Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

24 April 2019

The Only Way America Could Beat Russia or China in a War

Victory in combat — as well as a successful transition to an enduring peaceful future — remains possible only with the most lethal, disciplined, physically fit, well-equipped, well-supported, well-led, and well-trained infantry in the world.

The 2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy (NDS) suggests our biggest national security threats come from "near-peer" rivals such as China and Russia. In order to adequately prepare the U.S. for a military conflict with one of these major global powers, the recently announced 2020 national budget prioritizes the rapid development of next-generation, high-technology initiatives in the nuclear, cyber, autonomous systems, and outer space arenas.

While these initiatives are important and worthwhile, they underestimate the importance of America's foundational and most critical military capability: the infantry.

Japan’s Self-Defence Forces are beginning to focus on China

On a cold spring day, crowds of Japanese gather to peer at the hulking grey ship moored in the port of Yokosuka, just south of Tokyo. The Izumo, the country’s largest warship, has attracted attention at home and abroad since December, when Japan’s government announced that it would upgrade her. Her deck, and that of her sister ship, the Kaga, will be reinforced to accommodate up to a dozen of the 147 f-35 fighter jets Japan recently ordered from America.

The refitting of the Izumo is one sign of Japan’s shifting defence posture. The changes are small, by necessity. Japan is constrained by its constitution, written by occupying American forces after the second world war. It bars Japan from maintaining armed forces or settling disputes by war. Despite these strictures, Japan has long had an army in all but name: the “Self-Defence Forces”. The sdf has focused, aptly enough, on defence—hunting submarines and warding off warplanes, for example—while relying on American troops based in Japan to go on the offensive, should that be required. Little by little, however, that formula is changing.

5G is a bigger deal and China is a bigger threat than you think, think tank says

By Brooke Crothers 

The effect of 5G technology will be profound – and China could be setting itself up to lead, a conservative think-tank has found.

“Think about going from a garden hose with a weak pump to a fire hose,” former House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers (R-MI) said at discussion recently hosted by the Heritage Foundation, entitled “China, 5G Technology and Global Security.”

The promise of 5G is exponentially higher speeds than 4G. In the U.S., major carriers such as Verizon and AT&T are doing limited rollouts in select big cities but full-bore, widespread 5G won’t arrive until 2020.

For consumers, 5G will bring lots of advancements, including the potential to replace home Wi-Fi networks, smarter artificial intelligence on phones and self-driving cars, among other products.

China’s Belt and Road: The new geopolitics of global infrastructure development

Amar Bhattacharya

The growing strategic rivalry between the United States and China is driven by shifting power dynamics and competing visions of the future of the international order. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a leading indicator of the scale of China’s global ambitions. The intent behind the initiative—either economic or strategic—has raised significant concern in the United States and elsewhere. While Beijing portrays the infrastructure development initiative as a benign investment and development project that is economically beneficial to all parties—and in certain cases clearly has been—there are strategic manifestations that contradict this depiction. Washington is skeptical of the initiative, warning of the risks to recipients and the harm it will cause to America’s strategic interests abroad. But many of America’s partners reject the U.S. interpretation and are forging ahead with Beijing. Ahead of China’s second Belt and Road Summit in late April 2019, Brookings Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy Bruce Jones convened seven Brookings scholars—Amar Bhattacharya, David Dollar, Rush Doshi, Ryan Hass, Homi Kharas, Mireya Solís, and Jonathan Stromseth—to interrogate popular perceptions of the initiative, as well as to evaluate the future of BRI and its strategic implications. The edited transcript below reflects their assessment of China’s motivations for launching BRI, its track record to date, regional responses to it, the national security implications of BRI for the United States, as well as potential policy responses. The highlights:

You Need to Study the Opium Wars (They Changed China and Asia's History Forever)

by Sebastien Roblin

Past history does not always determine future actions. Chinese sentiments toward the United Kingdom today are generally positive despite the Opium Wars. The escalating military confrontation over the South China Sea is a reality of our times, but that doesn’t mean China’s leaders will forever be committed to a strategy of expansion and confrontation.

In 1839, England went to war with China because it was upset that Chinese officials had shut down its drug trafficking racket and confiscated its dope.

Stating the historical record so plainly is shocking — but it’s true, and the consequences of that act are still being felt today.

