Archive for the ‘China vs America’ category

China building military base in Pakistan

January 4, 2018

China building military base in Pakistan, Washington TimesBill Gertz, January 3, 2018

Chinese planes will be flying from a facility at Jiwani, Pakistan — a port close to the Iranian border on the Gulf of Oman — as part of a push for greater power projection capabilities along strategic sea routes. (Associated Press/File)

President Trump on Monday issued a harsh rebuke of Pakistan, tweeting that the United States “foolishly” supplied Pakistan with $33 billion in aid over 15 years and stating that “they have given us nothing but lies & deceit.”

“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Mr. Trump tweeted.

Reuters reported that China’s investment has included $500 million in grants and $230 million for an international airport.

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China is constructing its second overseas military base in Pakistan as part of a push for greater power projection capabilities along strategic sea routes.

The facility will be built at Jiwani, a port close to the Iranian border on the Gulf of Oman, according to two people familiar with deal.

Plans call for the Jiwani base to be a joint naval and air facility for Chinese forces, located a short distance up the coast from the Chinese-built commercial port facility at Gwadar, Pakistan. Both Gwadar and Jiwani are part of Pakistan’s western Baluchistan province.

Plans for the base were advanced during a visit to Jiwani on Dec. 18 by a group of 16 Chinese People’s Liberation Army officers who met with about 10 Pakistani military officers. Jiwani is located on a peninsula about 15 miles long on a stretch of land with one small airfield.

According to sources, the large naval and air base will require the Pakistani government to relocate scores of residents living in the area. Plans call for their relocation to other areas of Jiwani or further inland in Baluchistan province.

The Chinese also asked the Pakistanis to undertake a major upgrade of Jiwani airport so the facility will be able to handle large Chinese military aircraft. Work on the airport improvements is expected to begin in July.

The naval base and airfield will occupy nearly the entire strategic peninsula.

Jiwani will be China’s second major overseas military base. In August, the PLA opened its first foreign base in Djibouti, a small African nation on the Horn of Africa.

The Pentagon has dubbed China’s foreign military basing ambitions the “string of pearls” strategy. The Chinese are planning to set up bases along a line of states stretching from the Persian Gulf through the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia.

The military bases are part of a bid by Beijing to protect strategic sea lanes used to transport oil and other resources for China’s large energy-consuming modernization.

Chinese Communist Party and military leaders fear the country could be crippled by foreign powers through a blockade or other military interdiction operations to disrupt oil shipments to China along the sea route during a crisis or conflict.

China’s government has sought to downplay the Djibouti base as merely a logistics facility for anti-piracy sea patrols in the region and not a power-projection tool. Similar propaganda will be used to limit international reaction to the Jiwani base.

Some Pentagon officials, however, regard the Djibouti base and the future second base at Jiwani as part of efforts to control oil shipping in and out of the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Both Chinese bases are located near strategic chokepoints — Djibouti near the Bab el Mandeb on the Red Sea and Jiwani close to the Strait of Hormuz on the Persian Gulf.

Pakistan’s military also has been moving additional troops and security forces into nearby Gwadar, where China has invested heavily in building a commercial port and other infrastructure projects.

President Trump on Monday issued a harsh rebuke of Pakistan, tweeting that the United States “foolishly” supplied Pakistan with $33 billion in aid over 15 years and stating that “they have given us nothing but lies & deceit.”

“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Mr. Trump tweeted.

Reuters reported that China’s investment has included $500 million in grants and $230 million for an international airport.

China is also promoting what Beijing calls the Belt and Road Initiative, a development program of land and sea routes over 60 nations in Asia, Europe and Africa.

As part of that initiative, China plans to turn Gwadar into a megaport for transshipping goods worldwide, along with energy pipelines, roads and rail links connecting to western China. Chinese naval and air forces at nearby Jiwani would then provide protection for that base.

China also has leased a port on the Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka that recently opened at Hambantota. The facility has raised concerns in India that views China as a growing regional and global threat.

MATTIS ON SYRIA OPERATIONS

Defense Secretary James Mattis recently voiced concerns that foreign jihadis being driven from Syria and Iraq will move to other parts of the region and around the world to conduct terrorist attacks.

But the retired four-star Marine Corps general told reporters Dec. 29 that U.S. and allied forces are working to crush all remnants of the Islamic State terrorist group.

Mr. Mattis said the strategy put into place by the Trump administration is producing good results, despite criticism that the military efforts were not moving fast enough.

“We deal with reality,” he said. “We told you that the caliphate was going to go down. Well, there were numerous people who thought perhaps the strategy was wrong when it was initiated by the last administration, thought it was too slow when I came in, thought there was this complexity with Turkey or that complexity with the Russian regime or the Iranians.

