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China, Pakistan, Central-Asia Military Watch

A good analysis of Chinese Anti-ship Ballistic Missile aspirations. An interesting read especially in the backdrop of the 3 CBGs (carrier battle groups) being planned by IN.

"China Naval Modernization": CRS

A good brief on PRC's current and planned capabilities.

[url="http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6280JW20100309"]China's military bluster camouflages toothless bite[/url]

Mon Mar 8, 2010 11:06pm EST

BEIJING (Reuters) - Big on spit and polish and parades but short on experience, new technology and force coordination, China's military has far to go before its bite begins to approach its increasingly loud, and for some fearsome, bark.

China has invested billions of dollars in its armed forces and is developing advanced fighters and missiles, considering building its first aircraft carrier and is trying to slim its bloated ranks down to a lean, high-tech military.

The 2010 Defense budget unveiled last week was 7.5 percent higher than last year, a modest rise by China's recent standards, but impressive compared to other big powers.

Those rises have raised alarm in Taiwan, the self-ruled island China claims as its own, the rest of the region, and especially in the United States, the world's only superpower with a military reach that far exceeds China's.

In a report to Congress published last month, the Pentagon said it was concerned by China's missile buildup and increasingly advanced capabilities in the Pacific region.

Yet while China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) looks increasingly fierce on paper, analysts -- and even Chinese army officers -- say it will be a long time before the country has the means to effectively challenge U.S. power, if ever.

"What is their readiness level? How effective are these things they've developed themselves?" said Drew Thompson, of the Nixon Center, a think tank in Washington.

"Is their indigenous technology really working, or does it simply exist like a lot of things in the Chinese system, on paper? I would posit it probably leans more toward the latter."

After a spike in tension that has stoked nationalist Chinese calls for a hard shove back against U.S. influence, some PLA officers are also trying to discourage chest-thumping.

"There's no way China can threaten the United States," Lt. Gen. Li Dianren, a professor at the National Defense University, told Reuters on the sidelines of the annual session of parliament.

"Anyone with even a bit of common sense knows that our capabilities do not come even close to matching those of the U.S. In terms of economics, technology and the military, the gap is huge. How can we threaten them?" he added.


To be sure, China's military is becoming increasingly assertive, as seen by occasional tiffs at sea and in the air, notably in 2001 when a U.S. spy plane made an emergency landing on Hainan island after a collision with a Chinese fighter jet.

Last March, the Pentagon said five Chinese ships harassed the U.S. Navy Ship the Impeccable, an unarmed ocean surveillance vessel, in international waters off Hainan. China says the U.S. ship was carrying out an illegal survey.

PLA showmanship is also grand.

A military parade last October 1 marking 60 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China featured an array of new weapons, all domestically developed.

"China and the United States are rivals. That's a fact," said Liu Mingfu, author of a book calling for China to develop a military so powerful Washington will not dare challenge it.

"In the past, U.S. presidents didn't call China a rival, and Chinese presidents never have. But that's strategic hypocrisy, because each side knows the other is a rival," he said.

Many practical hurdles could hamper Liu's goal.

China is hardly renowned for producing high quality goods, as a series of product safety scandals in recent years has shown.

"If you go to the PLA and they show you some fantastic new missile on display at an air show, yes they have a missile system, but does it work? Does it work repeatedly and does it work in combat conditions?" Thompson said.

"Until you know that for sure you simply assume they've got one heck of an interesting platform that might do us some harm ... but the reality might be far different."


One problem is the U.S. and EU arms embargo against China following the 1989 military crackdown on the pro-democracy Tiananmen protests, and there is little sign they will lift it any time soon.

There's also inexperience.

Unlike the United States, currently engaged in two massive military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, China has not engaged in full battle for three decades.

China's last major confrontation was with Vietnam in 1979, and that was hardly a glorious victory. Chinese forces crossed the border to punish Hanoi for invading its ally Cambodia, but Vietnam's battle-hardened troops gave the Chinese a bloody nose.

China has made some impressive technological advances. The successful missile "kill" of an old satellite in 2007 represented a new level of ability. In January, China successfully tested emerging technology aimed at destroying missiles in mid-air.

Integrating such advances into the country's vast armed forces could be problematic though.

"The (Sichuan) earthquake in 2008 showed their weakness in joint operations," said Lin Chong-Pin, a strategic studies professor at Taipei's Tamkang University.

After the massive quake, Chinese soldiers involved in rescue efforts struggled with shortages and bottlenecks magnified by poor coordination between forces and units.

China's military edge over tech powerhouse Taiwan, a democratic island Beijing has threatened to eventually bring under its control, is growing though.

Even then, not everyone is convinced China could easily overpower Taiwan, despite its advancing weaponry.

"The point is to make the U.S. military stay at a distance," said Hsu Yung-ming, a political science professor at Taipei's Soochow University, referring to China's military modernization.

(Additional reporting by Chris Buckley in Beijing and Ralph Jennings in Taipei; Editing by Benjamin Kang Lim)
Even though more "strategic" than "military", I feel this article belongs here. Mods may move if they feel otherwise:


[url="http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/LC27Ad02.html"]China wary of US-Russia nuclear embrace[/url]

By M K Bhadrakumar

United States President Barack Obama is about to pull off his biggest foreign policy achievement thus far as a perfect twin to the historic healthcare reform bill passed this week.

Obama was expected to pick up his "hotline" to his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on Friday to okay the first arms control agreement of the post-Cold War era. The "reset" of US-Russia ties is under way, which is no mean achievement considering the army of cold warriors in Washington, including within Obama's administration.

However, at this historic point in contemporary world politics, such an arms control deal needs to be more than a bilateral

Russian-American affair. Moscow had a hugely important visitor this week - China's Vice President Xi Jinping, who is widely regarded as the main candidate to succeed President Hu Jintao as the secretary general of the Chinese Communist Party at the 18th Party Congress in 2012.

