China – again….

| November 16, 2019

Map of Pag-asa Island – China’s property

Military expansion in China?  No offense meant to Sen. Hawley, but that’s been going on for a while. While he’s on the right track, he hasn’t read the reports that I’ve linked to in the past about China’s real intentions: acquire control of Southwest Asia and its minerals and own the world.

From the article:  WASHINGTON ? Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is known for personal crusades against big tech companies like Google and Facebook, and also what he’s called “a martial, expansionist” China. A former Missouri attorney general, Hawley unseated Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill last year to become, at 39, the Senate’s youngest member.

Now a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hawley wrote to Defense Secretary Mark Esper last month to warn that U.S. troops in the Indo-Pacific region are over-concentrated and outgunned by China. In a foreign policy speech Tuesday, he called China’s drive for regional dominance a “clear and present danger” to the United States, arguing America must empower its military to deter China from attempting the subordination of Taiwan. – article

While he is correct in his assessment, I saw no indication of his awareness China’s long range plan to absorb and control all of Southwest Asia, which is an area rich in the rare earths that go into production of electronic equipment. So he is right to bring it up, because it is important, but whether or not it will be addressed as it should remains to be seen.

To quote him: “China has used its permanent normal trade status with us, its World Trade Organization status, its access to the international trade system, to steal technologies, to steal intellectual property, to steal manufacturing [information from] industry. This is what they’ve been attempting to do. And give them credit — they’ve been really good at it. The president is drawing attention to that…” article

China’s recent and very rapid expansion of its military, including its navy, is making it clear that expansion is on China’s agenda, regardless of the consequences. And yes, because electronics like Apple’s overpriced tablets and phones are made in China, the Chinese have no qualms about stealing the technology for themselves.

How bad is this? If we were to lose that labor market and bring those jobs back here, the first thing that will happen (as opposed to would) is the ecohippies and their noisy protests against mining our own rare earths on our own turf to produce those electronic gadgets they love so much and can’t live without.

Might serve them right if they had to use payphones again.  Hmmm……

Category: China, Foreign Policy

Comments (24)

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  1. Every time I hear the word china, I have the urge to go out Sunday for Chinks (chinese food). This was what everyone did if they lived in Kings county, Queens county and the Bronx back in the 50’s.

  2. China again. Ling Ting Tong by the Five Keys, 1954 on the Capital label.

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    China has been a “clear and present danger” since, what, about Dec of 1950? Their desire for world domination goes back to, who, maybe “the Mongol Horde?”

    Anyone who doesn’t think that the Chinese are not hell bent on physical and economic world domination…well, I got a bridge leading to some prime ocean front property to interest them in.

    • The Other Whitey says:

      Since the Boxer Rebellion at least. 120 years.

    • Slow Joe says:

      Mongol Horde?

      I don’t understand. The mongols were not Chinese. They conquered China and founded the Yuan dynasty who ruled China for almost 2 centuries, but they never assimilated into Chinese. On the contrary, they didn’t trust the Chinese and used all kinds of furriners, like Marco Rubio, er….Marco Polo, to work in the administration of the country.

      Also, the mongols were not a horde. They were a highly organized military using decimal formations to conduct operations. 10 men sections (arban) in 100 men companies (zuun) in 1000 men battalions (mingghan) in 10,000 brigades (the famous tumen).

      This is far from a “horde”.

      • SteeleyI says:

        Respect. You, sir, are a scholar.

        Off topic for the thread, I highly recommend Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast series on the Mongols, Wrath of the It’ll cost you $10, but it is a great listen, especially if you have a long commute.

        He also has a lot of free content:

        Blueprint for Armageddon (WWI) and Supernova in the East (Japan, pre-war through WWII).