“We sit here today at the end of 2017, [and] the caliphate is on the run,” he added. “We are breaking them.”

The terrorists’ capital of Raqqa in Syria was retaken along with other Islamic State strongholds at Manbij and Tabqa.

“Some people escaped,” he said. “That’s what happens in war. They moved, clearly, into the Middle Euphrates River Valley. We are in the process of crushing the life out of the caliphate there while trying to keep the innocent people safe, which is very hard with this group.”

Mr. Mattis said the fleeing terrorists are “not a big issue.”

“They’ll have to be hunted down,” he noted, adding that the remnants of the organized terrorists have been launching counterattacks.

So far, the Islamic State does not appear capable of regrouping within some safe havens in the region, such as central Iraq.

“They’ve been shattered, and then the remnants gather somewhere, which is what we expect them to do, and so we have repeatedly said in this room the war is not over,” Mr. Mattis said.

The defense secretary said the objective is to so weaken the Islamic State where the danger can be handled by local forces and police.

But hunting down Islamic State fighters is continuing.

“Am I worried about it? Not in the least,” Mr. Mattis said. “These guys have not proven they can stand against the Iraqi security forces. They cannot stand against the [Syrian Democratic Forces]. Their best bet is against unarmed men, women and children, and once they’re confronted with this, it’s mostly an intelligence fight. Once the intelligence fight is won, once we identify where they’re at, it’s just a matter of: Can we surround them so they don’t get away to fight another, and then kill them? It’s not who’s going to win.”

PENTAGON REPORTERS MEET MATTIS

The comments on Syria by Defense Secretary James Mattis last week came during one of his infrequent press briefings that in the past took place unannounced in the small reporters’ office near the Pentagon press office in the eastern wing of the five-sided building.

Mr. Mattis often conducted the press sessions after picking up his laundry from the Pentagon dry cleaners. That format forced press outlets to keep reporters in the office at all times to avoid missing a potential news story.

Mr. Mattis told the gathered scribes last week that he would try to provide more notice for his impromptu stop-bys.

The defense chief said he was pressed by The Associated Press’ Bob Burns, a veteran Pentagon reporter, to regularize the press meetings and promised to try to announce them in advance.

“The problem with that is that, if I do that and tell you in advance, and then something comes up and I don’t show up, then that becomes the story,” said Mr. Mattis, who is considered one of the Trump administration’s senior officials who is very cautious when speaking to reporters.

“You just have to understand, there are times when other things come up that intrude on my schedule,” he said. “And it’s like anything else on my schedule. I may just dismiss the forward officers who spent two weeks preparing the brief for me because something’s come up and I’ve got to go over to State Department or need to run out to some other place.”

Mr. Mattis said his press meetings generally will take place later in the week since Monday is “when I have the least control of my schedule, and it actually gets better during the week.”

“But, if something goes on in Korea or something like that, then things change. That’s the way it is.”

China Asks US to Not Allow Taiwan President in Guam, Hawaii

October 28, 2017

China Asks US to Not Allow Taiwan President in Guam, Hawaii, Latin American Herald Tribune, October 28, 2017

(How does one say “mind your own  *!@#^$ business” in Chinese?  Please see also, Chinese Official Says China Might Invade Taiwan If “Peaceful Reunification Takes Too Long.”  — DM)

Beijing’s objection to Tsai’s stopovers is possibly related to China’s concerns that the Taiwan president could use them to meet US officials.

This is the third foreign visit by the Taiwanese president, who recently visited other allies in Latin America, making stopovers in the US mainland.

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BEIJING – China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry urged the United States on Friday to not allow Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to make stopovers in the US islands of Hawaii and Guam en route her visit to three ally countries in the South Pacific.

Tsai, who is set to visit the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu between Oct. 28 and Nov. 4, has scheduled stopovers in Hawaii on Saturday and in Guam on Nov. 3.

“I will hope that the US can adhere to the ‘One China’ principle and not allow her to make stopovers,” foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a press conference, adding that Beijing had already lodged a formal complaint with Washington over the visit.

The spokesperson said the US should not send out wrong signals and take concrete steps to maintain stability in Taiwan and China.

Beijing’s objection to Tsai’s stopovers is possibly related to China’s concerns that the Taiwan president could use them to meet US officials.

Taiwan has only 20 diplomatic allies around the world, out of which half are located in Latin America and the Caribbean, although countries like Panama have switched over their loyalties to China recently.

This is the third foreign visit by the Taiwanese president, who recently visited other allies in Latin America, making stopovers in the US mainland.