The first ever National League baseball game is played in Philadelphia.

23 April 2019

The U.S. Should Base Its China Strategy on Competitive Cooperation, Not Containment

Judah Grunstein

U.S. foreign policy has often been likened to an oil tanker. It can shift course, but major changes in direction happen slowly, if ever. This is understandable, after all. America’s global partnerships have in most cases developed over generations, representing institutional investments and deep-rooted national interests.

One prominent exception to this rule, however, is now taking place before our very eyes: the U.S. foreign policy consensus on China, which has shifted rapidly over the course of the past few years and continues to move. This change reflects the degree to which the assumptions that long guided Washington’s approach to China were both overly pessimistic and overly optimistic in ways that now seem obvious, especially since President Xi Jinping came to power in Beijing. Overly pessimistic, because China’s restrictions on speech and dissent have neither stifled innovation nor constrained the aspirations of an expanded middle class. Overly optimistic, because instead of China’s integration with the global economy leading to liberalization at home and moderation abroad, China under Xi has grown more repressive and assertive. .

How China weaponizes overseas arms sale


China has long been perceived as a “problem arms exporter,” meaning that it has historically supplied weapons to countrieess that are on the United Nation’s “naughty” list. These include such pariah or rogue states as North Korea and Iran. In particular, it sold weapons to both sides in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, and it continued to do business with Pakistan after it was sanctioned by the UN for carrying out nuclear weapons tests. It has also provided arms to such unsavory actors as Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe and Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela.

Now, as a paper I co-authored with Michael Raska (a colleague at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore) points out, Chinese arms exports are increasingly being employed as an explicit tool of international relations. In particular, overseas arms sales are being weaponized in the growing strategic competition with the United States.
Arms export motivations

Strength in Numbers

by Wendy Cutler

Tensions in U.S.-China economic and trade relations have steadily increased over the past year, leading to the imposition of tariffs and counter-tariffs impacting nearly USD $400 billion in two-way trade. At the heart of the conflict are challenges posed by China’s state-led economic model, including excessive and under-reported industrial subsidies, operation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), forced technology transfer, and state-driven strategic guidance as embodied in the “Made in China 2025” initiative.

While the U.S. has been at the forefront of calling out many of China’s problematic trade practices, these policies also impact many of China’s other trading partners, and the U.S. has not been alone in voicing its concerns. The Trump administration, however, has mostly relied on unilateral measures and bilateral negotiations to address them. While there have been some efforts recently to work with other countries, much more could be done to coordinate with like-minded countries to more effectively address the broader structural issues posed by state-led economic policies.

The World China Wants


European Union leaders sat down this week in Brussels for a summit with a China it recently branded a “systemic rival,” and the United States is nearing the end game of trade talks with a China that national security documents refer to as a “strategic adversary.”

So, it’s surprising that transatlantic leaders are neither working at common cause nor asking the most crucial geopolitical questions of our age.

What sort of world does China want to create? 

With what means would it achieve its aims? 

And, what should the United States and Europe do to influence the outcome? 

The US Is Pushing Back Against China. What Happens If We Succeed?

By Chi Wang

This October will mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. This is an anniversary many Western observers doubted the PRC would ever reach – or, at least not in its present form with unchallenged authoritarian one-party rule.

It was the hope of American policymakers that by engaging with China and encouraging China to participate in the international system, the country would not just open up economically but would also liberalize and, eventually, democratize. There was also a belief among some scholars that economic growth and prosperity was not sustainable under China’s current political system and that China would ultimately be forced to change or face collapse.

China’s collapse, while often predicted, did not come to fruition. The Chinese Communist Party retained control and now arguably one of its strongest individual leaders has come to power – Xi Jinping.

A Risk Analysis of Huawei 5G

By Nicholas Weaver 

Telecommunications networks are special—they are designed to enable wiretapping. Mandates such as the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) in the U.S. and similar requirements elsewhere effectively require that the network operator use equipment that contains surveillance hooks to answer government requests. The Greek government personally experienced the drawbacks inherent in this design when unknown parties compromised the Athens cellular network to spy on government officials.