The new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) agreement heralds an uncertain phase in the complex US-Russia-China equation, and Beijing will watch closely because China's rise could well be a leitmotif of the US maneuvering to "reset" ties with Russia.

In a resonant statement in Moscow on Tuesday, Xi all but suggested a Sino-Russian alliance. "Russia and China must become strategic props for each other in the future on all questions which have a strategic interest for Russia," Xi said.

Obama-Medvedev tandem

Xi's five-day visit to Moscow took place against the backdrop of tortuous START negotiations in Geneva that had lasted months finally yielding a deal, while Sino-American ties have run into rough weather over a spat over the value of the yuan exchange rate. The latter is "locking China and the US in a wrangle ... in which confrontational actions seem to be brewing," the China's People's Daily observed in a commentary on Wednesday.

Both Obama and Medvedev are keen on a START deal. For Obama, the new treaty is a foreign policy milestone that builds momentum for the April 12 "nuclear summit" he will be hosting in Washington. It also opens a pathway to a more ambitious round of arms cuts later, which taken together could be a defining legacy of his presidency.

Two, if Obama gets the "reset" started in the US's troubled relationship with Russia, this would not only ease tensions that accrued during the George W Bush era but also gain leverage to influence the Russian position on vital issues of foreign policy such as the Iran nuclear issue, terrorism, Middle East, energy - and most importantly - China's rise.

Medvedev's is equally in need of an "achievement" politically, and nothing enhances his cultivated image as the reformist in the Kremlin than being seen as capable of making a difference to Russia's ties with the West. Medvedev has squarely placed himself in the limelight for the theatrical nuclear roadshow slated for April 12.

The Kremlin overruled the Russian military's advice that Moscow ought to insist on any new arms pact specifically restricting American plans for a missile defense system based in Europe. Under the new pact, according to media sources privy to the negotiations, each side would have to cut its deployed strategic warheads by one-third to 1,550, while the number of launchers would be halved to 800 and number of nuclear-armed missiles and heavy bombers would be capped at 700 each.

There is no provision limiting missile defense programs as such, except a broad non-binding recognition of the relationship between offensive weapons and missile defense. The Kremlin seems to have accepted that it is not conceivable that parameters of anti-ballistic missile systems could be put into a treaty dealing with strategic offensive arms. Obama has, for the time being at least, put on hold or terminated any major strategic ballistic missile development programs.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin weighs that theater missile defense systems deal with the potentials of countries like China, Iran or North Korea and Russia, and the US could even pool efforts in their development.

The arms pact helps project an image of Russia as the US's key interlocutor in maintaining the global strategic balance, and such an image raises its prestige in the eyes of the world although Russia is no longer a world power.

Given the economic difficulties and paucity of funds for weapon development, a de facto reduction of Russia's strategic forces has become inevitable in the near-term, whereas the US has no such problem maintaining its nuclear potential at the current level.

Moscow keenly seeks progress in Russian-American relations. The "reset" so far has been largely in atmospherics, and Moscow estimates that real progress in bilateral cooperation with the US on any sphere will be hard to expect without the START follow-on treaty.

A helping hand from China

Moscow, therefore, is a net beneficiary of the new arms reduction pact. Arguably, Russia has little choice at the moment. To quote Sergei Rogov, director of the Institute of the USA and Canada at the Russian Academy of Sciences, in a recent interview with Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the new treaty is a "dire necessity" for Russia.

He said: "The Americans have been developing extremely powerful and precise conventional weapons. They are good against practically all objects, probably save for very deep bunkers and such like. It means that these conventional weapons could be launched at targets whose elimination previously required nuclear weapons.

"And since the US is the only country possessing such [conventional] weapons, it can afford to make this noble gesture [to Moscow] and suggest reduction of nuclear weapons. By and large, Obama's administration promotes a policy that combines anti-nuclear rhetoric and modernization of nuclear weapons."

Are we seeing the end of history? Far from it. The Moscow-based Levada Center, an independent, non-governmental poll research organization, just found out that only 14% of Russians advocate the Kremlin striving for closer relations with the US, whereas 73% believe the US to be "the aggressor that is striving to bring all countries in the world under its control".

The Levada Center told Interfax news agency, "This data is evidence of support by the Russian population for the Kremlin's consistently tough position concerning the US foreign policy."

Thus, Xi's visit to Moscow came at a turning point in the US-Russia-China equation. Xi obviously intended to demonstrate that China's ties with Russia are as important for Beijing as its relations with the US. Indeed, neither Beijing nor Moscow has shown willingness to treat their relationship to be in the nature of an alliance.

But, through Xi's visit, as Vladimir Portyakov, deputy director of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences put it, "Beijing wants to deepen the climate of trust that already exists between the two countries ... It is a favorable factor for us [Russia] in geopolitical terms, and Russia may feel more confident during talks with the US and European powers."

At a time when the US is "no longer an enemy, but also not yet a friend" - to use Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's most recent description - China's support does work as a favorable factor for Moscow. Thus, disregarding the US push to "isolate" Iran, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently announced Moscow's intention to commission the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran in August.

To be sure, while the initialing of the new START deal is just round the corner, the hard part may only be beginning, since Moscow needs to factor in that the new START deal must win US Senate ratification, which will not be easy.

Meanwhile, the rivalries in the post-Soviet republics keep simmering. In the latest eruption of Great Game rivalries in Central Asia, no sooner than Moscow dropped the idea last December to deploy a military contingent in Batken, in southern Kyrgyzstan, than Washington made a counter-offer to Bishkek to increase its own presence in the region on top of the 1,000 American military personnel already stationed at the Manas airbase.

