J-20s Are Not Toys but What China Relies on for Air Supremacy


J-20 new prototype no. 2021 uses WS-10X engine. Photo: fyjs.cn

Quite a few high-ranking officers, politicians and military experts give me the impression that when they make comparison between the weapons of similar kind developed by different nations, they regard the weapons as toys instead of what a country relies on for its national security.

When the US designed its F-22 and F-35, it assumes that others have no stealth fighter so that its stealth fighter jet may shoot down enemy fighter jet with missile before the enemy is even able to detect its stealth fighter. Therefore, more attention was paid to stealth than the fighter jet’s maneuverability in dogfight.

Moreover, US military strategy focuses on break enemy’s anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) as the US regards attacking and subduing its enemy as the key to its national security. As a result, US stealth fighter jets shall be capable of penetrating enemy air defense and be equipped with air-to-ground weapons.

China, however, develops its stealth fighter J-20 to resist enemy attack so that it regards as the key J-20’s capability to grab air supremacy from others’ stealth fighters. If a J-20 and its enemy flies at the speed Mach 2, it has only 2.3 minutes before the two meet suppose that their radar is good enough to discover enemy stealth fighter 150 km away. Suppose J-20’s missiles go at Mach 4, it takes 1.5 minutes for the pilots to find that their missiles fail to hit. Then they have only 0.8 minutes left not enough for a second missile attack. Therefore, J-20 must have better dogfight capabilities than F-22 and F-35 as of all the countries in the world only the US F-22 and F-35 are designed with the capabilities to break other countries’ A2/AD and to attack their homeland.

That is why China is satisfied with its J-20 in spite of the radar visibility from its back and its lack of the capability to penetrate enemy air defense. Analysts may be happy that J-20 is inferior to F-22 and F-35 in those respects but neglect J-20’s capabilities in grabbing air supremacy.

However, US military is not so carried away by their analysis as to risk attacking China with F-22 and F-35. They want to develop B-21 to attack China.

Now, there is news that new J-20s use better engines with radar invisibility from their back and greater vector thrust. The analysts shall not be unhappy as J-20 is utterly incapable of attacking US homeland even if it is capable of penetrating enemy air defense.

Article by Chan Kai Yee

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Better Future of India-China Win-win than India-US Military Cooperation


China is making great efforts to improve relations with India. The end of the recent border standoff between the two countries proves that such efforts can really succeed. Why? As a border war can bring no benefit but will cost much neither India nor China wants to fight. On the other hand, win-win cooperation will bring much benefit to both sides.

The US is trying to use India’s border disputes with China to contain China but it can give India nothing but advanced weapons and weapon technology.

Economically, the US is taking jobs back home. Foreign Policy’s article “Trump Has Started a Brain Drain Back to India” on September 22 describes the difficulties for talented Indian people in finding jobs and immigrating to the US.

In addition, many US enterprises are now using Indian secretary, software and other services resulting in reduction of job opportunities in the US. Indians are going to have further employment problems due to Trump administration’s job policies.

US policies to bring jobs home also means less import of not only services but also goods so that India’s export of goods to the US may also suffer.

India certainly needs US advanced weapons, but the weapons are very expensive. Will the US subsidize its weapon exports to India? Not likely given US financial difficulties.

Moreover, India needs the weapons mainly to deal with China and Pakistan. If China and Pakistan have succeeded in their efforts to improve their relations with India, India will be benefited by having more funds for economic development and improvement of its people’s living standards as it can greatly reduce its military budget.

From the above perspectives we can see that there is great potential for win-win cooperation between India and China but no long-term prospects of military cooperation between India and the US.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Foreign Policy’s article, full text of which can be find at http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/09/22/trump-has-started-a-brain-drain-back-to-india/.


China is leaving Donald Trump’s America behind


An army of Chinese entrepreneurs faces the future with a sense of adventure

YESTERDAY by: Michael Moritz

A week in China is enough to persuade anyone that the world has spun back to front. The benefits of immigration, the quest for fresh discoveries, the desire for education, the recognition of the benefits of stability, purpose and enterprise are flourishing in China at the very time that they are being maligned, belittled or ignored in the US by Donald Trump.

Take immigrants. The Chinese government has decided to expand a programme that allows qualified foreign graduates to obtain work and residency permits. It also floated the possibility of expanding the programme to provide for permanent residency. Compare this with the demonisation of Muslims, once welcomed in America, the proposed reversal of the “Dreamer” programme and the dragnets of Homeland Security personnel rounding up illegal immigrants in the US.

