The Trump Doctrine’s “Europe Card”

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Score one more for the Trump Doctrine.

Yesterday, President Trump declared a big “free and fair trade” win for his America First agenda at the expense of the European Union. But this deal is actually a two-fer. Continue reading

Why communist China’s first foreign military base? Location, Location, Location

Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy troops march in Djibouti’s independence day parade on June 27.

 

UNITED NATIONS — Nearly six hundred years ago, huge Chinese fleets plied the Indian Ocean sailing as far as Arabia and the East African coast.

The epic seaborne expeditions carried out between 1405 and 1432 under Adm. Cheng Ho and during the glorious Ming Dynasty were larger and far more encompassing than subsequent Portuguese and Dutch voyages almost a century later. China’s Imperial Court sought trade, tribute, and exotic treasures, not formal colonization nor religious conversion. Continue reading

Russia, China undermining U.S.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a signing ceremony following their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin for talks on boosting ties between the two allies. (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool Photo via AP) (credit)

 

Russia and China are working against the United States around the world, according to a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report.

“Moscow and Beijing share a common interest in weakening U.S. global influence and are actively cooperating in that regard,” the DIA’s first annual report on Russian military power says.

The military intelligence agency stated in the report made public last month that defense cooperation between Russia and China is slowly expanding along with economic ties. Russian officials, according to the report, frequently praise Russia’s ties with China, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the Beijing-Moscow ties are the closest in a decade. Continue reading

Trump’s stealth North Korea move sidelines China, could be game-changer

President Donald Trump and China’s Xi JInping in Florida.

 

Just how the shape of the new global strategic architecture will settle out as the framework for the 21st Century is still open to challenge, but the key dynamic — the initial door to that new world — is now being opened by a deliberately-orchestrated U.S.-North Korea confrontation.

What is emerging beyond this door is an overarching strategic alternative to the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) démarche of “One Belt, One Road” dominance of the Eurasian and Indo-Pacific geopolitical space, and an alternative, or balance, to the PRC’s reach into Africa and the Americas.

The confrontation between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean (DPRK) leader Kim Jong-Un is very much just between those two leaders, with the People’s Republic of China somewhat marginalized. Beijing is now fighting to find a path into this equation. Continue reading

China and Russia did what came naturally: Fill the vacuum of power created by Obama administration

Revelations that the People’s Republic of China was developing a next-generation, long- range strategic bomber and a so-called sixth- generation fighter aircraft should have come as no surprise to Western defense leaders.

The news has, however, been met with skepticism and incredulity. And confusion as to how to respond.

There is little doubt that U.S. President Barack Obama and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton threw down the gauntlet to the PRC when, in 2009, they declared the U.S. “pivot to Asia”. It turned out to be an empty gesture, which only highlighted the lack of strategy from the Obama Administration.

Given that the administration had abandoned U.S. global strategic credibility and prestige, and had begun even then to hollow out the coherent ethos of the U.S. military capability, the PRC had but one option: to take a deep breath and seize the only option open to it. Continue reading

PLA Divestiture 2.0: We Mean It This Time

Note: The Full article is in .PDF format.

 

In November 2015, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) announced that the military’s remaining sanctioned participation in the PRC economy, known as “paid services,” would be phased out over the course of three years. The soon-to-be-discontinued services included “accepting civilian patients at military hospitals, leasing military warehouses to commercial firms, hiring PLA song and dance troupes for public events, outsourcing military construction companies, and opening military academies and institutions to public students.” This article examines the origins and early course of this final divestiture, places it within the context of the PLA’s pre-1998 commercial activity, and then assesses its possible benefits for warfighting capability, supporting the massive reorganization currently under way, and strengthening the fight against military corruption. Continue reading

Asia Times: Chinese Espionage and Intelligence Activities at All Time High, Experts Say

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The US announced criminal charges in 2014 against five Chinese army hackers for stealing trade secrets from American companies

 

Chinese intelligence operations worldwide to steal important information both through human agents and cyber attacks are a growing threat, according to experts who testified at a US congressional commission last week.

Beijing’s spies, operating through the civilian Ministry of State Security and People’s Liberation Army Intelligence Bureau (IB), have scored impressive gains against the United States in particular, where economic espionage — the theft of trade secrets and high technology — remains at unprecedented levels.