The growing US presence in Kyrgyzstan is a cause of concern for both Moscow and Beijing. Batken is close to both the Ferghana Valley, the cradle of radical Islam in the region, and Xinjiang. Kyrgyzstan hosts a sizeable Uyghur diaspora.

Washington has been aggressively expanding its influence in Kyrgyzstan. The family-owned businesses of Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev earns more than US$80 million annually from the Pentagon's procurement contracts for Manas base.

The tandem in the Kremlin

A Kremlin source described Xi's meeting with Putin as "extremely cordial and productive". Putin told Xi that Russia has "always supported China on most sensitive issues, including the Taiwan problem. We intend to further build relations with China on the basis of respect for our common interests".

Curiously, it may seem that Beijing readily relates to Putin, whereas Washington feels encouraged by Medvedev, the "European in the Kremlin". During last week's visit to Moscow by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Medvedev's upbeat assessment of US-Russian relations was that they "are honest and open with agreements honored".

But Putin's foreign policy aide, Yuri Ushakov, said Putin "frankly" discussed with Clinton the entire range of contentious issues - trade, missile defense, Iran and the Jackson-Vanik amendment, a Cold War-era law imposing trade restrictions on Russia.

Ushakov noted, "Putin said plainly that Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization directly depended on the political will of the US administration" (Russia applied for membership to the trade organization in 1993), and he used "interesting and expletive" words while informing Clinton of the Russian position on Georgia and Ukraine. Putin told Clinton that new UN Security Council sanctions against Iran are possible, but they may be counter-productive.

In sum, as a commentator put it, Beijing, Moscow and Washington are like "unwieldy participants in a cultural dance that none can quit without suffering real pain. The trick, however, is how to coordinate the steps so that the participants aren't tromping all over each others' feet."

The yuan exchange controversy is the latest example of this threesome waltz. China has openly expressed the hope that Russia, which also holds large reserves of US dollars, will "take an objective approach and will support China" against pressure from Washington. There has been no official word from the Kremlin so far.

Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar was a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. His assignments included the Soviet Union, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Turkey.
[url="http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/LC18Ad02.html"]In defense, China offers cold comfort[/url]

By Peter J Brown

For the first time in well over a decade, China has limited rising spending on defense to a less than double-digit increase. In early March, Beijing announced that the 2010 defense budget would total approximately 532 billion yuan (US$78 billion), with the 7.5% increase representing half the 14.9% rise approved in 2009.

China is accustomed to being accused of not providing accurate information. Jia Yong, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee (CPPCC), recently described these allegations as "groundless". [1]

Japan has consistently expressed concerns about China's military spending. In light of Chinese President Hu Jintao's 2008 promise that China "would not spark an arms race with its neighbors or pose a military threat", Asia Times Online asked

several experts to assess the impact of the new defense budget on Japan. We put the question to them twice in somewhat different statements. [2]

An immediate response came from Michael Green, Japan Chair and a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

"It is the nature of Chinese deployments and operations rather than the official number that is at issue," said Green. "But the lower number doesn't hurt China's image!"

Image is everything; the softer tone of this new defense budget seems to dovetail neatly with recent talk in China about the need to recognize the importance of China's so-called "soft power" and "cultural influence" abroad.

According to the "China Modernization Report 2009: Study of Cultural Modernization" which was prepared by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China now ranks seventh among 131 countries worldwide on the cultural influence index, behind the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain. China has moved up four spots globally since 1990, while its cultural influence has risen from second to first place in Asia, the CAS reported.

"The ascent of China's cultural influence reflects clearly the rise of China's soft power," He Chuanqi, director of the China Center for Modernization Research under the CAS, told the People's Daily. [3]

Green disagrees that this lower defense budget is aimed primarily at Japan. "The Chinese are cutting spending across the board, including defense. They are spinning it for external purposes in all directions including Japan, but if anything, the signal is more for [the US]."

Toshi Yoshihara, associate professor in the Strategy and Policy Department at the US Naval War College, is not convinced that the Japanese are comforted by the somewhat modest increase in China's defense budget, "which is still enviable by Japan's standards". By comparison, defense-related spending in Japan has been declining for seven consecutive years since fiscal year 2002.

"The Chinese are more transparent, but some puzzles remain unsolved. For example, the official defense budget does not include acquisition of big-ticket defense items from abroad," said Yoshihara. "It is hard to judge whether the figures are accurate or not. The budgeting process is still quite opaque to the outside world."

China's 7.5% increase, "if taken at face value, is still respectable in the region. This in part explains some of the alarm over the shifting regional power balance expressed among Japanese strategists," said Yoshihara.

Japanese proponents of engagement with China might certainly be tempted to use China's new defense budget as evidence that an opportunity exists to strengthen bilateral relations.

"But ample countervailing evidence could be used to dampen enthusiasm for more engagement," said Yoshihara, whose list of tangible signs of a rising China included the showcasing new-generation missiles at the National Day parade last October, the persistent speculation over its carrier ambitions and plans to develop overseas bases, and its more prominent position in anti-piracy operations.

"Weighed against these factors, [China's] defense budget sends a much weaker signal, if one accepts the assumption that Beijing had intended to send such a signal in the first place,'' Yoshihara said.

"China would have to do much more to ease Japanese anxieties. From the Chinese perspective, Beijing complains that no amount of transparency would allay Japanese and US fears," said Yoshihara. "Some Chinese analysts sense that allied complaints about transparency are just another tactic to keep China on the defensive on strategic affairs."

Eric Hagt, director of the China Program at the World Security Institute in Washington, DC, describes China's defense budget as probably representing a slowdown.

"However, the percentage of China's overall national budget devoted to defense did not actually change," said Hagt. "The figures and meaning of the budget this year are far less clear than a prima facie look at the 7.5% compared with higher double-digit rises in the past."

A degree of fiscal austerity is impacting everything in China, including the defense sector.

