US struggles to counter Chinese maritime hegemony

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has spoken out against China’s strategy of “intimidation and coercion” in the South China Sea, including the deployment of anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles and electronic jammers, and, more recently, the landing of nuclear-capable bomber aircraft at Woody Island. There are, Mattis warned, “consequences to China ignoring the international community.”

But what consequences? Two successive US administrations – Barack Obama’s and now Donald Trump’s – have failed to push back credibly against China’s expansionism in the South China Sea, which has accelerated despite a 2016 international arbitral tribunal ruling invalidating its territorial claims there. Instead, the US has relied on rhetoric or symbolic actions. Continue reading

China Flight Tests New Multi-Warhead ICBM

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(CCTV screenshot)

 

Tenth DF-41 launch shows Beijing’s most lethal nuclear missile nears deployment

China moved closer to deploying its newest and most lethal strategic weapon by conducting the 10th flight test of the DF-41 intercontinental-range missile last week.

Defense officials said the flight test of the multi-warhead DF-41 took place May 27 at the Taiyuan Space Launch Center in northern China and flew overland several thousand miles to an impact zone in the western Gobi Desert.

“We are aware of recent flight tests and we continue to monitor weapons development in China but we cannot provide information on specific tests,” Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Lt. Col. Christopher Logan told the Washington Free Beacon. Continue reading

China in race to overtake the US in AI warfare

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A Chinese-made CH-5 reconnaissance and combat drone and its compatible missiles at the 11th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai city in south China’s Guangdong province on November 2, 2016.

 

Beijing is pushing hard to integrate artificial intelligence and autonomous weapons – robotic arms capable of thinking and acting at the speed of light

Earlier this month Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping met with senior military scientists as chairman of the all-powerful Central Military Commission.

During the meeting, the Chinese leader was photographed at the PLA Academy of Military Sciences shaking hands with Major General Li Deyi, a leading authority on artificial intelligence, or AI, and a key figure in the Chinese military’s effort to overtake the United States in the emerging field of advanced weapons.

The meeting between Xi and the military experts garnered little public attention. Continue reading

A war footing emerges in the South China Sea

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Navy personnel of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy take part in a military display in the South China Sea April 12, 2018. Picture taken April 12, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

 

China’s recent deployment of nuclear-capable bombers, missiles and jamming devices has drastically shifted the contested area’s strategic calculus

China’s deployment of H-6k bombers to disputed land features in the South China Sea has provoked an uproar across the region and beyond while raising considerably the potential for armed conflict.

China’s bombers are capable of conducting nuclear strikes and have an operational range of more than 1,000 nautical miles. This places practically all other claimant states in the contested maritime area within their crosshairs. Continue reading

China for first time lands nuclear strike bomber on disputed island

 

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A Chinese H-6K bomber conducting ‘touch-and-go’ landing operations at Woody Island. / People’s Daily

 

China for the first time sent a long-range, nuclear-capable bomber to an island in the South China Sea.

Chinese state media on May 18 released a video showing the H-6K bomber landing and taking off from Woody Island, Beijing’s largest base in the Paracel Islands. Continue reading

China’s naval build-up is a threat to regional peace

China’s first home-built aircraft carrier has recently undergone sea trials and is expected to enter service as early as next year. The Asian power already has one carrier in active service, the Liaoning, a refurbished Cold War-era vessel bought from Ukraine and commissioned in 2012.

In an editorial on May 13 — the day the as-yet-unnamed 50,000-ton Type 001A vessel and the country’s first “combat” aircraft carrier headed out for its first sea trial — the Global Times said “China is gradually stepping into an era of dual aircraft carriers” and its “second aircraft carrier highlights the country’s major progress.”

But, the paper, an influential offspring of the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, stated that “as a major power, China should have multiple aircraft carriers.”

The view that the rising superpower needs to build more aircraft carriers — at least six such vessels, with at least four of them being nuclear-powered — in the future is widely maintained by other Chinese state media outlets and analysts. Continue reading

Short of War, China Now Controls South China Sea

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Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy warships and fighter jets take part in a military display in the South China Sea, April 12, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

 

Tensions in the South China Sea are on the boil again amid new reports that China has deployed advanced missiles to land features in the disputed maritime area.

According to new reports, China has installed several Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) and Anti-Cruise Ballistic Missiles (ACBMs) systems across the Paracel and Spratly island chains, parts of which are claimed by multiple regional states including the Philippines and Vietnam.

Weeks earlier, China also deployed electronic jamming equipment to the maritime area, giving it the ability to disrupt the command-and-control communications of rival states’ military assets operating in the South China Sea. Continue reading

Pacom Nominee: China Military Islands Now Control South China Sea

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping / Getty Images

 

Admiral urges rapid U.S. buildup of hypersonic and medium-range missiles to counter China threat

China has deployed electronic attack systems and other military facilities on disputed islands in the South China Sea and is now capable of controlling the strategic waterway, according to the admiral slated to be the next Pacific Command chief.

