Archive for the ‘PLA’ Category

U.S. lawmaker eyes China’s military buildup

February 5, 2008

By Richard Cowan
February 5, 2008

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ask Rep. John Murtha about the U.S. war in Iraq and the conversation eventually veers to China.

A Chinese soldier tries to prevent being photographed before ... 

Five years into a war the 75-year-old ex-Marine actively opposes, Murtha worries Iraq is sapping the U.S. military at the exact time the United States should be adding muscle to answer Beijing’s growing military and economic clout.

“We’ve got to be able to have a military that can deploy to stop China or Russia or any other country that challenges us,” Murtha told Reuters in an interview. “We want to look ahead of just Iraq … to be prepared to prevent a war.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080205/lf_nm/
usa_china_military_dc_2

John Murtha
Congressman Murtha

U.S.: China’s Weapons A Problem

January 29, 2008
By P. Parameswaran 

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States said Monday it was “troubling” that China‘s weapons systems capability exceeded the level Beijing defined as necessary for self-defence.

The head of the US armed forces in the Asia-Pacific, Admiral Timothy Keating, said he was told by Chinese leaders during a visit to Beijing that its so-called “area denial weapons” were “to protect those things that are ours”.

Timothy J. Keating
Timothy Keating

But he said, “we find it troubling that the capabilities of some of these weapons systems would tend to exceed our own expectations for protecting those things that are ‘ours'”.

Keating said the….

Read the rest:
 http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080129/pl_afp/
uschinamilitarynavyport_080129060716

File photo shows a PLA soldier walking past a Chinese-made Hongqi-2 ...
File photo shows a PLA soldier walking past a Chinese-made Hongqi-2 missile on display at the Military Museum in Beijing. The United States said Monday it found “troubling” China’s admission that its weapons systems capability exceeds levels Beijing itself has defined as necessary for its self-defence.
(AFP)

SecDef Gates sees division in Chinese actions

December 22, 2007

By Bill Gertz
The Washington Times
December 22, 2007

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said yesterday that recent military incidents involving the U.S. and China indicate troubling signs of division between Beijing’s military and the nation’s communist political leaders.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, left, accompanied by Joint Chiefs ...

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, left, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Gen. James Cartwright, takes part in a news conference at the Pentagon, Friday, Dec. 21, 2007. (AP Photo/Heesoon Yim)

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China’s refusal to permit U.S. Navy ship visits to Hong Kong last month and a provocative anti-satellite weapon test in January are prompting U.S. intelligence agencies to worry that the Chinese military is not under the control of the civilian government in Beijing, according to other defense officials.

Mr. Gates voiced similar concerns yesterday when asked by a reporter whether China had explained why it barred the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk and accompanying warships from making a Thanksgiving Day port call in Hong Kong.

“What has been interesting to me this year is that I think we have had two situations in which there appears to have been a disconnect within the Chinese government,” Mr. Gates said.

After the Chinese military’s successful January test of a missile against a weather-satellite target, China’s Foreign Ministry “didn’t seem to understand or know what had happened” and indicated “confusion” over the test, he said.

“We seem to have had a little bit of the same thing with the Kitty Hawk, where the military may have made a decision that was not communicated to the political side of the government,” Mr. Gates said. “Now, I don’t know that for a fact, but there’s just some hint of that.”

A senior defense official said that Chinese President Hu Jintao was familiar with China’s secret anti-satellite weapon program but may not have known about the Jan. 11 test, which contradicted China’s public position against the development and deployment of space weapons.

A senior U.S. military officer said there also were signs earlier this year that senior Chinese air force generals were not aware of the existence of the anti-satellite weapons program, which is thought to be a top-secret effort directed by the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission. It is led by Mr. Hu as chairman and has two senior Chinese generals as vice chairmen.

Intelligence officials are said to disagree over the analysis of a Chinese leadership split, with pro-China analysts citing a split as explaining hostile Chinese behavior as the result of differences between hawks and doves. A similar analysis during the Cold War sought to explain Soviet behavior, though post-Cold War analysis showed the appearance to be deliberate disinformation.

Still, worries over suspected divisions in China’s leadership are prompting concerns about the control over China’s nuclear arsenal, which is currently expanding in both quantity and quality, defense officials said. China’s military is deploying three new types of advanced, long-range nuclear missiles and a new class of ballistic-missile submarines.

Chinese military leaders so far have not agreed to U.S. government requests for talks on strategic nuclear weapons, despite a promise made by Mr. Hu to President Bush last year to send the commander of China’s nuclear forces to visit the United States and the military’s U.S. Strategic Command. China’s military leaders are said to fear that talks on nuclear forces with the U.S. will lead to disclosures of information that could be used against China in a conflict.