"The People's Liberation Army [PLA] does not seem to have gotten the short end of a budgetary stick," said Hagt, who added that this budget made Japan more comfortable and more willing to continue and extend the dialogue.

"Japan would likely be pleased by any reduction in China's defense budget increase," said Hagt. "But there may indeed be no actual change, so it may be just perceived."

Among other things, a concerted effort over the past several years by the government to raise the salaries of PLA officers across the board to match compensation levels in the civilian realm has to be taken into account. This process is almost complete.

Moreover, how much of the PLA budget was required to cover several special events over the past two years, including various military anniversaries in 2009 and attendant ceremonies, is unknown, but "it is likely not insignificant", said Hagt. These included a national day parade, the PLA Navy's 60th anniversary parade and the PLA Air Force's parade, along with the costs for heightened security during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

"In terms of their impact on what we are most concerned about - China's military capability modernization - these general figures tell us little. Knowing the ratio changes in personnel, maintenance and weapons research and development [R&D] spending within the budget would give us more information," said Hagt.

In contrast, while Jing-dong Yuan, director of the East Asia Non-proliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Non-proliferation Studies in California, agreed - at least in part - with both the statements about Japan. He noted that Jia's response to the predictable barrage of complaints aimed at China's defense budget had some validity.

"It depends on how you define and calculate defense spending. For example, the US spends about $50 billion each year just for maintaining nuclear weapons and related activities, but of this amount only a fraction is accounted for in the DoD [Department of Defense] budget, while the US Department of Energy [accounts for most of the rest]," said Yuan. "Clearly, the money spent is for military purposes - nuclear weapons - but not necessarily included in the official defense budget."

Estimating the actual growth in Chinese purchasing power from the defense data in question is always a challenge.

"Obviously, Western analyses typically suggest that China's real defense spending is much higher, and the 2009 DoD report puts it around US$105 to 150 billion," said Yuan. "The more important point is what the extra amount of money would buy for the PLA in terms of equipment procurement, training and personnel benefits."

If the PLA continues to depend on foreign arms suppliers - especially Russia - then even the higher estimate "would not go very far", said Yuan. "In addition, if the PLA's reach extends beyond the periphery, then that could also quickly eat up whatever additional resources are committed."

There could be a number of reasons for a lower increase in defense spending, such as the economic recession and the fact that there may be competing demands from provinces and other segments of the government and society for limited resources. However, Yuan agrees that this could also be "an effort by Beijing to assure neighbors that China's defense spending is moderate and restrained".

"Lower spending helps, especially when it involves a big [over 50%] reduction over previous years," said Yuan. "Obviously, this should have a positive effect on Japan and on the Democratic Party of Japan [DPJ] government in particular."

Major General Luo Yuan, a member of the CPPCC-NC who is also a researcher at the Academy of Military Sciences, recently explained that previous double-digit increases in his nation's defense budget were prudent and necessary. And yet, starting in 2010, things have changed.

"This year's 7.5% increase signaled that China's defense development has entered a more mature, healthy and stable stage," said Luo. [4]

Whatever changes may be underway, China's budget level does not seem to have had any improvement in the relationship with Japan as an aim, according to Kazuto Suzuki, an associate professor of international political economy at Hokkaido University's School of Public Policy.

"I do not agree that China's intent here is to exert influence over Japan by military threat. My understanding is that the Chinese defense budget increase is driven by the Chinese obsession to be a global power and improve the denial capability from foreign intervention. Thus, I don't think that it is aiming at Japan," said Suzuki. "In fact, the Chinese government is trying to establish a much stronger relationship with the DPJ government through negotiation and trade."

Japan's ongoing territorial dispute with China in the East China Sea - where there is undersea oil and natural gas - is ongoing, and China's growing maritime and naval presence in this region is a source of tension. "Apart from that, there seems to be little evidence that the Chinese government is [seeking] to solve problems with Japan through military means," said Suzuki.

"Since China's [budget] is not transparent and we do not take this number at face value, it is hard to judge that this year's budget is comforting or reassuring," said Suzuki. "It is common knowledge that China's defense budget does not include R&D or missile defense. So, the number is much higher than 7.5%."

The DPJ government is being accused of disrupting Japan's ties with the US by delaying a decision on the relocation of US troops on Okinawa, and China's defense budget is not attracting much attention as a result.

"Those who are interested in China's budget are generally skeptical about the Chinese intention, so most of the discussion about China's defense spending is mostly about the lack of transparency and the further increase of China's defense capability," said Suzuki.

After adding up all of this, Hagt stated, "My intuition tells me you may be onto something and China has certainly taken note of the growing wariness of its rising power, rising defense budget in the region and beyond.

"It's an intriguing question, not only for Japan, but with all that's happened with the arms sale to Taiwan, along with the Dalai Lama's visit [to the White House], the strategic temperature doesn't seem to be cooling off," said Hagt.

And so what does the budget mean for US-China relations over Taiwan?

"Personally, I would have thought that China would go the exact opposite way if it was showing its resolve over Taiwan," said Hagt. In other words, given the circumstances, he wonders why China did not approve an even larger percentage increase in its 2010 defense budget "which it could have concealed altogether or prominently showed off".

Li Cheng, director of the John L Thornton China Center at the Washington, DC-based Brookings Institution, recently told the Chinese state-run Xinhua that "relations between nations have become much more close than ever before. The concept that we are all on the same boat is highly recognized. With the change of expectations or demands, the two sides can encounter some sort of misunderstanding or even friction which is quite normal among big nations." [5]

Hagt, on the other hand, stressed that internal - not external - variables ultimately determined the budgetary outcome in this instance.

"This once again points to a fact that many Chinese will tell you, but which makes less news in the West," said Hagt. "China's policies, its spending, its National People's Congress decisions and its overall direction are influenced far more by domestic issues than by external ones. With such major social problems, dramatically raising defense spending would likely have caused a serious backlash at home."


