Chinese Military Vice Chairman Urges Troops to Get Ready For Combat: Xinhua

While it is unclear how much of it is populist bluster, how much is posturing, and how much an actual, objective caution, Bloomberg points out an article by China’s news agency Xingua posted on the website of the Ministry of National Defense, in which Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission (which is chaired by Xi Jinping himself) “urges Chinese troops to get prepared for combat by improving planning, equipment and logistical support in order” to be ready to “win the war.”

Bloomberg adds that Fan made the comments in recent inspection tour of China’s Southern Theater Command. The warning comes days after China officially warned the US that its patrols in the South China Sea – which despite last week’s decision by the Hague tribunal – deems as its own, could end in “disaster.” Continue reading

China Confirms Hypersonic Missile Test

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Defense Ministry says weapon not directed at U.S.

China’s defense ministry on Friday confirmed a fourth test of a new hypersonic strike vehicle was carried out last week.

“The scheduled scientific research and experiments in our territory [are] normal, and those tests are not targeted at any country and specific goals,” said the ministry in response to a report of the test published Thursday by the Free Beacon.

U.S. defense officials disclosed the latest test of what the Pentagon calls the Wu-14 hypersonic glide vehicle and said the most recent test, conducted June 7 in western China, involved extreme maneuvers by the high-speed strike weapon. 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