Because of this, telecommunications companies and countries that upgrade their networks must consider the risk of wiretapping when deploying new cellular equipment. Right now, this calculation is playing out in the debate around whether the U.S. and others should use Huawei 5G equipment. There are effectively three options: use Huawei equipment, ban Huawei equipment or simply not upgrade to 5G.

Recently, the U.K.’s Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre Oversight Board released a new report—its fifth—which makes clear that it is impossible to mitigate these risks technically. According to the board, the code that Huawei uses, like so much of the rest of the code running the world, is simply a nightmare: It is complex, written in an “unsafe” manner, using “unsafe” languages. The scale and complexity make it impossible to analyze the code to look for new bugs, let alone efforts at sabotage. Sabotage can be particularly sneaky and very hard to detect even when one does have source code, and even if discovered it can also be almost indistinguishable from a “mistake.”


The title above comes from ADM. (Ret.) James Stavridis’s April 8, 2019 article he posted on the financial news website of Bloomberg News. ADM Stavridis is the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO. I refer you to Bloomberg News and ADM. Stavridis’s article to read his observations and recommendations.

ADM. Stavridis begins: “As the West considers the threat posed by China’s naval ambitions, there is a natural tendency to place overarching attention in the South China Sea. This is understandable,” ADM Stavridis observes: ” Consolidating it would provide Beijing with a huge windfall of oil, and natural gas, and a potential chokehold over up to 40 percent of the world’s shipping.”

“But, this is only the most obvious manifestation of Chinese maritime strategy,” ADM. Stavridis notes. “Another key element, one that is far harder to discern, is Beijing’s increasing influence in constructing and repairing the undersea cables that moves virtually all the information on the Internet. To understand the totality of China’s “Great Game” at sea, you have to look down to the ocean floor.”

22 April 2019

Strategic Chabahar port is win-win for India, Iran and Afghanistan

By J K Verma 

China, the world’s second largest economy, thinks that India may soon challenge its supremacy not only in Asia but also in the world arena. Hence it encircles India through a ‘string of pearls’, a term used for a network of Chinese military and commercial installations spread from China to Port Sudan in the Horn of Africa. Besides encircling India, China also assists and instigates Pakistan to carry out hostile activities against India.

In view of the Chinese-Pakistan axis, Indian policy planners in 2015 signed an agreement with Iran to develop Chabahar port. It is a trilateral contract between India, Iran and Afghanistan. China is also developing Gwadar Port in Pakistan which is just 400 km by road and 78 km by sea. Chabahar has two ports, namely Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti. Both ports have five berths each. Chabahar port is situated on the Gulf of Oman and at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, giving Iran direct access to Indian Ocean.

Air Force to Begin Shifting Research Funds to These Kinds of Next-Gen Weapons


The Pentagon’s continues to shift focus toward Moscow and Beijing with a new push for tomorrow’s drone swarms and smart missiles.

Taking a page from Silicon Valley, the Air Force has set up a new way to fund science and technology in the areas it sees as most important to the race with China and Russia. To lead the effort the military service branch will create a new chief technology officer position to oversee the development of next-generation capabilities, the Air Force announced on Wednesday at the unveiling of the service’s new science and technology strategy for 2030.

The Air Force funds lots of research, much of it on a small scale: a bit of money here to develop a new antenna capability, a bit there to teach drones to do a new trick, or a bit more there to create a new type of space-age material. The research sometimes makes its way into a formal program of record or an actual new weapon, but at the beginning of the process there is no way to know.

232 Unmanned Ships May Be Key To Countering China, Russia


The Sea Hunter, an experimental unmanned submarine-hunter.

WASHINGTON: The Navy is scrambling to write its new acquisition and operational playbook on the fly, a decision based as much on what US rivals are doing as it is on what the service hasn’t done in recent decades.

The construction and innovation booms being undertaken by the Chinese — and to a lesser extent Russian — navies, are forcing the admirals at the Pentagon to push new, still mostly theoretical, unmanned technologies into the water as quickly as possible for urgent make-or-break tests.

The biggest gamble — with potentially the highest payoff — is the $3.7 billion worth of unmanned programs the service included in its 2020 budget submission. The spending includes $447 million to buy two large unmanned surface vehicles that can provide a variety of missions from long-range surveillance to offensive operations.