        • 5th/77th FA says:

          Joe my term was used as a semi sarcastic blending of the historic use by China of the human wave “horde” attacks ala the Chosin Basin and/or the massive waves of Mongol/Mongrel “dogs of war” unleashed from the east out of Soviet Territory against the German Army during their retreats in 44/45. It was a term that we used in the dark ages of the Cold War in the ETO wondering if our tactical nukes would slow down the “horde” of 60 plus divisions from the East against our 20 some odd divisions.

          They came real close to conquering the known world at one point in time. Our ability to threaten and destroy their world by strategic nukes is one of the few things that has kept the enemies of our Republic at bay. Henceforth their desire to destroy us economically or politically from within. Just my opinion/coupla pennies worth.

      • USAF E-5 says:

        If I’m recalling my history right, The Soviet Union used Mongolian Troops as Assault Troops. Formed at ArchAngel, used against German Troops, suffering losses of 43k dead, 125k missing and wounded. I think we can call them a “Horde”. The other thing I want to say is that in Mongolian Horde means something completely different. Basically, Dedicated to the Warrior King. Roughly.

  4. Cameron Kingsley says:

    I am going to be honest and say that I am afraid to know what China’s current capabilities are. I know their army is bigger than I would like (estimated number of active duty soldiers is currently at 1,340,000 according to Wikipedia and this is not counting reserves which are probably at least over 100,000). I don’t know what their logistical capabilities are but I am sure they have many potential tricks they can use to ruin our day and they seem to have decent enough equipment. Their navy also looks like it’s nothing to sneeze at either even though the quality might not be on the same level as ours. Though I am sure you guys have much more knowledge of this than me.

    • Slow Joe says:

      I hear a lot of things about their navy that i don’t like, but they still largely restricted to costal defense, giving them a regional reach but not a global presence like the old Soviet Union had. As with all expanding navies, they try to makeup for their lack of operational and institutional experience with new shiny toys.

      As far as their army, I haven’t seen any reports on their logistical capabilities, which is the key element to sustaining combat operations, but their army has been modernizing for years, reducing their total numbers while becoming more professional, thus making their force very tach savvy and adapted to constant change.

      However, I hear their NCO corp is still very weak and underdeveloped, with all responsibility and authority restricted to officers, with NCOs being barely a more senior private.

      • Cameron Kingsley says:

        That is true that it still is mostly a littoral force. At least the US Navy seems to be growing quite steadily again, probably won’t be 355 ships but at least it will be over 300 (which is the smallest size I am willing to keep it at; nothing less as it good to have some ships in reserve while others are down for maintenance). I also believe we should also be sure to work with India (which we do seem to be doing with the Indian Navy) in addition to South Korea and Japan (these two I would say could definitely give the Chinese a hard time and I do hear that South Korea is looking to expand their Navy and add a few true aircraft carriers to it; I would also say that South Korean and Japanese ship building along with their other equipment is likely miles ahead of the Chinese in terms of quality) as they can’t stand China in more ways than one, plus they’re one of the more neutral and friendlier countries in mainland Asia.

      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        They have control of a great deal of shipping and airliners. They are working on their global supply situation via “Belt and Road”.

        Modern auto-carriers make decent roll-on-roll-off transports for follow-up to an amphibious invasion. Clancy touched on this in Debt of Honor. China has them, and could have a bunch more via shell corporations.

        They need a big-time distraction for us in order to take Taiwan. That and at least some element of surprise. Otherwise a few US attack subs can wreck the whole operation.

        A major problem they now face is Trump. He is -very- good at handling curveballs, and throws really screwy pitches of his own. If China gets frisky I can see him deploying -very- rapidly all sorts of economic disaster for them. Just the -threat- of asking Congress to repudiate bonds would destroy them overnight. (Granted, much pain elsewhere. ) He might go so far as to mine harbors. (The ones in Taiwan, needed to sustain and invasion, for sure. Maybe mainland ones. )

        China does -not- like wildcards.

