China Significantly Boosts Size of Navy and Air Force, Downsizes Army

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An airman of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force operates an aircraft during a drill on the second flight training day of the New Year at Liaodong Peninsula on January 3, in Liaoning province, China. (Getty Images)

 

‘Transformational changes’ in military priorities are enhancing Beijing’s ability to flex its muscles far beyond China’s borders.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (pla) is undergoing “transformational changes” to greatly boost the size of its navy and air force and to downsize its land-based army by nearly half, the nation’s official Xinhua news agency said on January 20.

“This new data is unprecedented in the history of the pla,” the agency wrote. As a result of the changes, it said, “the Army now accounts for less than 50 percent of the total number of pla troops; almost half of our noncombatant units have been made redundant.” Continue reading

China Plans Network of Indian Ocean Bases: Security Analyst

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The Maldives is moving closer to China and Beijing may be interested in taking over the old British air base on Gan in the south of that archipelago

China has plans to establish a network of naval and air bases in the Indian Ocean, according to an article by David Brewster posted on the website of the Lowy Institute, the Australian think-tank, on May 15.

Brewster, who is with the National Security College at the Australian National University in Canberra, argues that Beijing’s aim is to support China’s growing strategic imperatives in the region. Continue reading

China and India sail into choppy waters in New Great Game

Looking out at the port of Chabahar. Photo: Reuters / Raheb Homavandi

 

This shadow play is a heady vortex, churning with power projections, spheres of influence, security and commerce

The New Silk Roads, known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), will weave and interconnect six major economic corridors. At 12,000 kilometers, the Eurasia Land Bridge Economic Corridor is a rail network from eastern China to western Europe via Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus.

Then there is the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, while the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor runs from Xinjiang to Istanbul. Nine new road links in the Greater Mekong help make up the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor. Continue reading

China Prepares to Open Second Foreign Base

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy is in the process of building a second foreign military base at the strategic port city of Gwadar in Pakistan.

 

Just weeks after opening its first foreign military base on the Horn of Africa, China is preparing to open another in the strategically important port city of Gwadar, Pakistan. Continue reading

China’s maritime Strategic Realignment

A simplified view of the PLAN maritime lines of communication between its major naval bases in southern China and its newly established oversees bases. The major island bases in the South China Sea are omitted from this map, but should be considered in gaining an accurate picture of Chinese maritime defense posture.

 

Introduction

China has begun construction of the first Type 075 Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) at the Shanghai based Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding Company. Construction most likely started in January or February of this year, with some satellite imagery and digital photos appearing online of at least one pre-fabricated hull cell. The Type 075 will be the largest amphibious warfare vessel in the Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), with similar displacement and dimensions as the U.S. Navy Wasp Class LHD. The PLA has also made it known through non-official channels that the force plans to expand the current PLA Marine Corps from 20,000 personnel to 100,000. As China completes preparations for its new military base in Djibouti, located in the strategic Horn of Africa, it has also continued its substantial investment in developing the port of Gwadar, Pakistan. Not only will Gwadar become a key logistics hub as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the “One Belt, One Road” trade initiative, but will also be a key naval base in providing security for China’s maritime trade in the region. Continue reading

Geography and the coming Sino-American war at sea

A member of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force takes part in an amphibious drill on May 13 during joint military exercises on Guam involving Japan, the U.S., France and Britain that were intended to show support for the free passage of vessels in international waters amid concerns China may restrict access to the South China Sea. | AP

 

Geography is determinate in military plans, a fact that planners understand at all levels, from tactical to strategic. While tailored combat elements may traverse difficult environments on land and at sea, heavily laden logistics craft that follow and enable them can rarely do the same. This is what pushes armies and fleets toward certain immutable routes, resulting in battles occurring at the same locations, over and over, throughout recorded history. Much as the ridge at Megiddo, better known as “Armageddon,” played witness to strife no less than 13 times since the 15th century B.C. because it stood astride the route from Mesopotamia to Egypt, key maritime straits such as the waters of the South China Sea and the Sunda and Malaccan Straits will provide the backdrop for future naval battles. Geography and geopolitics are intermeshed and unavoidable. Unfortunately for China, they sit upon the wrong side of the former and are rather poor at the latter. Western advantages in both must not be squandered. Continue reading

PLA Navy gains use of port in Malaysia close to Spratly islands

Continue to side with a suiciding and declining America and be crushed by a neighboring China, or slowly choose sides with the Asian superpower and live peacefully under its umbrella protectorate. That’s the choice Malaysia (and eventually others) has to face.