China’s War Timing Firming Up

October 18, 2017

China’s War Timing Firming Up, American ThinkerDavid Archibald, October 18, 2017

(Please see also, China’s Secret Military Plan: Invade Taiwan by 2020. — DM)

Part of Obama’s baleful legacy is that during the Scarborough Shoal Incident of April to June 2012, the Filipino president travelled to Washington to ask Obama for U.S. support. Obama didn’t offer support, no operational support followed and China read that as the signal to seize territory from a U.S. ally. As is the usual pattern, the consequence of not dealing forcefully against a minor aggression will lead to a much bigger war down the track.

The Chinese leader that organised the seizure of Scarborough Shoal, Xi Jinping, became a national hero and that gave him the political momentum to see off rivals to become president of the People’s Republic of China the following year. As retired U.S. Navy captain James Fanell noted, while in the West the Scarborough seizure was treated as a minor fisheries dispute, Chinese scholars recognized the significance of Xi’s template for mooting U.S. alliances by undercutting confidence in defense agreements, calling it the ‘Scarborough Model’.

Emboldened by Obama’s acquiescence, China is preparing for a “short, sharp war” to seize the Senkaku Islands from Japan. They are building specialised equipment to that end. Again from Captain Fanell:

Size matters in confrontations at sea, especially between coast guard vessels. As China has sought more of its neighbors’ maritime sovereignty, it has built ever-larger coast guard ships. These are intended to enable its civil maritime forces to carry out China’s  campaign more aggressively (having the biggest ship on scene), and to conduct them at  increasing distances from China’s coastline. As such, China has demonstrated its commitment to have the largest coast guard vessels in the Asia Pacific region. In 2014, China commissioned the largest coast guard cutter in the world, at 12,000 tons, the Zhongguo Haijing 2901. This cutter first went to sea for the first time in May 2015 and is subordinated to the East China Sea area of responsibility. A second ship of the class, CCG 3901, was completed and made ready for operations in January 2016. The Communist Party’s People’s Daily made the purpose of these ships crystal-clear, stating they were designed to have “the power to smash into a vessel weighing more than 20,000 tons and will not cause any damage to itself when confronting a vessel weighing under 9,000 tons. It can also destroy a 5,000-ton ship and sink it to the sea floor.”

Note carefully the combat assault mission of these Chinese Coast Guard ships.

Sinking ships by ramming is a throwback to how triremes did battle in the Mediterranean. It also tells us how China plans to start its war. The super-sized Chinese coast guard ships will ram and sink Japanese coast guard vessels.

When the Japanese Navy responds by sinking the Chinese coast guard ships, the Chinese PLA Navy will come over the horizon with amphibious assault ships. China will claim to be the aggrieved party and offer to end hostilities, leaving it in possession of what it seized.

The Chinese have been doing some dry runs for the conflict to come. Around midday on August 5th, 2016, some 200 to 300 Chinese fishing boats swarmed into the contiguous zone around the Senkaku Islands of Kuban and Uotsuri, followed by 15 Chinese coast guard vessels by August 9th. Come the actual battle, there will be hundreds of Chinese vessels to be sunk, much like plinking tanks in the deserts of the Middle East.

China’s intent is plain, the next question is the timing. The Communist Party of China has directed the People’s Liberation Army to transform itself into a force that will be ready to take Taiwan by 2020. A Senkaku campaign will be a lot easier than subduing Taiwan, and possession of the Senkakus in turn will make the Taiwan campaign easier to mount by partial envelopment of that island. The PLA Navy is still expanding and China might not start its war until its navy is somewhat larger than it is now. Of particular interest is a new class of amphibious assault ships, the Type 075. Approximately the size of the U.S. Navy’s Wasp-class ships, the Type 075 is projected to carry up to 30 helicopters and have the ability to launch six helicopters simultaneously. The first Type 075 class may be launched in 2019 and in service in 2020. Another four might be built by 2025.

There are a few other considerations which have the potential to bring forward China’s war plans. China’s economic growth is mostly debt-funded construction of unproductive assets, so China’s debt to GDP ratio continues to climb. Everyone knows this is unsustainable, that it will end in tears but nobody knows when. A stalling economy and tens of millions of personal bankruptcies as China’s real estate bubble pops would encourage the regime to distract the public with a foreign military adventure. Then there is the question of China’s energy supply. China’s strategic petroleum reserve is estimated to be about 700 million barrels and still building at one million barrels per day. The Chinese reserve will probably keep building until the day the war starts and U.S. and Japanese submarines begin sinking Chinese tankers.

