Sunday, 22 March 2009

Something of Interest...Can anyone see whats wrong?

Friction at Sea Will Not Cause a Sino-U.S. Cold War

By Li JieTranslated By Ming Li20 March 2009
The standoff in the South China Sea between Chinese and American ships is just military friction being exaggerated against the backdrop of concern that the U.S. has had about Chinese military forces since the 2001 military airplane collision. This time, the action of the U.S. naval spy ship, in contrast to the cries of “threats by Chinese submarines” from senior American officials, is clearly a movement directed at China. Prior to the standoff, Lyle Goldstein, the director of the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College, pointed out in his book “China Goes to Sea” that the U.S. needs to calmly rethink its experience during the Cold War at sea with the Soviet Union, and try to avoid a “Cold War with China at sea” while dealing with the vigorously growing Chinese Navy. The standoff seems like proof for his concerns, but is it really? I don’t buy it.
The Disparity between the Chinese and American Navies Cannot Be Changed in Such a Short Time
It is undeniable that China’s increasing comprehensive strength helped China’s navy upgrade its armaments and markedly improve its degree of technology. Equipped with Chinese-made submarines, destroyers, frigates and warplanes, China’s navy has basically set up a weaponry system comprising of second-generation arms as its main body and third-generation arms as its backbone. This makes the Pentagon oversensitive.
In response to this standoff incident, an anonymous Pentagon official acknowledged that the U.S. spy ship was collecting intelligence in the South China Sea. This seems to indicate that China’s growing navy has posed or will pose a threat to America. Timothy Keating, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, said that the Chinese submarine force has made great improvements both in quality and quantity, and the U.S. must hold onto its superiority in submarine technology.
It is undeniable that China’s navy has improved greatly in its fighting capability, but the gap between the Chinese and American navies is unlikely to be bridged in such a short time, as the American navy is also expanding with the most advanced and largest amount of nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers. Even Lyle Goldstein had to admit that the development of the Chinese navy cannot compare to that of the Soviet Union’s in the 1960-70s, as the latter had 380 submarines and was quickly making new ones in 1969. For the Chinese navy it would be impossible and unnecessary to build up that many submarines, either right now or in the future. And so there is no threat at all to the U.S.
The Strategy to Surround China Will Continue
The U.S. strategy to surround China will remain firmly in place regardless of how China moderates or restrains its military development. The U.S. has moved its military strategic core eastward in recent years, and built several island chains to blockade and surround China with the help of its allies in the Asia-Pacific region. Now almost all of the channels, except those located to the south and north of Taiwan, are controlled by the U.S., Japan, Korea and the Philippines. To further strengthen the marine blockade of China, the U.S. Army deployed not long ago B-2 strategic bombers, F-22 Stealth fighters and Virginia Class nuclear-powered submarines in Guam, the key hub for the second island chain. Moreover, the U.S. Army also invested a lot to rebuild Pearl Harbor into a strategic base for aircraft carriers and a base for strategic nuclear-powered submarines, which not only decreases the disadvantage of U.S. strategic forces being over-concentrated in their homeland, but also enables these strategic weapons to increase their deterrent powers and the ability to deal with all sorts of crises swiftly.
“Accidental Fire” is Difficult to Avoid Completely
The U.S. military deployments around China will not lead to a direct conflict between these two countries in the short term, but the strengthening of the U.S. military reconnaissance and military exercises around China might be an inducement that causes Sino-U.S. friction at sea. It cannot be ruled out that this standoff in the South China Sea is an event created by some members of the U.S. military forces who, taking advantage of the fact that the fresh Obama government has not had enough experience in military and marine affairs, produced a misleading impression among senior U.S. officials and in Congress that U.S. marine movements are often harassed, so that the forces would receive sympathy from the American people and support for military expenditure in this area.
It can be deduced that the U.S. Navy will continue its spy activities for military, hydrological and meteorological data in the waters near China or even in key Chinese waters and strategic channels. Therefore, similar “standoffs” will be hard to avoid, and some minor conflicts might occur. To deal with this, both Chinese and American military forces need to be adaptable and should increase communication with each other as soon as possible. They should also restrain themselves if and when an incident occurs, in order to leave room for diplomatic settlement. After all, neither China nor the U.S. would like to have their economies or politics affected by the friction at sea between them during a global recession. Both China and the U.S. should think clearly about this situation.

To whomever, has the time, inclanation, or interest to read this blog, and specifically this post
Now normally I am not one to quote from other sources...I prefer to stand completely on my own, but when this came back on a Google search, well I just found it interesting enough to critique...and correct...ever so slightly.
Whilst I agree broadly with the last paragraph, that much as in the last undeclared war between superpowers that the two sides militaries need to talk a little, give a little, make friends a little...just to try and prevent sudden and catastrophic escalation...I also think this piece has been living off chasing the dragon a little to much.
For starters whilst the Chinese navy is the Peoples Liberation Army Navy, the US Navy is just that; and I think both it and the US Air force would take great umbrage at the suggestion that they are being told what to do by the US Army....I seem to remember the latter only truly one its independence in World War II, and ever since has been trying to prove that you do not need the other two to fight wars. I would also like to point out the Hawaii has been a heavily armed, central focus point for American Military activities in the pacific since a while before Mao's Long March; so it is not anything new, in fact I think there were carriers and subs there before Mao's Long March. The truth of the matter is that Hawaii is American sovereign territory, the current president even comes from there, it has been a naval/strategic military base for a very long time, and if you are going to take umbrage every time anything is done to improve its capabilities; well you are going to expel a lot of oxygen, for a very pointless reason, from your body for no effect.
I am also sorry to point out that the threatening deployment to Guam was an exercise, such a deployment exercise is common, china herself has engaged in them to the border with Russia on occasion; it is an unfortunate twist of fate that the paranoid people on one side insist on such things to check it works, and the paranoid people on the other side see it as an overt threat gesture.
Also whilst Obama himself is new to military, I don't think his administration is, in fact he has a lot of people in it positively bristling with both military and international relations experience. I also reckon, and this is just probably me being a little naive, that as the USS Impeccable was in International Waters, and unless the author is trying to claim that the Chinese fishing boats were under the control of the CIA; it had to have at least a 50% origin in china. Sorry, but the claim just does not add up, and if you are going to write about the importance of truth speaking and trust to calm the waters, then trying to use a illogical and slight dead-ended argument/story in an attempt...I am not sure what but I hope it was not to divide the president from his own armed forces, you are only going to succeed in making yourselves look, to be honest a little desperate.
The last point to be made concerns this statement "And so there is no threat at all to the U.S." I wonder at this point if the author has ever searched "risk fleet" in an internet search engine, if they do they will find out that whilst in quantity the German High Seas fleet could never match the British Royal Navy, it was designed to be big enough that if the RN went after it, it could do sufficient damage to reneder it impotent for the near future; I would argue that this is what the PLAN seems to building itself into, large enough to influence world events, and large enough to do significant damage to the USN before the comence of any end game scenario.
yours sincerly

1 comment:

  1. So much wishful thinking? But for the Chinese to destroy America all they have to do is default on our HUGE loan. And the US government is towing the line, refusing to make China mad by canceling F-16 shipments to Taiwan. They have already won.


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