What about education? In China the central and provincial governments are rushing to build thousands of new schools in rural areas. The thirst for education accounts for a disproportionate amount of household spending. You have only to look at the burgeoning after-school tuition market to see the consequences. Millions of Chinese children are being prepped for tests. And private tutors, who are compensated according to bonus systems, earn an average of about $50,000 a year with a handful of outliers making as much as $300,000; although state schoolteachers take home much less.

Then consider factories. While Mr Trump barks about wanting to restore the manufacturing jobs of the 1950s, the Chinese are taking the opposite tack. Instead of placing more people on assembly lines, the government wants to install millions of robots over the coming decade. It has set itself the more audacious challenge of raising literacy levels rather than pretending it is possible to return to the past.

There are plenty of other examples of how China is advancing while most of the US is either stuck in neutral or going into reverse. This week several Chinese airlines reported that their earnings were being hurt by travellers using freshly built high-speed train services. A number of local governments are saying that they intend to develop Hyperloop systems. Whether these initiatives amount to anything remains to be seen, but they stand in stark contrast to California’s $64bn effort to build a high-speed train track over a relatively short distance in the state’s Central Valley.

Meanwhile, China’s army of entrepreneurs is facing the future with an unrivalled sense of adventure and curiosity. The millions of internet-connected bikes that have appeared on the streets of China’s major cities during the past 18 months, although greeted with fury in some quarters, are the most visible emblem of this. Then there is DJI, a Shenzhen company and offshoot of the robotics lab of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, that makes 70 per cent of all drones sold around the world.

The most impressive example of Chinese global leadership is in electronic payments thanks to Alipay and WeChat Pay, the payment systems of the country’s two largest internet companies, Alibaba and Tencent. Every day, 600m payments course through WeChat Pay, allowing Chinese millennials to go for months without having to use cash.

Westerners often complain about the policies of the Chinese government. But from Beijing the world looks very different. Today’s political chaos in Washington and London leaves many Chinese wondering whether their long-held predictions about the eventual collapse of democracy are coming true. Either way, there can be little debate about what the government in China has done to improve the wellbeing of its people over the past 30 years.

If Mr Trump demands proof of the progress made in China in terms he understands, he should send the managers of his pocket-sized portfolio of hotels to visit the best hotels in Beijing and Shanghai. There they would find a level of service unparalleled in New York, London or Paris. Perhaps then even Mr Trump would understand that China has much to teach the rest of us.

Source: Computer Games Forum “China is leaving Donald Trump’s America behind”

This is a Financial Times’ article carried by Computer Games Forum. I find it interesting so that I reblog it here. It does not mean I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


China Rising while the US Declining, South Korea’s Greatest Concerns


A THAAD interceptor is launched. Photo: Reuters

National Interest publishes Sandy Pho’s article “South Korea’s Greatest Fear (and It Isn’t a North Korean Invasion” on August 31 reflects South Korean people’s concerns on a rising China’s economic pressure due to the deployment of THAAD and fear that the US will not be able to protect South Korea as the US seems even unable to afford the costs of such protection.

South Korean people are unhappy about trump’s withdrawal from TPP, complaints about the U.S.-South Korea trade deficit, and calls for Seoul to pay more of the costs of having U.S. military forces in South Korea.

On the other hand, South Korea’s trade with China has risen to $300 billion greater than its trade with any others and it has substantial trade surplus with China. Moreover In 2015 Chinese travelers account for more than 50% of South Korea’s 17.2 million foreign tourists. Being big spenders, they spent nearly $13.7 billion there.

Now due to China’s opposition to the deployment of THAAD in South Korea, Chinese travelers has decreased nearly 40% and some Chinese people are boycotting South Korean products. Chinese government has created trouble for some South Korean companies involved in the deployment.

The article says, “South Koreans are frustrated over the lack of creative solutions from Washington and Beijing and deeply resent being used as a pawn in a U.S.-China regional competition.”

Indeed, it seems there is nothing South Korea can do to free itself from the predicament. It cannot survive without US nuclear and conventional military protection; therefore, there is limit to its leaders to be more active and independent in dealing with North Korea in spite of being told by their people to do so.

On the other hand, it cannot upset China because it will be in great trouble if China chooses to support North Korea.

The writer of the article wants his president Trump to do some Seoul searching. What is the use of Seoul searching? The US is declining and lacks the financial resources to perform its obligations to protect Europe, Japan, South Korea and many other countries.

Work hard to make the US rich and prosperous. That shall be the correct findings of US people’s Seoul searching.

As for South Korea, it really has lots of better alternatives than the deployment of THAAD. It can simply ask China what protection China can provide it if it does not deploy THAAD. It shall realize its own importance in East Asia. For the US it is an indispensable part of the US security triangle of US, Japan and South Korea in Asia. If it switches to China and Russia’s side and tells US troops to go home, the US will be in real trouble and will never dare to ask South Korea to pay for the costs of its military in South Korea.