But the big story in energy, internationally, is the projected peaking of Chinese coal production in 2020 before it starts falling away due to resource exhaustion. Chinese coal production of over four billion tons per annum is about four times the U.S. production level. Coal is the source of two thirds of power generation in China, about the same for chemical feedstocks and is the source of all the nitrogenous fertiliser they use. The energy content of Chinese coal production is equivalent to 58 million barrels of oil per day. The production cost of coal, and thus the cost of doing everything in China, will start rising once production has peaked. It is unlikely that China’s nuclear power sector will expand fast enough to compensate. Thus China’s competitiveness relative to countries that have plenty of coal remaining will fall. This will factor into President Xi’s timing of his war.

Now is the time to ask Lenin’s question “What is to be done?” The important thing is to shun anything made in China because that just funds their aggression. Choose the Samsung offering over the iPhone for no other reason. And be nice to any Japanese or Vietnamese you meet. We need them to have courage.

David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare

 

Dissident Reveals Secret Chinese Intelligence Plans Targeting U.S.

October 9, 2017

Dissident Reveals Secret Chinese Intelligence Plans Targeting U.S., Washington Free Beacon, , October 9, 2017

(Please see also, China’s ‘Magic Weapons’: Influence Operations Subverting Foreign Governments. — DM)

Guo Wengui / Ellen Dubin Photography

China earlier this year ordered the dispatch of 27 intelligence officers to the United States as part of a larger campaign of subversion, according to a leading Chinese dissident.

Guo Wengui, a billionaire real estate mogul, disclosed what he said was an internal Communist Party document authorizing the Ministry of State Security to send the spies, described as “people’s police officers.”

Guo, who is being sought by the Chinese government in a bid to silence his disclosures of high-level corruption and intelligence activity, denounced the Beijing regime as corrupt and called for a “revolution” to reform the system.

“My only single goal that I set myself to try to achieve is to change China,” Guo said through an interpreter during a National Press Club meeting attended by news reporters and supporters of the exiled dissident.

“What they’re doing is against humanity,” he said. “What the U.S. ought to do is take action, instead of just talking to the Chinese kleptocracy.”

Guo last month requested political asylum in the United States in the face of a high-level Chinese government effort to force the United States to return him to China. China has charged him with several crimes. Guo has denied the charges.

Guo earlier charged that senior Chinese leader Wang Qishan, who controls most of China’s finances, is corrupt and has engaged in moving money and documents outside of China. Wang is leading China’s nationwide anti-corruption drive that critics say is cover for efforts by Xi to consolidate power.

The Chinese campaign against Guo has included high-level diplomatic and economic pressure on American government and business leaders to lobby for Guo’s repatriation.

China’s Minister of Public Security, Guo Shengkun, met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday where China’s demands for the return of fugitives was discussed.

A Justice Department spokesman said Sessions raised the issue of a Chinese-origin cyber attack against the Hudson Institute, a think tank that had canceled its plan to hold the press conference for Guo under pressure from China. The Justice spokesman, Wynn Hornbuckle, said China pledged their cooperation in investigating the incident.

Hornbuckle would not say if Guo Wengui was discussed during the law enforcement and cyber security talks.

David Tell, a Hudson spokesman, told the Washington Free Beacon, the denial of service cyber attack was traced by investigators to Shanghai.

According to an email obtained by the Free Beacon, a Hudson employee stated that he was asked to forward a message to institute leaders sent from a Chinese Embassy official on Sept. 29.

Chinese officials, according to the email, “want Hudson to cancel the Guo Wengui event because he is a criminal and tells lies, that China is about to enter a sensitive time with its Party Congress, that hosting him would hurt China-U.S. relations, and that this event would embarrass Hudson Institute and hurt our ties with the Chinese government.”

The intelligence document released Thursday is one of a number sensitive internal reports obtained by Guo who was once close to MSS Vice Minister Ma Jian, who was imprisoned last year on corruption charges, but who Guo has said was repressed politically because of his knowledge of corruption among Chinese leaders.

Guo said he had planned to disclose three internal Chinese government documents during the Hudson event. But instead he burned the documents after the event was canceled.

Guo said he maintains close ties to supporters within the Chinese government and security system and is able to obtain many internal documents.

According to Guo, for simply holding the top-secret document he distributed at the press conference, a person could be jailed in China for three to five years.

The document was issued by the National Security Council, a new Chinese government and Party entity headed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

The MSS operatives will work under cover at the Bank of China branch offices and at Chinese diplomatic facilities in the United States.

The document is labeled “top secret” and dated April 27. It was released by Guo at a press conference in Washington during which he appealed for the U.S. government to wake up to the threat posed by China and counter it.

Guo said the authenticity of the document was confirmed by the U.S. government.

The directive to the MSS was formally called “The Request for Instructions on the Working Plan of Secretly Dispatching and 27 People’s Police Officers, He Jianfeng and Others from the Ministry of State Security to the United States on Field Duty in 2017.”

