President Xi Orders Chinese Army To “Prepare For War”

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In just a few short days, China has proved that investors who have been underestimating the geopolitical risks stemming from the simmering tensions between the US and China over the latter’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and paranoia over the fate of Taiwan – a de facto independent state that President Xi Jinping is aggressively seeking to bring under the heel of Beijing – have done so at their own peril.

Earlier this week Xi Jinping, the Chinese emperor for life president provoked an angry rebuke from Taiwan’s pro-independence president when he demanded during a landmark speech earlier this week that Taiwan submit to “reunification” with Beijing.

And as if tensions between China and the international community weren’t already high enough amid a worsening economic slowdown that’s hurting global economic growth and a tenuous trade “truce” with the US,  in another speech delivered on Friday during a meeting of top officials from China’s Central Military Commission which he leads, Xi took his belligerent rhetoric one step further by issuing his first military command of 2019: that “all military units must correctly understand major national security and development trends, and strengthen their sense of unexpected hardship, crisis and battle.” Continue reading

PLA’s new Strategic Support Force remains an enigma

A visitor watches a video of President Xi Jinping talking at an exhibition in Beijing about China’s military achievements, on October 10, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Jason Lee

 

Two years after the People’s Liberation Army created a new Strategic Support Force, a combined cyber and space warfare and military spy service, details about the force’s structure and mission remain wrapped in mystery.

As with most of China’s advanced arms programs and warfighting capabilities, the Strategic Support Force (SSF) remains a closely guarded secret. But the fact that China’s leaders have combined four or five military departments into a service on a par with its army, air force and navy in terms of stature highlights the importance the Chinese have placed on non-kinetic forms of warfare. Continue reading

Neighbors wary as China’s PLA modernizes, builds capability

Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, the People’s Liberation Army is undergoing massive changes as it is reorganized, resized and mobilized. On one hand, the PLA is also getting a bigger role in China’s strategic and foreign-policy outreach. On the other hand, it is shedding weight and becoming a leaner and more information-driven army.

These far-reaching changes will have implications for the region, as neighbors India, Japan and Vietnam and powers like the US and Australia watch closely. Continue reading

Chinese Studied Trump’s Every Move Prior to State Visit

 

Tweets, TV preferences, business deals scrutinized by secret unit code-named Skyheart

Hundreds of Chinese government analysts worked nonstop for months studying every detail on President Trump in preparation for his state visit to China this week.

The information gathered includes hundreds of details about the president to be fed to reports for Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping who will hold talks with Trump for his first visit to China as president. Continue reading

China Flexes Its Military Muscles While America Does Nothing

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Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Photo: Chine Nouvelle/SIPA)

 

In the last few days, China has undertaken several new military actions. These include landing a military aircraft on one of their new artificial islands in the South China Sea, a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to a newly established military headquarters, and testing a new ICBM. The purpose is simple: To send messages to the rest of the world:

  • China’s inflexible commitment to its territorial claims in the South China Sea, and
  • China’s major military reforms which will make it a much more capable opponent

Continue reading

China and the ‘Three Warfares’

Space to be the next frontier for China’s air force

Not only was this China’s fifth-generation fighter, but China’s fifth-generation fighter that is equal in technology and capability with its American counterpart. The sixth-generation will have surpassed American prowess — while America is suicidally inflicting itself with budget cuts, mothballing and technical problems of its latest generation.

What’s more, it makes you wonder what China’s doing under the radar with such a large ownership share of rare earths. It’s within the realm of possibility that the PLA could in the future begin to crank these (and future generation fighters) out like Twinkies, en masse.

When the wraps came off the J-31 stealth fighter at the Zhuhai air show yesterday, there was double cause for celebration for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. It not only marked the public debut of the country’s the fifth-generation stealth fighter, it represented the progress China has made in the 65 years since its air force first got off the ground.

The J-31 is just one of a series of fighter jets to roll off mainland military production lines in recent years. Despite the advances there remains one gaping hole in China’s winged military industrial complex – one that could stop it from realising the next mission set for it by the highest echelons of power.

Whatever their individual missions, the various jets fighters and aerial drones are building blocks for China’s aim to push the next frontier – space. Continue reading

Inside the Ring: Power politics behind PLA general’s ouster

The ouster of retired People’s Liberation Army Gen. Xu Caihou from the Communist Party of China this week represents a major political blow to China’s all-powerful military.

For a decade, Gen. Xu was the most powerful man in uniform in China as the vice chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) in charge of political affairs. From that post between 2002 and 2012 he wielded enormous power, ultimately controlling all things military in China, from the PLA’s multibillion-dollar budgets to appointments and promotions of all senior leaders.

According to U.S. government China analysts, there is high confidence that the outgoing Mr. Hu warned his successor Mr. Xi that Gen. Xu, a Jiang loyalist and member of the ruling Politburo, was someone not to be trusted. And that is what officials say led Mr. Xi to the use the party investigatory system to bring criminal charges against the Chinese general, culminating his prosecution and disgrace within the party. Continue reading