1. Political advisor slashes reports alleging China hiding defense budget, Xinhuanet.com, March 11, 2010.

2. First, our experts were presented with this following direct statement: In 2008, when Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Japan, he made a promise to the effect that China, "would not spark an arms race with its neighbors or pose a military threat." Japan has consistently expressed its concerns about China's military spending in the past. This year, given China's attempt to counter the influence of the US over Japan, China's announcement of a 7.5% increase in defense spending is aimed primarily at Japan.

Later, these same experts were asked if they either agreed or disagreed with this somewhat different and more subtle statement - Japan has consistently expressed its concerns about China's military spending in the past. With China's recent announcement of a 7.5% increase in defense spending which is the lowest annual increase in some time, this is likely to be seen in Japan as a positive development and as a move by China to be less threatening. As both governments strive to build stronger ties, therefore, anything China does to reduce its defense budget makes Japan more comfortable and more willing to continue and extend the dialogue.

3. How to improve China's soft power?, People's Daily, March 12, 2010.

4. China's defense budget to grow 7.5% in 2010: spokesman, Xinhuanet.com, March 4, 2010. 5. World place more focus on China's diplomacy: experts, Xinhuanet.com, March 12, 2010.

Peter J Brown is a freelance writer from Maine, USA.
[url="http://www.indianexpress.com/news/developmentintibetanadvantageforchinamod/597440/0"]Development in Tibet an advantage for China: MoD[/url]

India has said rapid development in Tibet and Xinjiang has given the Chinese military strategic operational flexibility in the region.

Noting that the Chinese military has upgraded its “force projection capability” along the northern borders, the Defence Ministry has said in its annual report that India has initiated necessary steps to upgrade infrastructure on its side.

“India also remains conscious and alert about the implications of China’s military modernisation. Rapid infrastructure development in the Tibet Autonomous Region and Xinjiang province has considerably upgraded China’s military force projection capability and strategic operational flexibility,” the report says.

India is also concerned about the worsening security situation in Pakistan as well as the continued infiltration in J&K.

“Despite improving security situation in the state, infiltration attempts continued. During the period, April 1, 2009 to February 28, 2010, 33 infiltration bids were foiled with 50 terrorists killed in the process. During the same period, 213 terrorists were also killed and 68 apprehended in encounters with the Armed Forces,” the report says.

The report, however, notes that Pakistan “has made some progress in tackling insurgency in Swat, its adjacent districts as well as in South Waziristan”. The report also says that meaningful dialogue with Islamabad will only be possible if it “takes effective measures to dismantle terror infrastructure on its soil”.

“India has never shut the door for dialogue with Pakistan and is of the view that meaningful dialogue with Pakistan is possible only in an environment free of terror or threat of terror. This calls for Pakistan to take effective measures to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism on its soil which is directed against India,” the report says.

Taking note of the US troop surge in Afghanistan, the report observes that “the security and stability of Afghanistan is critical to India’s own security concerns”.
This article is eerily reminiscent of the brief lull on Kham/Amdo borders in Tibet during the PLA buildup on Korean border in 1950. Interesting times ahead.


[url="http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62Q0AS20100327"]China adding missiles near Taiwan: navy official[/url]

TAIPEI (Reuters) - China has added long-range missiles near Taiwan and leads the self-ruled island in military defenses, a U.S. navy official said, suggesting that Taiwan may need new F-16 jet fighters.

China has deployed "an increasing number" of Russian surface-to-air missiles across an ocean strait about 160 km (100 miles) from Taiwan, U.S. Navy Commander Robert Willard told a Senate committee in Washington but did not give a timeframe.

"Beijing remains committed to eventual unification with Taiwan and has not ruled out the use of force to achieve that goal," Willard said, according to a statement made available on Saturday by the U.S. Pacific Command.

"The (People's Liberation Army's) continued military advancements sustain a trend of shifting the cross-Strait military balance in Beijing's favor," he said.

A $6.4-billion U.S. arms package for Taiwan announced in January would shore up the island's self-defense, but has enraged China.

Although Willard did not say whether Washington should grant Taiwan's long sought request to buy F-16 fighter jets, seen as a red line in already tense Sino-U.S. ties, he said existing aircraft would "have to be recapitalized."

China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedong's forces won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists fled to the island. But ties have warmed since 2008 as the two sides began to talk trade.

(Reporting by Ralph Jennings; Editing by Sugita Katyal)
Interesting read. Double mazaa if you are familiar with the newspaper <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Wink' />


[url="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/31665/"]Chinese Jet Fighter Parts Made by Unqualified Workers[/url]

By Chen Yilian

Epoch Times Staff

Corruption has turned a military fighter-jet parts manufacturer into a private cash cow, according to one former employee.

The No.8 plant of AVIC (Aviation Industries of China) Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) is a state-run aviation parts manufacturer with a 60-year history, producing parts for both military and civilian aviation.

AVICSAC former employee Ma Ming told The Epoch Times that beginning in the latter part of 2007, former plant manager Yang Yongying began subcontracting the production of parts for J-8 (Jian-8; NATO reporting name Finback) and J-8II, one of the most advanced all-weather interceptors in China, to eight private workshops to increase profits.

According to Ma, workers in those private workshops have no qualifications, training, or vocational certificates, or even basic technical knowledge. As a result, several serious accidents have occurred. However, workshop owners used payoffs to silence reports on those accidents, and Ma believes many aircraft equipped with such parts are in danger.

“I am furious—he did not take the pilots’ lives seriously,” Ma said, adding that the parts have been widely used.

An Excuse to Increase Profits

According to Ma, after Yang became plant manager in 2007, annual profits fell from first to last place among the plants in the AVIC: "Yang purposely failed to meet the production quota so he would have an excuse to outsource production and recruit private workshops at a very low price."

