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Defense Ministry’s reply: China will not cut off Filipino marines’ supply of water and food at Renai Shoal” (translated from Chinese by Chan Kai Yee)

Related posts:
South China Sea tension mounts near Filipino shipwreck dated May 28, 2013
China’s Strategy on Recovery of Islands Occupied by the Philippines dated May 28, 2013
China: PLA Navy amphibious task force reaches Malaysia ‘to defend South China sea’ dated March 27, 2013
Philippines warns of ‘very threatening’ actions by Beijing in South China Sea dated January 10, 2013
Xinhua plays down US support to Manila in South China Sea disputes dated June 9, 2012