“We approve in principle,” the report says, adding “please carefully organize and implement.”

According to the document the MSS should follow Chinese ideology set out by the late leader Deng Xiaoping, as well as the concepts outlined in speeches by Xi, the current leader.

The document is one of the first internal documents to reveal how China is expanding intelligence activities targeting what it calls “hostile forces” in the United States.

The MSS, according to the report, was told to “go according to the need of the strategic arrangements” of the Communist Party “against overseas hostile forces, strictly abide by our national principles of state security work on the United States, and use the opportunity of the rise of our comprehensive national strength and Sino-U.S. diplomatic relations tending to ease to further expand the scope and depth of the infiltration into the anti-China hostile forces in the United States.”

The MSS agents are to enter the United States secretly in phases and “use the cover of the executives of the state-owned enterprises in the United States, such as the Bank of China (New York) to carry out solid intelligence collection, to incite defection of relevant individuals, and to conduct counter-espionage, etc.”

The spies also were directed to focus on “extraordinarily significant criminal suspects, including Ling Wancheng, Guo Wengui, and Cheng Muyang, etc.”

Ling is the brother of Ling Jihua, a former high-ranking Chinese official who China has accused of illegal activities and who defected to the United States in 2016. Cheng is a real estate mogul in Canada who China also accused of illegal activities.

“If necessary, they should also actively support, cooperate with, and assist the personnel in the United States who conduct the United Front operations, diplomatic operations, and military intelligence operations to carry out related business,” the document states.

United Front work is what the Chinese government calls influence operations aimed at coopting Americans into supporting Beijing’s policies.

The directive urges the spies to “make contributions for further crushing overseas anti-China hostile forces.”

Lastly, MSS officials should seek to strengthen the organization and provide after actions reports to the senior Party organ.

“We have friends all over the world … those who provide the documents are among the most senior people, including the current Politburo standing committee,” Guo said. “My material is real. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be afraid of it.”

Guo said during his press conference that since the April directive, around 50 additional intelligence operatives were sent to the United States.

An FBI spokeswoman had no comment on the document. A Chinese Embassy spokesman did not respond to an email seeking comment.

On Saturday, China’s Public Security Ministry issued a statement denying China was behind the hack of a law firm representing Guo and the Hudson Institute. The ministry also disputed the authenticity of the document.

“An official of the Ministry of Public Security states that, China paid close attention to such allegations and launched immediate investigation,” the statement said. “But no evidence has been found that China and its government have been involved with these incidents.”

The ministry also called the documents revealed by Guo “utterly clumsily forged and full of obvious mistakes.” It did not elaborate but offered to cooperate in a U.S. investigation into the authenticity of the materials and cooperate in the probe of the cyber attacks.

According to Guo, China is engaged in a three-pronged campaign of subversion in the United States he labeled “Blue-Gold-Yellow,” with each color standing for a different line of attack.

Blue represents large-scale Chinese cyber and internet operations while gold represents China’s use of money and financial power. The yellow is part of a plan to use sex to undermine American society.

Another Chinese government subversion program was described by Guo using the code name the “Three Fs.” It involves China’s systematic programs targeting the United States with the goal to weaken the country, throw the country into turmoil and ultimately defeat America.

Asked about the major Communist Party meeting scheduled for later this month, Guo said: “I would like all members of the Chinese Communist Party to wake up and say no to this ruling clique.”

Guo disclosed that he was imprisoned in China after the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square and spent 22 months in prison. Chinese police also shot his brother, who later died.

Since then, he has spent the intervening years as an entrepreneur preparing to expose corrupt Chinese leaders, a process he began in January.

China has retaliated by freezing some $17 billion in assets in China and by imprisoning business associates and relatives of Guo.

Radio France’s Chinese-language radio service reported recently that several Chinese have been harassed by authorities for discussing Guo’s disclosures about Wang’s corruption. The report called the activity “Guo Wengui-phobia.”

Chinese censors have cracked down on people online who used the phrases used by Guo, like “Wang-Seven-Three” and “73” for Wang Qishen. Also a person wearing the t-shirt with the word “all of this is only the beginning”—one of Guo’s catch phrases on social media was detained.

“Those who support Guo Wengui call out ‘put a pot on your head,’ a homophone for ‘support Guo,'” the French report said. “Those who desperately want to catch him want to ‘smash that pot,’ literally meaning ‘smash the pot,’ but the term means ‘to fail.'”

China also recently blocked the messaging app WhatsApp, after China tightened controls on WeChat, Weibo, and Baidu message boards that were sharing posts on Guo.