After the 2020 budget, the Navy plans to buy two LUSVs a year until 2024, for a total of about $2.7 billion. The Navy is making plans to buy 232 unmanned platforms of different sizes and configurations over the next several years.

The US-China economic relationship: A comprehensive approach

Joshua P. Meltzer and Neena Shenai


The U.S.-China economic relationship has reached a critical juncture. Over the past year, the U.S. has imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports and China has retaliated, raising tariffs on U.S. exports. At the G-20 leaders’ summit in November 2018, Presidents Trump and Xi agreed to resolve the trade dispute within 90 days—by March 1, 2019, though this deadline has been recently extended.

The U.S. concerns that underpin these bilateral trade tensions stem from specific practices endemic to China’s economic model that systematically tilt the playing field in favor of Chinese companies domestically and globally. Progress on specific trade issues will require China to comply with its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments and to make certain reforms that will likely touch on areas of state control over the economy. In addition, new trade rules are needed to address China’s economic practices not covered by its WTO commitments, including in areas such as state-owned enterprises (SOEs), certain subsidies, and digital trade. These issues also come at a time of increasing U.S. concern over the national security risks China presents, particularly with respect to technology access.

A New Consensus Is Emerging On How to Handle The Risk from China’s 5G


Much of the Western intelligence debate around Chinese high-speed 5G technology has focused on hardware and software. Once the hardware is already out in the wild — which most think is inevitable — the future of the fight is in managing risk. It’s doable, if not yet widely advertised, according to several experts speaking at a U.S. intelligence conference this week, by quarantining Chinese equipment and deploying smarter electromagnetic spectrum management tools to better handle threats.

Bottom line: Huawei leads the world in the ability to rapidly produce cheap telecom hardware (as well as the underlying software.) Recent reports, including one from NATO, state it plainly. It’s one reason why European countries, including U.S.allies like Germany and the U.K., have been reluctant to ban tech from Huawei outright, even in the face of heavy U.S. pressure.

But — quietly — many European countries like the U.K. and France actually are banning Huawei’s 5G tech in part by effectively quarantining it away from vital parts of infrastructure, or military and intelligence activities, according to James Lewis, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “They don’t let Huawei near their sensitive intelligence facilities, their sensitive military facilities,” said Lewis.

21 April 2019

Pentagon crafts options to counter Russian and Chinese influence in Venezuela


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— The Pentagon is crafting military options to deter Russian, Chinese and Cuban influence in Venezuela, but stopping short of military action against the embattled regime of President Nicolas Maduro.

— In an interview, the new top House Defense Appropriations Republican, Rep. Ken Calvert, argues lawmakers need to provide on-time funding to help the military match advances by Russia and China and wants to see more efficiency at the Pentagon.

— Amid a long drought in on-camera briefings by senior defense officials, the top Homeland Security spokesman is headed to the Pentagon to become the next assistant to the secretary for public affairs.

Army Secretary Reveals Weapons Wishlist for War with China & Russia


Army Secretary Mark Esper says he wants to shift money away from light vehicles and cargo helicopters made for “different conflicts” of the past.

U.S. Army leaders revealed Tuesday that they are briefing top military commanders about new weapons being built specifically for “high-intensity conflict” against China and Russia, in a new effort to assure that they could provide vital firepower for those potential battlefields of the future.

Army Secretary Mark Esper said he wants to shift some money away from vehicles and aircraft more suited for conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and into “what I need to penetrate Russian or Chinese air defenses.”

Among the new weapons and technologies he said are critical: long-range artillery, attack and reconnaissance aircraft, air and missile defenses, and command-and-control networks. Esper said the artillery — known as Long-Range Precision Fires — could be used “to hold at bay Chinese ships.”

Army Secretary Reveals Weapons Wishlist for War with China & Russia


Army Secretary Mark Esper says he wants to shift money away from light vehicles and cargo helicopters made for “different conflicts” of the past.

U.S. Army leaders revealed Tuesday that they are briefing top military commanders about new weapons being built specifically for “high-intensity conflict” against China and Russia, in a new effort to assure that they could provide vital firepower for those potential battlefields of the future.

Army Secretary Mark Esper said he wants to shift some money away from vehicles and aircraft more suited for conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and into “what I need to penetrate Russian or Chinese air defenses.”