 

Malaysia has allowed the Chinese navy to use its Kota Kinabalu port, close to the Philippines and the Spratly Archipelago, in what analysts say is an effort not to take sides in the territorial disputes in the region.

The agreement was made when Admiral Wu Shengli, commander of the PLA Navy, visited Malaysia last week. Chinese ships would be able to use the port in Malaysian Borneo as a “stopover location”, reported US magazine the National Interest.

Continue reading

Not Only Against Russia

BERLIN (Own report) – Bundeswehr circles are calling for German military activities to be extended in the Indian Ocean. According to an analysis by three political scientists at the Bundeswehr University in Munich, the ocean linking Eastern Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia is the most important sea for global trade. It will replace the Atlantic, to become the most important “Ocean of the 21st Century.” Germany, therefore, must become more active – militarily as well, beginning, for example, with joint maneuvers with the bordering countries. Until now, Germany only has a permanent presence in Djibouti, in the western Indian Ocean, which is seen as insufficient. This plea for opening a parallel theater of conflict alongside the power struggle with Russia, dovetails with existing German activities, for example, the reinforced arms buildup of the East and Southeast Asian rivals of the People’s Republic of China. As has now been confirmed in the new Arms Exports Report, published in the middle of this week, Germany’s arms export policies have already begun to focus on East and Southeast Asia. Four countries from these regions are among the top ten customers of German military hardware, but only two NATO member countries.

Continue reading

Pakistan Enters Strategic Alliance with China

This is a very important development in global geopolitics and it has very unfavorable implications for the USA, India and their allies. As you read about this, ask yourself if you heard or read anything about this extremely-important event on what are called “news” TV channels in the USA.

Pakistan, which has been called an “ally” of the USA in the “war on terrorism” has just thrown in its lot with China and dumped the USA as an ally. In truth, I don’t think the Pakistani-American alliance has actually existed for some time, but both nations were willing to pretend it was an alliance as long as Pakistan did a few favors for the USA (such as allowing the USA to supply its troops in Afghanistan via an arduous overland route via Pakistan) in exchange for billions of dollars from the USA–which were likely fantasy dollars turned into real dollars by the legerdemain of the US Federal Reserve Board. The US-Pakistani alliance, like a really bad marriage, is now coming apart. Pakistan has a new ally and partner–Communist China. The Pakistan’s leader declared to the Chinese leader that the new Chinese-Pakistani friendship is “higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the deepest sea in the world, and sweeter than honey.” That language is so affectionate I think these two nations “ought to get a room.” Continue reading

China betting on overland energy-supply lines

SINGAPORE – China’s strategy to diversify supply routes for its rapidly rising energy imports has just taken a major step forward.

On July 15, natural gas from Myanmar (aka Burma) started to flow along a recently completed pipeline that stretches for 1,100 kilometers from the sea coast, through jungle and mountains, to Kunming in southwest China.

There it will feed into other gas lines supplying homes, industries and power plants generating electricity in the world’s biggest energy user. Continue reading

China flexes muscle in Indian Ocean, Navy concerned

NEW DELHI: Increasing presence of the Chinese maritime forces in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and disciplinary issues in the force are expected to be discussed by the top Navy brass in their commanders’ conference starting on Tuesday.

The Navy has been concerned over the increasing presence of Chinese navy’s submarines and other warships in the IOR. In a recent report submitted to the defence ministry, the Integrated Defence Staff headquarters had informed the government quoting the data by American agencies that 22 encounters of Chinese submarines have taken place outside its territorial waters in the IOR.  Continue reading

Iran plans to establish new navy base

The plans are part of Iran’s ambitions to exert its naval power outside the Persian Gulf, including sending warships to the Mediterranean and claiming it might someday have ships in the Atlantic. Continue reading