Trump wants to reduce US financial burdens as the world’s only hegemon but cannot as he does not want to give up US world hegemony. Even if he wants, Congress and American people will not allow him. That is US weak point that Seoul can exploit.

China wants world leadership in win-win cooperation to benefit itself while benefiting others. Success of its free trade area (FTA) with South Korea has already brought lots of benefits to both countries. The FTA is also very important for China’s ambition to establish the Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area, of which South Korea constitutes an important part.

With such weak point and ambition in South Korean leader’s mind, he will has much room of maneuver.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on National Interest’s article, full text of which can be viewed at http://nationalinterest.org/feature/south-koreas-greatest-fear-it-isnt-north-korean-invasion-22128.


The Secret Way China and Russia Would Crush America in a War


Dave Majumdar

August 23, 2017

China is on the verge of fielding an operational anti-satellite weapon. Meanwhile, both great powers are working on developing directed energy weapons to counter American satellites. “Ten years after China intercepted one of its own satellites in low-Earth orbit, its ground-launched ASAT missiles might be nearing operational service within the PLA [People’s Liberation Army],” Coats stated. “Both countries are advancing directed energy weapons technologies for the purpose of fielding ASAT systems that could blind or damage sensitive space-based optical sensors. Russia is developing an airborne laser weapon for use against US satellites.”

Russia and China are actively pursuing new weapons and capabilities to counter America’s dominance of space according a U.S. Intelligence Community assessment. Indeed, both nations are considering the development of weapons that could attack U.S. satellites and other space-based assets in orbit.

“We assess that Russia and China perceive a need to offset any U.S. military advantage derived from military, civil, or commercial space systems and are increasingly considering attacks against satellite systems as part of their future warfare doctrine,” reads congressional testimony from Daniel Coats, director of National Intelligence on May 11. “Both will continue to pursue a full range of anti- satellite (ASAT) weapons as a means to reduce U.S. military effectiveness.”

The two great powers—which seek to offset America’s advantages in that domain—are continuing the development of such capabilities despite public statements that would curtain an arms race in space. “Russia and China remain committed to developing capabilities to challenge perceived adversaries in space, especially the United States, while publicly and diplomatically promoting nonweaponization of space and ‘no first placement’ of weapons in space,” Coats stated. “Such commitment continues despite ongoing US and allied diplomatic efforts to dissuade expansion of threats to the peaceful use of space, including international engagements through the U.N.”

Most attacks against U.S. space assets are likely to be non-kinetic, focusing on electronic attacks and cyber-warfare. “Development will very likely focus on jamming capabilities against dedicated military satellite communications (SATCOM), Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imaging satellites, and enhanced capabilities against Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), such as the US Global Positioning System (GPS),” Coats’ testimony reads. “Blending of EW [electronic warfare] and cyber-attack capabilities will likely expand in pursuit of sophisticated means to deny and degrade information networks. Chinese researchers have discussed methods to enhance robust jamming capabilities with new systems to jam commonly used frequencies. Russia intends to modernize its EW forces and field a new generation of EW weapons by 2020.”

However, when electronic warfare and cyber-weapons fail to achieve their desired objectives, the Russian and Chinese are prepared to use kinetic force to physically destroy American space assets. “Some new Russian and Chinese ASAT weapons, including destructive systems, will probably complete development in the next several years,” Coats stated. “Russian military strategists likely view counterspace weapons as an integral part of broader aerospace defense rearmament and are very likely pursuing a diverse suite of capabilities to affect satellites in all orbital regimes.”

But it’s not just the Russian military; policymakers in Moscow are also promoting anti-satellite weapons in the view of the U.S. intelligence community. “Russian lawmakers have promoted military pursuit of ASAT missiles to strike low-Earth orbiting satellites, and Russia is testing such a weapon for eventual deployment,” Coats stated. “A Russian official also acknowledged development of an aircraft-launched missile capable of destroying satellites in low-Earth orbit.”

On the other side of the world, China is on the verge of fielding an operational anti-satellite weapon. Meanwhile, both great powers are working on developing directed energy weapons to counter American satellites. “Ten years after China intercepted one of its own satellites in low-Earth orbit, its ground-launched ASAT missiles might be nearing operational service within the PLA [People’s Liberation Army],” Coats stated. “Both countries are advancing directed energy weapons technologies for the purpose of fielding ASAT systems that could blind or damage sensitive space-based optical sensors. Russia is developing an airborne laser weapon for use against US satellites.”

