China to strike first in hypothetical war with Japan: expert

A hypothetical war between China and Japan started by Beijing would involve devastating cyberattacks, missile barrages and secret weapon DF-21D “carrier killer” missiles, according to a scenario outlined by defense and security blogger Kyle Mizokami in US magazine The National Interest.

In such a scenario, Beijing would likely strike first. While China has not seriously prepared for a war against Japan, the People’s Liberation Army should have sufficiently analyzed Japan’s strengths and weaknesses to draw up a plan of attack on short notice. Mizokami envisions such a strategy to start off with a surprise attack from with PLA’s Second Artillery Corp using a “barrage of ballistic and cruise missiles” to “degrade Japan’s ability to defend itself.”

The situation grows more complex once the US actively involves itself defend Japan, but Mizokami believes the PLA has the firepower to deal enough damage to US forces to force Washington to “cut its losses, throw Japan under the bus, and sue for peace.”

Tactics China would likely employ against Japan include wide-scale cyberattacks to disrupt civilian life and demoralizing Japanese citizens. Meanwhile, the PLA Navy could cut undersea fiber optic cables to sever Japan from the internet, and the damage might not even be discovered until after the conflict is over.

In terms of actual warfare, China would use strong electronic jamming to mask the movement of Chinese ships, aircraft and submarines as they circle into position for an attack.

The next phase of the assault entails isolating Japan with blockades, which would make the island nation particularly vulnerable given that it imports 60% of its food and 85% of its energy from abroad. This blockade, according to Mizokami, would commence with targeting Japanese communications and navigation satellites.

From here, the PLA would kick off its main attack with DF-10 and DF-20 intercontinental ballistic missiles launched from mobile launchers and H-6K bombers. The sheer volume of missiles would overwhelm Japan and the US‘s Chu-SAM and Patriot PAC-2 missile defenses, Mizokami added.

Attacks would then likely continue on Japanese military bases and US military bases in Japan, with one of the top goals being the takedown of the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the key to China successfully pulling off the blockade. Ideally, Mizokami said, this can be done with ordinary ballistic missiles as it would allow China to conserve its DF-21D “carrier killer” missiles.

Full article: China to strike first in hypothetical war with Japan: expert (Want China Times)

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