Additionally, the command nominee Adm. Philip Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee in a written statement this week that the military urgently needs hypersonic and other advanced weaponry to defeat China’s People’s Liberation Army in a future conflict. Continue reading

While world watches North Korea, China builds in the South China Sea

Airstrips and military facilities on China’s Subi Reef as seen from a Philippine military transport plane on April 21, 2017. China has renewed its militarization efforts in the South China Sea while attention has been focused on North Korea. (Bullit Marquez/AP/File)

 

While the world has turned its focus to North Korea, satellite images show new Chinese high-frequency radar facilities on its controversial man-made outposts in the Spratly and Parcel Islands. China has been pressured to halt its militarization of the contested land.

While attention in Asia has been distracted by the North Korean nuclear crisis in the past year, China has continued to install high-frequency radar and other facilities that can be used for military purposes on its man-made islands in the South China Sea, a US think-tank said on Thursday. Continue reading

China’s Secret Military Plan: Invade Taiwan by 2020

If you’ve been a close observer of China for the last few years, you would’ve come to realize that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan isn’t only about Taiwan, but war with America. It’s also summarized in a quote on the Global Geopolitics quotes page. When it comes to war with Taiwan, there is no pre-set or definitive date. Wars are based on specific conditions being met that minimize damage against the attacker and maximize it against the defender. Unpredictability and ability to sustain are other keys.

“The central committee believes, as long as we resolve the United States problem at one blow, our domestic problems will all be readily solved. Therefore, our military battle preparation appears to aim at Taiwan, but in fact is aimed at the United States, and the preparation is far beyond the scope of attacking aircraft carriers or satellites.”

– Chi Haotian, Minster of Defense and vice-chairman of China’s Central Military Commission

 

 

Book based on internal documents says Beijing’s invasion plan would trigger U.S.-China conflict

China has drawn up secret military plans to take over the island of Taiwan by 2020, an action that would likely lead to a larger U.S.-China conventional or nuclear war, according to newly-disclosed internal Chinese military documents.

The secret war plan drawn up by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Chinese Communist Party’s armed forces, calls for massive missile attacks on the island, along with a naval and air blockade that is followed by amphibious beach landing assaults using up to 400,000 troops.

The plans and operations are outlined in a new book published this week, The Chinese Invasion Threat by Ian Easton, a China affairs analyst with the Project 2049 Institute, a think tank. Continue reading

Pentagon report: China advances in taking military control of strategic Pacific sea lanes

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers patrol Woody Island in the Paracel Archipelago. / Reuters

 

China is using non-military “coercion” in an effort to gain control of strategic waters in the Asian Pacific, the Pentagon said in its annual report to Congress released on June 6.

“China continues to exercise low-intensity coercion to advance its claims in the East and South China Seas,” the report said, adding that Beijing’s tactic involves the use of “timed progression of incremental but intensifying steps to attempt to increase effective control over disputed areas and avoid escalation to military conflict.” Continue reading

China ‘beefing up military’ on disputed islands in the South China Sea, says US think tank

A satellite image taken last month of Chinese building work on Drummond Island in the Paracels. Photo: Centre for Strategic and International Studies

 

Satellite images suggest further military build-up on the Paracel Islands, US researchers say

Satellite images suggest China has upgraded military infrastructure in northern areas of the South China Sea around the disputed Paracel Islands, according to a US think tank.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington said on Wednesday that China now occupies 20 outposts in the Paracels and there has been an extensive military buildup on eight islands. Continue reading

China rules the waves? British and US naval dominance lost to Beijing after huge expansion

America is now pushed out of the South China Sea, and is now within the next decade poised to be pushed out of Asia.

 

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China is likely to have increased its total ship tally to more than 350 by 2020

 

CHINA’S rapid naval expansion will see it overtake the US as the most powerful sea force by the end of the decade.

According to a US Congressional report, China is likely to have increased its total ship tally to more than 350 by 2020.

Beijing is also understood to have embarked on a high-tech ship building programme that could leave many of America’s older vessels obsolete in any future maritime conflict.

That would dwarf the US Navy’s current total of 272 deployable battle force ships.

Continue reading

Pentagon Warns of Conflict Over Chinese Buildup on Disputed Island

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Beijing asserts Scarborough Shoal is Chinese territory

China’s plans to build up a disputed island near the Philippines could lead to a regional conflict, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Congress on Thursday.

Carter was asked about the strategic significance of China’s plan to add military facilities to a disputed island known as Scarborough Shoal located about 120 miles—within missile range—of Subic Bay, Philippines, where U.S. warships will be based. Continue reading

China Flight Tests New Multiple-Warhead Missile

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DF-41 launch comes amid heightened tensions over S. China Sea

China conducted another flight test of its newest and longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile last week amid growing tensions with the United States over the South China Sea.

Pentagon officials told the Free Beacon the flight test of the new road-mobile DF-41 missile took place Tuesday with two multiple, independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs, that were monitored in flight by U.S. military satellites and other regional sensors. Continue reading