Additionally, both nations are developing satellites that can either tamper with other space assets or if necessary collide with and destroy an enemy orbital vehicle. “Russia and China continue to conduct sophisticated on-orbit satellite activities, such as rendezvous and proximity operations, at least some of which are likely intended to test dual-use technologies with inherent counterspace functionality,” Coats stated. “For instance, space robotic technology research for satellite servicing and debris-removal might be used to damage satellites. Such missions will pose a particular challenge in the future, complicating the U.S. ability to characterize the space environment, decipher intent of space activity, and provide advance threat warning.”

Thus, as time goes on, the Pentagon will have to invest more to ensure America retains its superiority in space.

Dave Majumdar is the defense editor for The National Interest. You can follow him on Twitter: @davemajumdar.

Source: National Interest “The Secret Way China and Russia Would Crush America in a War”

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


Drone swarms China’s Way to Win Future War


China’s UAV swarm. Photo from Tencent footage.

Financial Times says in its recent article “Drone swarm vs conventional arms: China’s military debate” that there is debate in China’s military whether China shall focus on expensive conventional arms such as aircraft carriers, stealth warplanes, etc. or pursue a new generation of weapons with revolutionary strategy that uses large number of cheap arms coordinated with advanced software to outdo the above-mentioned very expensive conventional arms.

The article specifically discusses the new system of drone swarm. It says that there is debate in Chinese military whether to stick to the old strategy of developing conventional expensive weapons or switch to new systems of much cheaper drone swarm.

China has a boom in developing, producing and exporting drones in which China’s private enterprises play a very important role as drones are both military and civilian.

The article says Chinese President Xi Jinping created a Military-Civil Integration Development Commission with himself as head. This commission enables China’s private enterprises to play an increasingly important role in weapon development as they develop technology for both civilian and military application.

That shows that Xi, as the leader with centralized power approves the new strategy; therefore the debate is but the writer of the article’s invention.

The article says that swarm technology can reverse the trend of the deployment of fewer but more advanced and expensive weapon platforms. It regards drone swarm as the next generation of weapon that may outdo sophisticated technology systems by the sheer numbers of autonomous drones.

The article quotes Elsa Kania, an independent researcher on Chinese military affair, as saying, “The People’s Liberation Army anticipates that swarm intelligence and swarming tactics could serve as an asymmetric means to target high-value US weapons platforms.”

True enough on June 11 China Electronics Technology Group, a state-owned high-tech company, showcases its world’s largest swarm of 119 drones controlled by software of artificial intelligence, breaking US-held record (see my post “Swarms at War: Chinese Advances in Swarm Intelligence” on July 12).

As China is now the world’s factory able to produce large quantity of low-cost goods, the article believes that the tactical trend of using lots of robots to outdo sophisticated weapons clearly favors China.

It says, “Another trend favouring China is that next-generation defence technologies are more and more indistinguishable from the civilian technologies mass produced in cities like Shenzhen.”

“A third trend favouring China is that software has become more important than hardware.”

It seems that the article believes that China will surpass the US militarily if robot warfare prevails in the future.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Financial Times’ article, full text of which can be found at https://www.ft.com/content/302fc14a-66ef-11e7-8526-7b38dcaef614.


Does Vietnam Repent, Want to Bury Hatchet with China?


Vietnam’s General Secretary of the Communist Party and National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong talks to media after he casts his vote for members of the 14th National Assembly and People’s Councils at a polling station in Hanoi, Vietnam May 22, 2016. Photo: Kham

After the Vietnam-China standoff due to the drilling of a Chinese oil rig at disputed sea, Nguyen Phu Trong was re-elected as head of Vietnamese communist party and began détente with China.

However, Vietnam’s drilling in disputed waters through its joint venture with Spain and others was recently stopped by China as China put pressure on Spain. No wonder, Vietnam was upset and “has emerged as the most vocal opponent of China’s claims in the South China Sea,” says Reuters in its report “Vietnam calls for Southeast Asian unity amid South China Sea tension” yesterday.

Unfortunately, according to Reuters, Vietnam “has appeared increasingly isolated (in ASEAN) in challenging China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea”.

Now, in Trong’s first visit to Indonesia, he made a speech on the necessity for ASEAN to be unified in resolving territorial disputes.

Did he mean unity against China? Not likely, Reuters says in its report Vietnam is isolated in challenging China in its disputes with China. It means ASEAN’s other members oppose Vietnam’s challenge.

Reuters quotes Trong as saying, “Do not let ASEAN become a playing card for the competition among major countries”. Trong did not identify the major countries but it is very clear Trong meant China and the United States.

It seems that Trong wanted to explain that though Vietnam is improving relations with the US, it does not want to become a playing card of the United States.

Does Trong want to resume détente with China?

Will Vietnam cooperate with China in exploiting the oil and gas resources in the South China Sea like the Philippines?

Those are very interesting questions that we may soon find answers.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be found at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-vietnam-idUSKCN1B4099