        • SteeleyI says:

          We have to maintain a credible deterrent for Taiwan, no doubt. Strategically, the distraction could be in Europe, where the alliance that has kept Russia at bay is starting to show signs of weakness. What if we woke up one morning and saw that Russia was making a move in Poland and the Baltic states? More importantly, what would China do if we sent the force necessary to deal with it?

          China is going to go about this in a very subtle fashion. Remember, their national game of strategy is Go, which is all about slowly building influence and edging the competitor out. Basically, we are studying Clausewitz, Moltke, and Jomini, while the Chinese grew up reading Sun Tzu and Mao’s Little Red Book.

          The president’s National Security Strategy rightly identifies China and Russia in the top 5 threats (the others being DPRK, Iran, and VEOs). If you look at the actual disposition of force in the region, you will see that we are at a huge disadvantage- the Chinese have the internal lines,

          • 11B-Mailclerk says:

            They have all sorts of external lines.

            The whole point of “Belt and Road” is to obtain key things the line of which the US is not an integral part.

            But that also is an opportunity for us. Breaking those now-external lines is less painful for us.

            Their economy is fragile. It has greater mass, but it is very fragile. Their habit of opacity works against them in a conflict. Trust is essential to economic interactions. They are burning that bridge.

            And the thing they can least address is an opponent who changes the game and rules. The flaw of seriously long-term games is that someone else can change the course. Taking too long is often a strategic mistake.

            • SteeleyI says:

              I think we are talking about different definitions of internal and external lines.

              In a potential conflict with China, we would face very long external lines to reinforce any force we tried to insert in the area. China, on the other hand, would be in their back yard with an established network of bases from which to operate, not to mention mainland China.

              I’m not so sure about their economy being fragile- although it is it is slowing. I’m not sure what you mean about the Belts and Roads initiative. The point is to establish a China dominated market in Asia that will allow them to do there what the US does in the rest of the world.

              Of course, unlike the liberal free market we established, it will be more centrally controlled, and China is doing it to dominate the region.

              I get it, Trump is Kirk and China is Spock. He’s Maverick and they are Iceman. While I agree that being unpredictable is an effective tactic, it does not make up for a lack of strategy. Simply making things up as you go along isn’t quite the same thing.

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      Their Army reserves, depending on how counted, are between ten million and one hundred million, not one hundred thousand.

      • Cameron Kingsley says:

        So basically a decent chunk of the population? Is their definition of reserves the same as we define them in the Western World? I’m a bit confused.

  5. David says:

    Sounds like they are creating Greater SouthEast Asian Coprosperity Sphere or something like it. Sounds familiar somehow.

  6. SteeleyI says:

    The real threat China presents is economic. The Belts and Roads Initiative is really insidious, slow moving coercion in disguise.

    Nations are promised funding for huge infrastructure projects that will not only boost their trade but also create hundreds of jobs.

    What they get is infrastructure that supports China’s maritime paid for with a loan they can never pay back, made with Chinese materials look up world steel production and ask yourself why the Chinese are making so much), and built by Chinese laborers that never leave.

    As far as military conflict, DoD thinks war with China will look quite different from past wars. Cyber, EW, space, Hypervelocity weapons, and AI coupled with drone technology are changing the character of war to the point that some are saying the actual nature of war is changing. You have two nuclear capable nations that have anti-access/area denial systems that can locate and sink ships over the horizon, man portable missiles that can destroy any tank on the battlefield from outside the tank’s range, and the capability to send swarms of AI enabled drones to overwhelm defensive networks.

    Is it war when a swarm of Chinese drones fights a swarm of American Drones, all operated by proxy corporations or non-state actors? What if undersea drones destroy an Indonesian fishing vessel?

    I recommend reading Ending Wars by Feargal Cochrane and New and Old Wars by Mary Kaldor. Also have a look at our emerging future operating concepts: The Army published Multi-Domain Operations, and the other services have something similar out there.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Today, East Asia; tomorrow the world! Lebensraum! (Yeah, you’ve heard that before somewhere.)