China: A Lurking Threat

Respected defense analyst and journalist Bill Gertz writes:

China is building its military forces faster than U.S. intelligence and military analysts expected, prompting fears that Beijing will attack Taiwan in the next two years, according to Pentagon officials.
U.S. defense and intelligence officials say all the signs point in one troubling direction: Beijing then will be forced to go to war with the United States, which has vowed to defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack.
China’s military buildup includes an array of new high-technology weapons, such as warships, submarines, missiles and a maneuverable warhead designed to defeat U.S. missile defenses. Recent intelligence reports also show that China has stepped up military exercises involving amphibious assaults, viewed as another sign that it is preparing for an attack on Taiwan…
China’s economy has been growing at a rate of at least 10 percent for each of the past 10 years, providing the country’s military with the needed funds for modernization.
The combination of a vibrant centralized economy, growing military and increasingly fervent nationalism has transformed China into what many defense officials view as a fascist state.
“We may be seeing in China the first true fascist society on the model of Nazi Germany, where you have this incredible resource base in a commercial economy with strong nationalism, which the military was able to reach into and ramp up incredible production,” a senior defense official said…
The release of an official Chinese government report in December called the situation on the Taiwan Strait “grim” and said the country’s military could “crush” Taiwan.
Earlier this year, Beijing passed an anti-secession law, a unilateral measure that upset the fragile political status quo across the Taiwan Strait. The law gives Chinese leaders a legal basis they previously did not have to conduct a military attack on Taiwan, U.S. officials said…
The advances give the Chinese military “the ability … to reach out and touch parts of the United States — Guam, Hawaii and the mainland of the United States,” he said…
China’s rulers have adopted what is known as the “two-island chain” strategy of extending control over large areas of the Pacific, covering inner and outer chains of islands stretching from Japan to Indonesia…
The official said China’s buildup goes beyond what would be needed to fight a war against Taiwan.
The conclusion of this official is that China wants a “blue-water” navy capable of projecting power far beyond the two island chains.
“If you look at the technical capabilities of the weapons platforms that they’re fielding, the sea-keeping capabilities, the size, sensors and weapons fit, this capability transcends the baseline that is required to deal with a Taiwan situation militarily,” the intelligence official said…
…A recent Japanese government defense report called China a strategic national security concern. It was the first time China was named specifically in a Japanese defense report.
For China, Taiwan is not the only issue behind the buildup of military forces. Beijing also is facing a major energy shortage that, according to one Pentagon study, could lead it to use military force to seize territory with oil and gas resources.
The report produced for the Office of Net Assessment, which conducts assessments of future threats, was made public in January and warned that China’s need for oil, gas and other energy resources is driving the country toward becoming an expansionist power…
The report also highlighted the vulnerability of China’s oil and gas infrastructure to a crippling U.S. attack.
“The U.S. military could severely cripple Chinese resistance [during a conflict over Taiwan] by blocking its energy supply, whereas the [People’s Liberation Army navy] poses little threat to United States’ energy security,” it said…
The report stated that China will resort “to extreme, offensive and mercantilist measures when other strategies fail, to mitigate its vulnerabilities, such as seizing control of energy resources in neighboring states.”
U.S. officials have said two likely targets for China are the Russian Far East, which has vast oil and gas deposits, and Southeast Asia, which also has oil and gas resources…
Richard Fisher, vice president of the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said that in 10 years, the Chinese army has shifted from a defensive force to an advanced military soon capable of operations ranging from space warfare to global non-nuclear cruise-missile strikes.
“Let’s all wake up. The post-Cold War peace is over,” Mr. Fisher said. “We are now in an arms race with a new superpower whose goal is to contain and overtake the United States.”

Here is Gertz’ second article entitled Thefts of U.S. technology boost China’s weaponry.
Here is an additional article by Gertz entitled Beijing devoted to weakening ‘enemy’ U.S., defector says.
Related topics can be found in previous postings entitled Sobering Possibilities and The Geopoliticization of World’s Oil & Gas Industry.

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smmtheory
smmtheory
15 years ago

It is too bad that the Chinese government does not realize that invasion of Taiwan would be a couple of steps beyond the beginning of the end for their regime.

Anchor Rising
15 years ago

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