U.S. intelligence agencies know very little about the forces and command-and-control arrangements for China’s nuclear weapons, which are estimated to include about 20 long-range nuclear missiles and several hundred shorter-range, nuclear-capable missiles.

Mr. Gates said that China is continuing its military buildup but that he does not consider China “an enemy.”

“I think there are opportunities for continued cooperation in a number of areas,” he said. “I still think it’s important for us to develop the strategic dialogue with China where we sit down and talk about how we see the threat, how each of us perceives the threat and the purpose behind our modernization programs and so on.”

Richard Fisher, a specialist on the Chinese military, said Mr. Gates’ comments on a possible split among Chinese leader is a cause for concern and should be clarified.

“If such a split is real, then he should also explain if there is a danger of a [military] coup against the party,” said Mr. Fisher, vice president of the International Assessment and Strategy Center. “Such a coup could lead to a PLA-led war against Taiwan for ‘national unity,’ a war that could easily escalate into a nuclear exchange.”

Mr. Fisher said he knows of disturbing reports of tensions between the ruling Communist Party and the military over efforts by Mr. Hu to crack down on corruption in the military.

Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who appeared with Mr. Gates, also said he wants to develop closer lines of communication with the Chinese military to avoid misunderstandings over issues like the Kitty Hawk, the anti-satellite test and Taiwan.

Asked about tensions between China and Taiwan over Taipei’s plan to hold a nationwide vote seeking United Nations membership under the name Taiwan, instead of the formal Republic of China, Mr. Gates said he is not worried “there will be a military reaction.”

Mr. Gates also called “specious” claims in the Chinese and U.S. press that the reason the Kitty Hawk was blocked from Hong Kong was Chinese anger that the defense secretary had not warned Chinese military leaders during his visit to China in October that the Pentagon was set to sell upgraded Patriot missile equipment to Taiwan.

China flexes its new muscle

December 20, 2007

By Willie Lam
International Herald Tribune
December 20, 2007

Beijing’s decision to cancel a port visit to Hong Kong by the U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk last month could go down in diplomatic history as a watershed in China’s foreign policy.

The high-decibel “no” to the carrier group – and also to the U.S. frigate Reuben James, which wanted to dock at Hong Kong on New Year’s Eve – coincides with a tough stance Beijing has assumed in sovereignty disputes with Vietnam over islets in the South China Sea.

China also has reacted with uncharacteristic vehemence to the hospitality that the United States, Canada and especially Germany have shown the Dalai Lama.

It appears that the Chinese Communist Party leaders have decided to flex their muscles in a way they deem commensurate with China’s new-found quasi-superpower status.

The late Deng Xiaoping’s 1990s-era axiom for Chinese diplomats – “keep a low profile and never take the lead” – seems passé. The same is true for Deng’s dictum on how to handle America: “Work on cooperation and avoid confrontation.”

Instead, after decades of teeth-gnashing silence, Beijing is publicly thumbing its nose at what it perceives to be U.S. interference in Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang.

The Kitty Hawk incident coincided with one of the largest shows of force by the Chinese military this year, a war game over vast swaths of the South and East China Seas. Crack units from four major People’s Liberation Army divisions test-fired Russian-procured and indigenously developed hardware, including 022 stealth missiles and Russian-made SS-N-27 “Club” anti-ship cruise missiles.

Apart from simulating a naval blockade of Taiwan, the exercises were meant to warn Washington and Japan against “meddling” in the Taiwan Strait.

It did not appear accidental that the United States, in apparent protest over the Kitty Hawk incident, had the carrier sail through the Strait on the way back to its base in Yokosuka, Japan.

That move prompted Beijing to express “serious concern,” implying that foreign vessels wishing to traverse the strait had to seek China’s approval, even though the strait has always been regarded as international waters.

The Taiwan-related war games extended well beyond the Taiwan Strait. The PLA conducted exercises near the Paracel Islands, claimed by Vietnam, drawing a protest from Hanoi.

In a related development, thousands of Vietnamese held demonstrations earlier this month outside the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi over Beijing’s establishment of the new Sansha municipality in Hainan Province, which will have jurisdiction over three islets Vietnam claims in the Spratly and Paracel archipelagos.

PLA forces also demolished a few unmanned Indian forward posts near two Indian bunkers in the vicinity of the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet border. The Indian media reported that Beijing told New Delhi that the bunkers violated Chinese territorial integrity.