Those workshops used AVICSAC’s electricity, tools, and equipment free of charge, and their books were also kept secret by several individuals.

And the situation became worse and worse. Many cadres in the plant, while enjoying high salaries, started their own workshops using relatives as managers and then outsourced AVICSAC production to their own workshops.

Although there are several military representatives from the navy and air force who are supposed to oversee the management, Ma said that "they also took advantage of their military privileges to have their relatives run such workshops,” so in the end no one responded to Ma’s reports.

"Yang also had his own workshop and often asked plant employees to work there, but their salaries would still come from AVICSAC’s payroll," Ma said.

After reporting the corruption to many levels of authorities without response, Ma posted the information on the Internet: "Yang is not alone. It is a bunch of corrupt officials. I want to teach them a lesson—at least I can constrain them from doing more bad things."

Yang has now stepped down from his position. Ma said it is probable that some higher authorities feared his case would lead to more trouble. To date, no media report has confirmed Yang’s removal.
Another article on PLA's take on RMA:


[url="http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/03/Is-There-Still-a-Need-for-War-Time-Mobilization-China-Thinks-So"]Is There Still a Need for War Time Mobilization? China Thinks So[/url]

Published on March 29, 2010 by Dean Cheng

One of the little-noticed actions in the recently concluded session of the Chinese National People’s Congress was the enactment of a National Defense Mobilization Law. In an age when conventional conflicts are planned to conclude in a matter of days or weeks, it is striking that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) should choose to ensure its readiness for a protracted war. Indeed, it suggests that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is thinking about future wars in a very different way from their Western counterparts, where full-scale mobilization is rarely discussed at all. Whereas the U.S. and its allies have mostly neglected the prospect of a prolonged high-intensity conflict, the PLA appears intent on preparing for both short- and long-term wars.

The actions of the National People’s Congress have distinct implications for U.S. defense planners, as they portend an opponent who may choose to fight a protracted conflict—but with anti-ship missiles rather than IEDs. And it should also raise questions among foreign investors—how might their facilities and assets be treated in the event of a crisis?

The Continuing Need for Mobilization

Chinese writings about “Local Wars Under Informationalized Conditions” focus on fighting limited wars on a come-as-you-are basis, often with little preparation or warning time. Yet Chinese mobilization planning suggests that the PRC thinking is broader. In particular, many aspects of mobilization that receive special emphasis, such as the mobilization of scientific and technical resources, are characterized in terms that suggest preparations for a prolonged war.

How does one reconcile these inconsistencies? One possibility, as PLA analysts observe, is that “Local Wars Under Informationalized Conditions” are likely to entail high rates of weapon expenditure, significant destruction of available forces and assets on both sides, and potentially little warning time. In this eventuality, the PLA—and indeed any modern military—would not only have to rely on the available stocks of weapons and troops but might also have to call upon the larger resources of the national economy. In essence, mobilization remains an important, relevant concept in the Chinese view of modern warfare.

At the same time, the PRC views itself as still-developing economy; consequently, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cannot simply focus on military requirements. Indeed, Chinese analysts have taken note of the downfall of the Soviet Union, and have no intention of repeating Moscow’s mistakes, such as an over-commitment of resources to defense. This year’s reduced PLA budget increase, marking the first time in over a decade that the PLA’s budget has grown by less than 10 percent, suggests that the CCP is restricting the amount of resources devoted to defense.

Development of China’s Mobilization Infrastructure

An essential part of the Chinese approach to resolving this dilemma is to subordinate military development, or “army building” (jundui jianshe) to the broader goals of national economic construction (guojia jingji jianshe). The policy of civil–military integration has been pursued by Chinese leaders Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao. Hu, the current leader, has specifically endorsed the policy of “combine the civil and the military, combine peacetime and wartime production, embed the military in the civilian.”

Furthermore, in the context of the evolving Chinese economy, the government is no longer able to rely primarily on “administrative measures”—that is, requisitioning—to meet wartime demands, much less peacetime requirements (e.g., for exercises and training). As Chinese analysts recognize, such measures can generate only a limited return; it is much better to rely on legal measures. Moreover, legal approaches provide predictability and consistency, which are essential for sustaining peacetime economic development. This is further reinforced by the desire for foreign investment—an essential source of capital and expertise that would evaporate if investors thought their assets might simply be seized.

With the creation of a National Defense Mobilization Law, there is now a baseline for national, provincial, and local laws and regulations providing nationwide consistency regarding mobilization obligations, recognized limits on authority, and a common understanding of what individuals, companies, and provinces are liable for in the event of mobilization. This, in turn, will facilitate PLA planning for wartime support so that, whether it is the Nanjing Military Region (MR) or the Jinan or Chengdu MR, comparable items will be available within a specified timeframe.

Of particular import, in this regard, is the greater access to essential civilian assets, including transportation systems, as well as scientific and technical facilities and equipment. The former, which includes requisitioning civilian shipping and aircraft and associated crews and incorporating military requirements into infrastructure projects (e.g., roads, railroads, and port facilities), clearly has implications for a Taiwan contingency. It is the latter element, however, that arguably merits greater attention.

PLA writings about the mobilization of scientific and technical personnel, assets, and facilities envision a very close linkage between the military and civilian infrastructures. Technical personnel, for example, might be called upon to provide direct support for such activities as maintenance and repair of sensors or communications equipment. In this regard, it would resemble American use of civilian contractors.

In addition, though, it involves exploiting facilities and assets from a variety of sources to provide research and development support for military operations. This would include not only national laboratories and research centers but also universities and corporate facilities. Similarly, it might entail not only access to physical equipment but scientific intelligence in order to help develop counters to foreign weapons and tactics or to innovate new systems and responses for the PLA.