“Looking at social media, every time Guo Wengui has revealed the secrets of a corrupt official, there’s been a reaction on the streets of Beijing,” the report said. “In restaurants, bars, in the streets and alleyways, people see each other and, smiling, ask, ‘What did he say now?’ It’s become a tacit greeting.”

China’s Secret Military Plan: Invade Taiwan by 2020

October 3, 2017

China’s Secret Military Plan: Invade Taiwan by 2020, Washington Free Beacon, October 3, 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping / Getty Images

Democratic-ruled Taiwan poses an existential threat to China’s communist leaders because the island, located some 90 miles off the southeast coast “serves as a beacon of freedom for ethnically Chinese people everywhere,” the book states.

“Consequently, the PLA considers the invasion of Taiwan to be its most critical mission, and it is this envisioned future war that drives China’s military buildup.”

For the Pentagon, China’s plan to seize Taiwan has worried those in the Air Force who expect Chinese missile and other attacks on nearby U.S. bases, notably Japan’s Kadena air base, a central U.S. military hub in the Pacific.

American Navy officials fear Chinese submarines will sink U.S. aircraft carriers or the USS Blue Ridge, the region’s only command ship.

“No one seemed clear on exactly what might happen, but all were sure a future Chinese surprise attack would be worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11 combined,” the book says.

Others note that a Taiwan conflict could rapidly escalate to a U.S.-China nuclear war.

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China has drawn up secret military plans to take over the island of Taiwan by 2020, an action that would likely lead to a larger U.S.-China conventional or nuclear war, according to newly-disclosed internal Chinese military documents.

The secret war plan drawn up by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Chinese Communist Party’s armed forces, calls for massive missile attacks on the island, along with a naval and air blockade that is followed by amphibious beach landing assaults using up to 400,000 troops.

The plans and operations are outlined in a new book published this week, The Chinese Invasion Threat by Ian Easton, a China affairs analyst with the Project 2049 Institute, a think tank.

The danger of a Taiwan conflict has grown in recent years even as current tensions between Washington and Beijing are mainly the result of U.S. opposition to Chinese militarization in the South China Sea and China’s covert support of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

“Of all the powder kegs out there, the potential for a war over Taiwan is by far the largest and most explosive,” the 290-page book states, adding that the growing likelihood of a war over Taiwan will dominate worries within the Pentagon for years to come.

“China has made clear that its primary external objective is attaining the ability to apply overwhelming force against Taiwan during a conflict, and if necessary destroy American-led coalition forces,” the books says.

Democratic-ruled Taiwan poses an existential threat to China’s communist leaders because the island, located some 90 miles off the southeast coast “serves as a beacon of freedom for ethnically Chinese people everywhere,” the book states.

“Consequently, the PLA considers the invasion of Taiwan to be its most critical mission, and it is this envisioned future war that drives China’s military buildup.”

Parts of the PLA invasion scheme were first revealed publicly by the Taiwan Defense Ministry in late 2013. The plan calls for military operations against the island to be carried out by 2020.

The invasion program was confirmed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping during the major Communist Party meeting five years ago when Xi committed to “continue the 2020 Plan, whereby we build and deploy a complete operational capability to use force against Taiwan by that year.”

Other internal PLA writings that surfaced recently indicate China is ready to use force when it believes non-military means are not successful in forcing the capitulation to Beijing’s demands, and if the United States can be kept out of the battle.

Current U.S. law under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act requires the United States to provide defensive weaponry to Taiwan to prevent the use of force against the island.

China currently is using non-lethal means—psychological, diplomatic, propaganda, and informational warfare—against Taiwan. Once these are exhausted, the plan for large-scale amphibious assault will be carried out.

Any attempt by the Chinese military to take the island will be difficult and costly, the book says. The island has rough, mountainous terrain that has created a wind tunnel effect in the strait that produces very difficult weather for carrying troop and weapons transports, both air and sea.

Taiwan is around 230 miles long and 90 miles wide. Taiwanese military forces have been preparing for an invasion since Chinese nationalist forces first took refuge on the island at the end of the civil war with the communists in 1949.

However, since the 1980s, China has been rapidly building up its military capabilities for a battle to forcibly unify the island with the mainland. Over 1,000 ballistic and cruise missiles currently are stationed within range of the Taiwan.

According to the book, China’s invasion plan is known as the Joint Island Attack Campaign.

“Only by militarily occupying The Island can we fundamentally conquer the ‘separatist’ force’s natural living space, and totally end the long military standoff across the Strait,” one PLA field manual states.

The war plan calls for rapidly capturing the capital Taipei and destroying the government; seizing other major cities and clearing out surviving defenders; and occupying the entire country.