And China adopted what analysts called an unusually strident stance at the recent annual China-EU summit meeting in Beijing. The deputy prime minister in charge of foreign trade, Wu Yi, heatedly disputed remarks made by the EU trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, on Beijing’s supposed failure to stem the export to Europe of “a tidal wave of counterfeit goods.”

Moments after Mandelson finished his speech, Wu rushed to his side and issued a verbal protest. “I am extremely dissatisfied”‘ with Mandelson’s speech, she told astounded reporters.

While meeting EU leaders, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao launched a strong attack on Chancellor Angela Merkel for according VIP treatment to the Dalai Lama. He demanded that Berlin “acknowledge and rectify” its mistakes.

Beijing’s high-profile quarrels with the United States, Vietnam and Germany have followed a pattern of power projection that began last January when PLA missiles downed an old weather satellite. The feat, widely perceived in the West as the start of the PLA’s militarization of space, was followed by the successful launching of the country’s first lunar probe.

Moreover, the PLA has departed from its usual protocol of keeping new weapons under wraps. Semi-official military Web sites have recently showcased soon-to-be-deployed hardware ranging from the Jian-12 jet fighter to the Jin-class submarine, which is said to carry nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.

According to Hong Yuan, a military expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the defense concerns of the new leadership and the force projection “have gone way beyond the Taiwan Strait.” Hong sees the next five years as “a period of rapid development in areas ranging from the PLA’s establishment, institutions and hardware to the extent and means of force projection.”

The show of strength also bolsters the leadership at home at a time when old Marxist values are losinmg their luster. As Wen said at the ceremony marking China’s impending conquest of the moon, the achievement was “a major manifestation of the increase in our comprehensive national strength and the ceaseless enhancement of our innovative ability.”

Beijing is undoubtedly aware that such assertiveness could feed fears abroad of a “China threat.” But both the Communist Party and the Army leaders seem convinced that this is the price the reinvigorated dragon has to pay to keep its place in the sun.

Willy Lam is an adjunct professor of China studies at Akita International University, Japan, and at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

From Peace and Freedom: Our thanks to Professor Lam.

Bush urged to block merger

October 16, 2007

By Bill Gertz
The Washingtion Times
October 16, 2007

House Republicans have introduced legislation calling for the Bush administration to block the merger of a U.S. computer-security equipment company and a Chinese firm with close ties to Beijing’s military and a history of illicit exports and industrial espionage.
Sen. Christopher S. Bond, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, meanwhile, said yesterday he favors the Treasury Department review of the merger, but does not want Congress to pre-empt the administration’s national-security investigation of the deal.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071016/NATION/110160071/1001

China Watch

October 16, 2007

John E. Carey
The Washington Times
October 21, 2007

“With China’s rapid rise and relentless military build-up, the ‘China threat’ is no longer confined to confrontation across the Taiwan Strait. In fact, it has already seriously impacted world peace,” said Taiwan’s President Chen Shui-bian on Oct. 10, 2007.

He urged the international community to “strongly demand that China immediately withdraw missiles deployed along its southeastern coast targeted at Taiwan, stop military exercises simulating attacks on Taiwan.”

Mr. Chen was kicking off Taiwan’s annual National Day parade. The parade featured, for the first time in 16 years, military troops and equipment. Yet Taiwan took out of the parade line up, at the last minute, its secret cruise missile, the HF-2E, that analysts say could reach Shanghai.

Said one China-watcher we spoke to on the phone from Shanghai: “We have to assume Taiwan just wanted to keep this missile from being photographed. Certainly President Chen’s remarks would provoke China but there was not too much new or surprising here. Chen has been outspoken before.”

President Chen accused Beijing of ignoring peace overtures and using “ever more belligerent rhetoric and military intimidation.”

At the Asia-Pacific regional summit on Sept. 7 in Sydney, Australia, President Hu Jintao of China reportedly told President Bush the next two years will be a time of “high danger” for Taiwan. “This year and next year are a period of high danger for the Taiwan situation,” Mr. Hu told Mr. Bush in bilateral talks, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Former President Jiang Zemin standing side-by-side with his successor, Hu Jintao, at the 16th Party Congress.

Former President Jiang Zemin standing
side-by-side with his successor, Hu Jintao,
at the 16th Party Congress.
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“We must give stronger warnings to the Taiwan authorities,” Liu Jianchao quoted the Chinese president as saying. “We cannot allow anyone to use any means to split Taiwan from the motherland.”

But Taiwan’s Mr. Chen has been unrelenting. In his National Day address, he said: “Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China are two sovereign, independent nations, and neither exercises jurisdiction over the other. This is a historical fact. This is the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.”