Implications for the United States

The passage of the National Defense Mobilization Law should serve as a clarion call for American defense planners and potential investors in China.

* For defense planners, it suggests that there is a need to reexamine assessments of what kinds of capabilities the PLA might have to sustain a conflict. The ability to effectively draw upon the resources of the entire Chinese economy suggests a very different ability to wage a protracted conflict than one that is centered on extant stocks of materiel. This has implications not only for military planning but also for reconsidering whether the Chinese subscribe to the same views of future warfare, including duration and requirements, as their American counterparts.

* For corporate investors in China, there is the need to consider how safe one’s investments are in the PRC. In peacetime, there is little reason to think that corporate assets and facilities might be vulnerable. Indeed, the new law arguably improves this situation by setting out the conditions for the employment of “special measures” in support of mobilization. In the event of a crisis, however, there is at least some potential that non-Chinese companies may find their assets and facilities subject to exploitation by the government and the PLA.

Finally, more broadly, the creation of this new law raises again the question of Chinese governance. It is a further step through rule by law, but not rule of law. While much more predictable than the personality-driven leadership methods of the first generation of Chinese leaders (e.g., Mao Zedong), it is nonetheless still a far cry from the accountability expected from one the world’s largest economies and polities.

Dean Cheng is Research Fellow in Chinese Political and Security Affairs in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation.
[url="http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/LC26Ad01.html"]US peeks into China's nuclear fortress[/url]

By Peter J Brown

The Chinese government is probably unhappy about a new report by a Virginia-based, non-partisan think-tank called Project 2049 [1] that reveals significant and previously little known details about Base 22 in the Qinling mountains in Shaanxi province, China's primary storage facility for nuclear weapons. Publicity about this new report - "China's Nuclear Warhead Storage and Handling System" - first appeared in Defense News in early March. [2]

One can quickly understand the reason for Beijing's displeasure. Although the existence of this strategic storage complex in northwest China has been known for years, what has been said in the report about the size - 400 square kilometers, the tunnel complex inside Taibai Mountain, and the railway lines leading to this mysterious fortress is not the kind of detailed information that China is eager to share with the outside world.

"I would expect the Chinese government to be a little disconcerted about such information appearing in the public domain, but the report's author, Mark Stokes, has noted elsewhere that China is becoming more open so I would expect Chinese readers to react across the spectrum, from rage to shrugs," said Dr Jeffrey Lewis, director of the Nuclear Strategy and Non-proliferation Initiative at the Washington DC-based New America Foundation.

Stokes, a former US defense attache who worked at the US embassy in Beijing in the early 1990s, is now executive director of Project 2049. He is probably not the most popular person in Beijing these days, but his report actually paints a very positive picture of the rigid yet reliable system of controls put in place by the Chinese Communist Party's Central Military Commission (CMC) to ensure the absolute safety and security of China's nuclear warheads. Base 22 and the entire centralized storage and handling system falls under the control of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Second Artillery.

"The key thing is that China appears to manage its limited nuclear inventory in a responsible manner, and it is worth examining ways to deepen and broaden cooperation in safeguarding nuclear warheads and materials on a global basis," said Stokes.

Any report that includes new details about China's strategic weapons let alone the infrastructure that China has built surrounding these weapons is bound to compliment as well as fuel the ongoing attempt by US conservatives to confront and ultimately defeat US President Barack Obama's plan to dramatically reduce the US stockpile of nuclear weapons. In addition, this report comes at a time when US conservatives are focused on implementing a grander missile defense scheme to counter what is unfolding in Iran, North Korea, and China.

Of course, the US Congress has been preoccupied with health care lately. Stokes makes it clear that when the dust settles surrounding health-care issues, US Congress will wake up to what he is really saying about China. Stokes has not seen any reaction to his report on Capitol Hill thus far.

"I am not as well informed as I should be about political issues with regard to US nuclear policy," said Stokes. "In short, I am just not that concerned with China's limited nuclear deterrent. It is the conventional capabilities that could be used in a Taiwan scenario that concern me more."

Those are words that will certainly stir up the hard-line faction of conservatives in the US Congress who are already pressing for a stronger stance against China across the board, and for F-16 sales to Taiwan. These same members of Congress continue to fend off at least one key Obama nominee for a senior post at the US Department of Defense who is perceived as being too quick to cancel missile defense spending.

Because his report also addresses China's possible development of a conventional capability that may or may not mirror work by the US on the so-called "Prompt Global Strike" conventional missile-based attack system, a vocal response should be forthcoming. (See US's strike threat catches China off guard , Asia Times Online, Feb 4, 2010)

Lewis, on the other hand, does not expect or does not see why US conservatives might be so outraged by the findings of this report.

"It suggests the Chinese storage and handling arrangements reflect a force that is kept off alert and under tight central control. If anything, this suggests China continues to rely on nuclear weapons for core deterrence," said Lewis.

Stokes is not viewed as a simply another right-wing China hawk from the US who writes reports that are more ideologically driven than based on actual research and supported by hard facts.

"I worked with Mark for a couple of months at the Pentagon. He is a hawk, but he does not let his politics get in the way of his analysis," said Lewis. "If I had a meeting on China's strategic modernization, Mark would be on my invite list."

Despite the possible impact of this report in both Beijing and Washington, Stokes finds the media coverage especially in China to be balanced and acceptable. A report in Xinhua, for example, injects not even a single word of commentary. [3]

"The only responses I've seen have reflected Western reporting of the report. Huanqiu Ribao [Global Times] and Xinhua have both covered in a fairly objective manner. The most recent Xinhua reporting summarized the study in some detail and pretty accurately," said Stokes. "I am not exactly sure what to make of the coverage, but I assume there is some context with the pending release of the new US Nuclear Posture Review, the upcoming Nuclear Summit which [President] Hu Jintao may attend, and the five-year review of the Non-proliferation Treaty [NPT] set for May."