Military operations will emphasize speed and surprise to overwhelm coastal defenses and create so much destruction in the early phase that Taiwan would surrender before the U.S. military can deploy forces to the area.

“The conceptual plan, which is referred to in internal PLA writings as the Joint Island Attack Campaign, appears to be highly centralized and updated regularly based on the latest intelligence, weapons production, and lessons learned from exercises and training,” the book says.

The campaign is one of China’s most closely held secrets but has been discussed in internal military manuals and technical writings that recently leaked from within the PLA.

“These provide an extraordinarily detailed look into Chinese thinking on this campaign,” the book says.

The step-by-step invasion process will involve three phases: blockade and bombing, amphibious landing, and combat operations on the island.

Several layers of a naval and air blockade and massive missile strikes on 1,000 targets will be used in the first phase. China then plans to launch sea-borne assaults with an armada of warships against 14 possible beach sites.

“Before the invaders began landing along Taiwan’s coast, the PLA would launch wave after wave of missiles, rockets, bombs, and artillery shells, pounding shoreline defenses, while electronic jammers scrambled communications,” the book says.

The PLA believes a future invasion of Taiwan is inevitable, although the exact time is uncertain.

China regards Taiwan as a “renegade province” and considers reuniting the island with the mainland part of larger Chinese strategic goals of achieving global dominance.

“In the end, only by directly conquering and controlling the island can we realize national unification … otherwise ‘separatist’ forces, even if they momentarily compromise under pressure, can reignite like dormant ashes under the right conditions,” one PLA document states.

A PLA field manual warns that Taiwan’s geography and defenses will require massive and masterful military campaigns that will be extremely challenging, requiring great sacrifices.

A restricted PLA manual, “Course Book on the Taiwan Strait’s Military Geography” warned military officers that external militaries could use Taiwan to cut off China’s trade lines and for use as a U.S. military base to blockade China.

Also, many of China’s seaborne oil imports, pass through the Taiwan Strait and are highly vulnerable to military interdiction. “So protecting the security of this strategic maritime passageway is not just a military activity alone, but rather an act of national strategy,” the manual says.

China also regards Taiwan as a critical chokepoint for Japan and could be used by China to choke its rival.

On the information warfare front, China plans to use the internet and other media outlets to wage psychological warfare aimed at weakening Taiwan’s resistance prior to a main attack.

Psychological warfare actions will be combined with legal and media warfare and other political warfare tools.

An internal Chinese military report outlines the use of information operations:

Utilize legal warfare and public opinion warfare together with psychological warfare to divide and erode the island’s solid willpower and lower the island’s combat strength. Of these, utilize legal warfare against the enemy’s political groups and their so-called ‘allies’ as a form of psychological attack. Clearly make the case that a joint attack campaign against the main island is legally justifiable and based on a continued, and internal, war of liberation…utilize public opinion warfare against the enemy’s military groups as a form of psychological attack. Point out the benefits of giving up their support for ‘independence’ with effective messaging themes…Use the Internet media heavily against non-governmental groups on the island and the masses as a form of psychological attack. Proactively spread propaganda regarding the benefits of unification for the nation and the people, and erode the social foundation of the ‘separatist’ forces on the island.

Taiwan’s leaders also will be targeted in bombing strikes, including the presidential office in Taipei and other government leadership headquarters.

A PLA document tells military leaders to find leadership organizations and their defenses.

“Then you should use high tech weapons that have a strong capability to penetrate their airspace with precision and destructiveness to execute fierce strikes against their head person(s),” the document says. “Assure they are successfully knocked out with one punch.

Chinese commandos also will be used to abduct or kill Taiwan’s key political and military leaders, weapons experts, and scientists using clandestine means and direct attacks.

China, according to the book, would “almost certainly” fail in its full-scale invasion of Taiwan but its military appears driven to prepare and carry out such an attack.

“China’s leaders recognize the roadblocks in their path and will continue to invest heavily in strategic deception, intelligence collection, psychological warfare, joint training, and advanced weapons,” the book says.

“Barring countervailing efforts, their investments could result in a world-shaking conflict and an immense human tragedy.”

For the Pentagon, China’s plan to seize Taiwan has worried those in the Air Force who expect Chinese missile and other attacks on nearby U.S. bases, notably Japan’s Kadena air base, a central U.S. military hub in the Pacific.

American Navy officials fear Chinese submarines will sink U.S. aircraft carriers or the USS Blue Ridge, the region’s only command ship.

“No one seemed clear on exactly what might happen, but all were sure a future Chinese surprise attack would be worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11 combined,” the book says.

Others note that a Taiwan conflict could rapidly escalate to a U.S.-China nuclear war.

