Chinese generals urge PLA to expand navy as war risk rises

Generals call on military to shift focus from land forces to maritime power amid higher threats of conflict from several directions

Two senior Chinese military leaders have called on the People’s Liberation Army to beef up its naval capacity and combat readiness amid a higher risk of “warfare on the doorstep”.

In a 5,000-word article published on Friday in People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s flagship mouthpiece, General Cai Yingting, commander of the PLA Nanjing military area command, and his political commissar General Zheng Weiping, said the PLA should learn lessons from the war with Japan that ended 70 years ago.

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The Galloping Militarization of Eurasia

Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the deployment of up to 40,000 troops on Ukraine’s border to support the actions of pro-Russian separatist forces have been widely identified as a turning point in the “post-Cold War” European security system. But Russia’s militarized policy toward Ukraine should not be seen as a spontaneous response to the crisis. It has only been possible thanks to a long-term program by Moscow to build up its military capabilities.

A 21ST CENTURY RUSSIAN MILITARY

To be a “great power” – which is the status that Moscow’s political elite claim for Russia – is to have both an international reach and regional spheres of influence. To achieve this, Moscow understands that it must be able to project military force, so the modernization of Russia’s armed forces has become a key element of its “great power” ambitions. For this reason, seven years ago, a politically painful and expensive military modernization program was launched to provide Russia with new capabilities. One of the key aims of this modernization has been to move the Russian military away from a mass mobilization army designed to fight a large-scale war (presumably against NATO) to the creation of smaller and more mobile combat-ready forces designed for local and regional conflicts. Continue reading