New Chinese military developments that caught the United States off guard included new attack submarines, an anti-satellite missile system, aircraft carrier-killing missiles, and a new stealth jet.
“A decade on, it is now clear that much of the conventional wisdom about China dating from the turn of the century has proven to be dramatically wrong,” says the staff report by the U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission, a congressional group.
“These predictive errors carry with them serious geopolitical consequences,” said the report, made public April 5. “To avoid being similarly caught off-guard in 2022, U.S. analysts should carefully reexamine many of their widely-held assumptions about the Chinese government and its policy goals.”
The report examined what it termed the “surprise” military developments and whether they showed “a pattern of underestimating the speed and depth of Chinese military development.”
The big contradiction seems to be that a fifth of humanity is living under a communist one-party state within a free-wheeling capitalist economy – a conflict that, on the basis of history, should tear the country apart.
“The spectre of turmoil terrifies the leadership,” says Ferguson. “They face the challenge of managing a dynamic society and that is a real problem with real tensions. But I don’t buy the idea that China is about to implode or disintegrate.”
Harnessing the resurgent nationalism is part of the strategy to contain this threat. So is a policy of economic expansion overseas.
Why does this matter for the rest of the world? For one thing, Ferguson sees unnerving echoes in that mixture of shrill nationalism and overseas ambition of Germany a century ago.
China is already devouring two-fifths of the world’s coal, zinc, aluminium and copper. Now it is turning its attention to foreign territory for those basic natural resources. In Zambia, after Ferguson descends a Chinese-run copper mine, he muses: “Maybe this is the beginning of a world empire.”
The new road-mobile missile was shown deployed on a transporter-erector launcher. It is the latest indication that China’s military is moving forward with at least four other long-range precision guided missiles that threaten U.S. and Asian security.
The camouflage-painted missile was shown as it was photographed from a passing car. It first appeared online Feb. 29 on at least two Chinese military web sites.
The new missile was described in online posts as a “strategic” missile, meaning it is likely capable of being armed with nuclear warheads.
U.S. intelligence agencies were recently alerted to the new missile and officials say it is being analyzed closely.
A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the photos.
The disclosure appears to be another manifestation of China’s growing nationalism and boasting of military prowess. China often showcases new weapons systems around the time of major Communist Party meetings. Two major nationwide sessions in Beijing—the annual National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress—are currently underway.
China’s defence budget will double between 2011 and 2015 and outstrip the combined spending of all other key defence markets in the Asia-Pacific region, global research group IHS said Tuesday.
China’s defence budget stood at $119.8 billion last year and will rise to $238.2 billion in 2015, marking a combined annual growth rate of 18.75 percent during the period, the US-based IHS said in a forecast.
The 2015 figure exceeds the combined total of the next 12 biggest defence budgets in the region, forecast to hit $232.5 billion, and will be almost four times second-placer Japan’s defence spending that year, it added.
Although a war between China and India is not likely, should a conflict arise it would revolve around the Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh regions as they have been a flashpoint in the past. They have much more in common between each other than they do with their Western counterparts, mainly the United States. Both know the United States is a declining superpower and India likely sees it as a less stable partner. It has much more to gain through a probable SCO economic and military umbrella protectorate.
American intelligence has leaked a document on Sino-Indian relations and has speculated that India is possibly preparing for an armed conflict with China. While the American ‘leak’ may well be a part of mischief mongering, we as Indians need to look a long hard look at our northern neighbour. For far too long the media focus has been on the failing State to our West.
As the ‘n’th round of Sino Indian border talks ended in Delhi it is time we carry out a reality check. Many have questioned the logic in speculating an Indo-Chinese conflict in June/July 2012. Here are some of the factors that make this a possibility.
PEACEFUL RISE OF CHINA IS AN OXYMORON!
Much confusion and controversy has been caused by this ‘wishful thinking’ that somehow the rise of China, as a superpower will be peaceful. This would indeed be a miracle that will be contrary to the over 5,000 years of recorded history of the humankind.
Antagonists have always come in pairs — Rome versus Cartha#8805 Kalinga versus Magadha; Spain versus Engl#8743 England versus France; England versus Germany; Prithviraj Chauhan versus Jayachand Rathore; Harshavaradhan versus Pulkeshin et al…
The rule of history has been that change in power equations in a State system is always accompanied by violence.