Technology espionage by China was highlighted by the conviction in California last week of Wenxia Man of San Diego who was convicted of illegally conspiring to export fighter jet engines and an unmanned aerial vehicle to China. Continue reading

The U.S., in a strategic crisis, barrels toward its most vital election without a plan

U.S. voters and political parties were, by mid-February 2016, well down the path toward selecting the final candidates for the November 2016 Presidential election.

This determines how the United States would face the most decisive challenges for more than a century to its wealth, strength, and security. And yet not one coherent strategic policy had been outlined by any of the aspirants for power. Nor has the media probed this vacuum. Continue reading

China and the ‘Three Warfares’

Comrade Xi’s excellent African safari

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China’s Xi Jinping with Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Dec. 5.

 

UNITED NATIONS — China’s President Xi Jinxing visited southern Africa both to build upon booming business relations and improve cozy political ties between the People’s Republic and key regional states.

Beijing is already the African continent’s top trade partner with $222 billion in commerce; moreover China is weaving a vast web of infrastructural, road and rail projects which will help speed a flow of natural resources to China’s industries. PRC trade with Africa exceeds declining American commerce with Africa by a factor of three to one. Continue reading

Fifth Generation Super Weapons to Significantly Increase China’s Air Power

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The Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (J-20) and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (J-31) are subsidiaries of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). These two companies have been working on the designs of the super jets.

J-20 is closer to becoming operational it is expected to reach initial operating capability (IOC) by 2018. As both jets are still in the prototype stage, their exact capabilities are not certain. Continue reading

China Military Moves into South China Sea Dispute, Solidifying China’s New Area Grab

CNN broadcast an exclusive report, as one of its reporters hitched a ride on a U.S. Navy P-8 patrol aircraft overflying the artificial islands the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is building in the South China Sea. The Chinese repeatedly tried to warn off the aircraft, in English language broadcasts that CNN included in its report.

The report confirms that the Chinese are trying to establish sovereignty claims over these areas of the South China Sea by building major artificial islands atop reefs (which, by themselves, establish no territorial claims).

Continue reading

UAVs, Stealth, Carriers, Amphibs: DoD Report Details China’s Weapons

WASHINGTON: The People’s Liberation Army has practiced jamming GPS signals, according to a Pentagon report today. The Chinese are testing those and other electronic warfare weapons and they have “proven effective.”

China plans to launch 100 satellites through 2015, including “imaging, remote sensing, navigation, communication, and scientific satellites, as well as manned spacecraft,” says a special section headlined  ”Special Topic: Reconnaissance Satellites” in the annual Pentagon report to Congress about China’s military capabilities and intentions. (Note: that includes manned spacecraft and most of the satellites mentioned are weather, agriculture and related satellites — not advanced spy satellites.)

In another “special section,” this one about low observable technology, the Pentagon report lists weapons “demonstrated” last year: Continue reading

The Strategy of the Pacific Alliance

BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin is intensifying its relations to the new Latin American “Pacific Alliance” and, thereby, heightening tension on the subcontinent. The Pacific Alliance, a network of four Pacific bordering Latin American nations, has a neo-liberal orientation and is closely allied with the EU and the USA through free trade agreements. It is currently growing rapidly stronger and could, possibly also threaten Brazil’s standing as the subcontinent’s most powerful economic power. However, it is mainly aimed at Latin America’s Venezuela-inspired ALBA alliance, struggling for autonomous development, which includes strong socially oriented policies. “The strategy of the Pacific Alliance” is “not just commercial,” it is more “a political and military strategy [seeking] to reinstall the Washington Consensus,” according to a minister of ALBA member Bolivia. At the beginning of the month, Germany obtained observer status at the Pacific Alliance, with which the German industry is expanding its trade relations. Alongside its increasing tensions on the Latin American continent, the alliance is helping the West prepare for the conflict of the century – between China and the USA. Continue reading

Russia’s Pacific Destiny

“By virtue of our unique geography”, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote in a 2011 Foreign Policy article, “the United States is both an Atlantic and a Pacific power.” Russia, meanwhile, has seen itself as a Euro-Asian country, as Vladimir Putin has argued from the start of his first term in the Kremlin. The American attitude, which in Secretary Clinton’s locution is about as uncontroversial a statement as an American Secretary of State can make, reflects the country’s historic “maritime” vocation. The Russian one reflects the longstanding fascination with the country’s continental scale and reflects its traditional terrestrial focus. It is really no surprise, when you think about it, that during the “space race” Americans fetched their returning astronauts at sea, while Russians did so over land. Continue reading