Tuesday, March 4, 2008

China's Colossal Capabilities

China's undisputed economic domination, harnessed from a workforce coming from more than a billion people, is now poised to transform its economic power into an equally potent military power. The Chinese, a proud and resilient race, always had a craving for power and recognition like all other nations that reached its current enviable status. And, they fully understand that power involves not only a strong economy, but a powerful military. They are cognizant of the ability of a strong economy to solve domestic problems, but are even more focused on its capacity to provide resources for military modernization and expansion.

China's military build-up began 16 years ago after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Today, it has hundreds of advanced fighters; scores of submarines, frigates, and destroyers; continuously modernizes and expands its nuclear arsenal; and is fielding hundreds of theater range missiles. Estimates place China's attack submarines at 30, with 6 more being produced. By 2020, it will out-pace the United States in number of attack submarines. China's successful anti-satellite missile test in January 2007 is viewed by the US as a threat to America's spy satellites; and its proven range is capable of destroying 316 of the 528 international orbiters in space. Beijing has declared that the firing was not adversarial since it merely targeted an old US satellite for the test, but the US sees the achievement as a potential catalyst to a space arms race.

Pentagon has no accurate estimate of China's military spending because of its lack of transparency. However, a recent Pentagon report suggests that China also spent heavily on cyberware since it experienced "intrusions" suspected to originate from the Peoples Liberation Army. During these hacking instances, unclassified US military computer systems were broken into and succeeded in obtaining information. The same complaint was registered by the UK which believed China's state sponsored cyber terrorists conducted sustained attacks on Whitehall's vital computer networks. Both countries believe that China is building a cyber army trained to cripple computer systems of potential enemies, leaving them totally vulnerable during times of war or crisis. China has denied the allegations and asked the United States to abandon Cold War thinking.

Today, China voted with Russia in blocking a resolution introduced by western powers to put more pressure on Iran's defiance at pursuing a nuclear program. The potential for a realignment of natural allies (China and Russia) is gathering strength, and these two countries seem bent on adding to their number by supporting Iran's nuclear development for military use. All 3 countries are practically single party structures, with Russia's recent democratic elections being merely a facade for dictatorship. On the other hand, the United States is mired in internal squabbling among conservatives, liberals, libertarians, evangelicals, and so many other segments, pulling it in several directions and weakening its resolve.

If this trend continues, there is no stopping China from becoming the most powerful nation of earth; and all those who reside in the Asia-Pacific region had better start learning Fookienese and Mandarin to welcome the new Master of the World!



Blogtommy said...

What do you mean China's becoming the most powerful nation in the world? I think they're already there. They have a long ways to go in terms of social issues and a powerful economy doesn't always translate into a happy populace, but....que sara. China will probably not avoid the inevitable slowdown that a US depression brings about, but chances are they will be better equipped to manage it....T

Tapline said...

brad,,,,Do not be disallusioned by the retoric from our pentagon! They release what they want for public consumption, the rest they will save for classified reports to Congress and the President's Cabinet. They are very aware of China's military capabilities.....stay well....

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Tommy,

I am referring to Military power, the kind that pushes hegemony and sucks the lifeblood out of smaller nations.

The possibility of an implosion in the social sphere is huge; specifically in the culture, sexual attitudes, human rights, and freedom of expression. But with the Chinese, they have more tanks to use against such upheavals if any.

Managing an economic decline is easy for them since they have tremendous investments abroad as well as 3 trillion US dollars that they can shake America with if they decide to sink the US economy further; plus the fact that their people are used to sacrifice.

The banding with Russia and Iran should not be taken lightly, I believe. --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Tap,

I know that filters in reports exist, for National Security reasons; but this could also be positive or negative where citizens are concerned.

If the Pentagon knows China's capabilities, can this be equalized? Are we moving into another arms race towards a cold war?

Thanks for the assurance and I sure hope they understand the consequences of what they're doing, and prepare a sound action on it based on practical logic. Take care Tap. --Durano, done!

The Fitness Diva said...

I knew I was already way ahead of the curve by taking a year of Mandarin Chinese lessons just recently. Ha!
And when the writing is on the wall, I'll be able to read it! ;)

This is pretty ominous stuff, Durano, but we had to see it coming. The Chinese are certainly not going to be happy just being the biggest economical power in the world.
Old habits die hard.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Fitness Diva,

It's in their genes. Power is an energy that builds on itself. After obtaining economic power, the natural evolution is to spend it on war material,supposedly to protect gains. This then translates into scaring other nations to secure more gains, and so on and so forth.

It's not hard to imagine that corruption through bribery is part of all these when they deal with other nations.

Good for you you know mandarin, but you need someone to practice it with. Things not used tend to be forgotten.

Back to my Chinese lesson... how to say I Love you in Mandarin...hmmmm...--Durano, done!

The Fitness Diva said...

That one's easy "wo ai ni". But a more useful phrase to know in the future will certainly be
"Wow! How in the world did you guys get to be big #1 ?!"
Of course, there will be no need to answer. The Chinese person you're talking to will just throw their head back and laugh! ;)

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Fitness Diva,

Thanks, I wasn't expecting an immediate response.

So, now to the next step... "Would you like to have dinner? Chopsticks or spoons?" :-) --Durano, done!

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