China doesn’t see it that way. China views Taiwan as a renegade breakaway province that needs to be returned to Beijing’s control. China has been beefing up ballistic missile and other forces facing Taiwan and has been promoting more senior military officers with experience in planning operations against Taiwan.

Within the last six weeks, China replaced its chief of general staff for the People’s Liberation Army. A commander once tasked with making war preparations against Taiwan, Chen Bingde, was named to run the day-to-day operations of the PLA.

China also recently again blocked Taiwan’s recognition by the United Nations — a sore point in Taiwan since 1949. “Only the people of Taiwan have the right to decide their nation’s future,” President Chen said.

Early last July a Defense White Paper from Japan expressed concern about China. “There are fears about the lack of transparency concerning China’s military strength,” the paper said. “In January this year, China used ballistic missile technology to destroy one of its own satellites. There was insufficient explanation from China, sparking concern in Japan and other countries about safety in space as well as the security aspects.”

That same week, Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard said, “The pace and scope of [China’s] military modernization, particularly the development of new and disruptive capabilities such as the anti-satellite missile, could create misunderstandings and instability in the region.”

What are the implications for the United States? The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act stipulates the United States will “consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area are of grave concern to the United States” but does not mandate intervention.

With the United States increasingly interlocked with China in trade and both nations seeking a successful Beijing Olympics next summer, it is increasingly important that the U.S. keep crystal-clear its foreign policy intentions with China and Taiwan.

John E. Carey is former president of International Defense Consultants Inc and a frequent contributor to The Washington Times.
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Related:

China Claiming “Major Advances” in U.S. Relationship

On China: “Trust But Verify”
http://washingtontimes.com/article/20070826/COMMENTARY/
108260018/1012/COMMENTARY03

Cold War Redux?
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070822/COMMENTARY/108220021

China: Less than the Entire Truth
http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20070808/
COMMENTARY/108080004/1012/COMMENTARY03

China’s Hu Jintao: State Of China Address Opens Party Congress

China’s tightens Internet controls

China rulers ’silencing dissent’

China’s Hu Jintao: State Of China Address Opens Party Congress

October 15, 2007

By Chris Buckley and Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (Reuters) – China‘s Communist Party must stay firmly in charge as the nation embraces economic and social change, President Hu Jintao said on Monday in an agenda-setting speech vowing tightly controlled political reform.

President Hu spells out plan for Taiwan, economic growth, environment, military overhaul.
Photo
Chinese Communist Party leader Hu Jintao, left, shakes hands with former President and Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin after Hu’s speech at the opening of the 17th Communist Party Congress in Beijing.

Read the rest at:
 http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071015/wl_nm/china_party_dc_4

China replaces military operations chief

September 24, 2007

By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press Writer

BEIJING – China has named a new chief of general staff for its military, a commander once tasked with making war preparations against Taiwan, the Defense Ministry said Monday.

Chen Bingde’s promotion as the People’s Liberation Army‘s head of day-to-day operations came in the past six weeks, in a transfer that was unusually quiet even for an institution as secretive as China’s military.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070924/ap_on_re_as/china_military_1

French government falls prey to cyber-attacks “involving China”

September 9, 2007

PARIS (AFP) – French information systems fell prey to cyber attacks “involving China“, similar to those reported by the US, British and German governments, a top French security offical told AFP on Saturday.

“We have indications that our information systems were the object of attacks, like in the other countries,” the Secretary-General of National Defence (SGDN) Francis Delon said, confirming a report published in French newspaper Le Monde.

“We have proof that there is involvement with China. But I am prudent. When I say China, this does not mean the Chinese government. We don’t have any indication now that it was done by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army,” he added.

Read more at:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070908/
tc_afp/chinaintelligenceit_070908170928

Related:
China’s Golden Cyber-Shield

China repeats denial of military hacking
(Plus three more links)

胡锦涛
Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao

China repeats denial of military hacking

September 6, 2007

BEIJING (AP) – A Chinese official on Thursday repeated China‘s denial that it has hacked into other countries’ government and military computer networks.

Reports in British and German newspapers this summer have cited unidentified intelligence and other officials saying government and military networks in Germany, the United States and Britain had been broken into by hackers backed by the Chinese army.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said the government “has all along been opposed to and forbidden any cyber crimes.”

Read the rest at:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070906/ap_on_
hi_te/china_cyber_attacks_2

Related:
Cyber officials: Chinese hackers attack ‘anything and everything’

China denies hacking Pentagon

Chinese hackers targeted British government too – report