“The trigger could very well be an accident or innocent act, something calculated as benign but perceived as hostile,” the book says. “It may go down in history as an infamous event, or it may not be understood what exactly happened. Like the case of World War I, the true cause may be debated for a century and still undecided.”

Rick Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said the book presents important policy prescriptions for deterring war. The use of restricted Chinese military writings also provides new clues to Chinese intentions, plans and its ambitions to conquer Taiwan.

“What Easton has done is provide a vital warning to America and its allies, China could try to invade Taiwan as early as the first half of the next decade,” Fisher said. “That means we are right now in a Taiwan Straits crisis and we need to react like we are in a crisis or we risk falling into a war we have successfully avoided since 1950.”

Why an Obscure Strip of Land in the Himalayas is Important for the Free World

September 7, 2017

Why an Obscure Strip of Land in the Himalayas is Important for the Free World, Gatestone InstituteLawrence A. Franklin, September 7, 2017

India’s withdrawal already has served China’s interest: to pressure Bhutan and Nepal to resist seeking help from New Delhi to defend their sovereignty. China wants these small Himalayan countries to view India as an unreliable ally, and probably hopes they will begin looking to Beijing for protection and leadership.

Where the wider region is concerned, China most likely considers India’s capitulation as a signal to other countries engaged in territorial disputes with it — such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Japan — to succumb to bilateral negotiations with Beijing, rather than solicit international or multilateral organizations to negotiate for them. All of these states, which are either U.S. allies or have friendly relations with America, are keenly aware of their vulnerability in the face of China’s growing military power.

The United States must not allow China to intimidate India and other friendly regional states. Rather, it must support the banding together of those countries to defy Beijing and contain Chinese expansionism. American influence in the Pacific is at stake.

A months-long confrontation between China and India over an obscure piece of land — the Doklam plateau in the Himalayas — has serious implications that should not be minimized or ignored.

China’s decision to pick a fight with India near their mutual border with the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan is not just a local issue: the regional altercation could have global repercussions.

The crisis was sparked early in the summer of 2017, when China constructed a road inside Bhutan, an ally of India’s. (Bhutan’s border is internationally recognized, but China rejects its legitimacy, claiming that the area is really part of southern Tibet.) In response, Indian troops entered the disputed territory on June 12 and faced off with Chinese soldiers and road construction crews. No shots were fired, however brawling ensued.

(Image source: Nilesh shukla/Wikimedia Commons)

China’s behavior, which reflects its ultimate objective of achieving hegemony in the Pacific, runs counter to the U.S. policy imperative to protect freedom of navigation on the high seas, through which one-third of the world’s commerce passes. To this end, the U.S. Pacific Fleet conducts regular and frequent multilateral naval exercises to keep these waters free of Chinese control. One such exercise was conducted jointly with the Indian Navy during the recent standoff with China.

The upshot of the standoff was that India backed down. On August 28, New Delhi withdrew its troops from Doklam, a move that China has touted as a victory and deployed as a warning. As a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman triumphantly announced, “We remind the Indian side to learn the lesson from this incident.”

India portrayed the temporary resolution to the conflict differently, claiming the crisis was defused as a result of a mutually agreed-upon diplomatic decision, which it called an “expeditious disengagement of border personnel.” In any event, as no territorial issues were resolved along the 3,500-kilometer China-India border, future incidents are likely to erupt.

In the meantime, India’s withdrawal already has served China’s interest: to pressure Bhutan and Nepal to resist seeking help from New Delhi to defend their sovereignty. China wants these Himalayan countries to view India as an unreliable ally, and probably hopes they will begin looking to Beijing for protection and leadership.

Where the wider region is concerned, China most likely considers India’s capitulation as a signal to other countries engaged in territorial disputes with it — such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Japan — to succumb to bilateral negotiations with Beijing, rather than solicit international or multilateral organizations to negotiate for them. All of these states, which are either U.S. allies or have friendly relations with America, are keenly aware of their vulnerability in the face of China’s growing military power. If they become disillusioned and weaken their resistance to Beijing’s ambitions, the United States’ standing in the Pacific will be damaged irrevocably.

This is precisely the indirect message that China has been conveying to the powers-that-be in Washington, while warning India not to participate in any possible U.S. strategy to contain Chinese influence. Speaking on August 1 at an event to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army, Chinese President Xi Jinping hinted at this when he said, “We will never permit anybody, any organization, any political party to split off any piece of Chinese territory from China at any time in any form.”

The United States must not allow China to intimidate India and other friendly regional states. Rather, it must support the banding together of those countries to defy Beijing and contain Chinese expansionism. American influence in the Pacific is at stake, which should be of great concern to the rest of the free world.

Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He also served on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, where he was a Military Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Israel.