Stokes emphasizes that his report is very relevant to the NPT review.

"Of course, one of the key issues in the NPT is nuclear safety and security, and presumably transparency, which is the primary theme of the paper I did," said Stokes.

Dr Gregory Kulacki, senior analyst and China Project manager at the Massachusetts-based Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) describes the work by Stokes as "a solid report" and he agrees with the conclusion that, "Beijing adopts a responsible and serious attitude with regards to nuclear security and safety."

"That does need to be qualified, however. Several years ago, UCS hosted a Chinese fellow from their nuclear weapons research facility in Mianyang at our offices in Cambridge. He was here to conduct research on nuclear security and safety," said Kulacki. "It was clear from his research that China had given very little consideration to what is often called the 'insider threat' ; the threat of theft or sabotage facilitated by an insider."

Despite his earlier comment, Kulacki criticized the report, and pointed out that, "some of the Chinese sources cited in this report do not contain information that substantiates the claims made in the text".

China certainly might not have expected - or wanted - some of the information that Stokes has released to be spilled out in the public domain, but despite any sign of anxiety on Beijing, Stokes does not see his report as breaking new ground.

"There is not [much new information in my report] per se, beyond pulling together various sources from China itself. It may be the first time Chinese sources have been summarized for Western audiences though in some detail. [The Federation of American Scientists] has covered some of the storage facilities in its reporting over the last couple of years," said Stokes.

That said, Stokes does not expect everyone to agree with his depiction of the potential mismatch or imbalance that exists between the actual number of nuclear warheads that China possesses, and the number of military personnel it has assigned to its strategic forces. Stokes also admits that there is bound to be disagreement over what he has to say about one of China's long-range missiles as well.

"I suspect there could be some disagreement with a couple of my conclusions. For example, that there does not appear to be much significant growth in number of warheads despite growth in the number of [PLA] missile brigades,' said Stokes. "Another area of possible disagreement could be a conventional mission for the 8,000-kilometer range DF-31 [missile]."

Stokes describes his overall work as "preliminary" and deserving more study.

"The Second Artillery, for some time now, has been expanding the use of conventionally-armed ballistic missiles. Whether conventional DF-21s count as 'long-range' depends on what you mean by 'long'," said Lewis. "The distinction is usually that the Second Artillery troops are 'operators' - which is to say responsible for the handling and use of the weapons. That does not mean that they play a dominant role in policymaking. Indeed, I suspect one reason for the growth in conventional missiles is that it increases service autonomy."

Stokes argues that China may be placing more emphasis on a massive conventional missile strike capability than many experts in the West are prepared to accept.

"The reality is that we do not really know how many warheads China has had in the past. I just did not see any obvious sign of a significant growth in warhead inventory," said Stokes.

Stokes avoided going into more detail on this topic because this was not really the focus of his study. Besides, he discussed China's extended conventional strike capabilities in a report last September.

"There is a significant body of literature regarding a conventional DF-21, specifically the DF-21C and maybe DF-21D [designated an anti-ship ballistic missile or ASBM] in the near future. A conventional DF-31 is certainly possible if technical issues can be overcome with regard to a terminal guidance system on a missile traveling at higher reentry speeds," said Stokes.

Kulacki identifies parts of the report that deserve more careful scrutiny. For example, in his discussion of the Second Artillery, and the expanding use of conventionally-armed ballistic missiles, Stokes writes that, "the distinction between ballistic missiles equipped with nuclear and conventional payloads is becoming increasingly blurred".

"I concur. But there are indications China is considering turning conventional strike missions over to the [PLA Air Force]," said Kulacki. "If so, this should help draw a clearer line between nuclear and conventional payloads." [4]

As far as efforts to persuade China to accept the need for more transparency, this is where this report makes its mark.

Stokes credits China for managing its limited stockpile of nuclear weapons in a responsible manner. At the same time, he wonders if many in China "may want to know where nuclear warheads are and if they are safe. Public interest grew in the wake of the May 2008 earthquake, with the epicenter being fairly close to sensitive civilian defense industry facilities. I suspect there has been some conscious effort to calm whatever public concerns may exist," said Stokes in response to comments in the blog on www.armscontrolwonk.com.

The emphasis on increased transparency "could reflect greater confidence in the survivability of the country's nuclear deterrent. Recent conclusion of major Second Artillery infrastructure projects over the last decade, initial operational capability of the mobile solid-fueled DF-31A, and increasingly sophisticated missile defense countermeasures may have contributed to the greater degree of confidence," Stokes added.

Lewis describes the overall impact of this report as something that moves everyone ahead slowly towards a safer world.

"The impact of the report just depends on the person and the politics inside China. It will make some Chinese more leery of transparency, but others will observe that the information got out and the world didn't end, so there may be less to fear from transparency," said Lewis.

Stokes raises enough questions here both about China's capabilities, and unexplained gaps in the US knowledge base such that US hardline conservatives may come away feeling even less comfortable with the current state of affairs.
[url="http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hXbEE9ZqwArKYWZJIp50GVfoqGVA"]China tightening border control in Tibet: Dalai Lama envoy[/url]

TOKYO — The number of exiles from Tibet has declined because China is stepping up border control in the region, a senior envoy to the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said Friday.

"Normally until 2008, every year we had on average between 2,500 and 3,000 people who escaped from Tibet. But since the demonstration in March 2008, that number has fallen," said Tempa Tsering, the chief representative of the Buddhist monk who has been based in India since fleeing his Himalayan homeland in 1959.

"Last year about 600 have come out," he said. "That's (because) firstly, the restriction in Tibet" by the Chinese authorities became tougher and "secondly, in all the mountain paths guarding is strengthened," he said.

"And thirdly in the Nepali government, the Chinese are now training Nepali army to guard the border, saying we'll train your personnel, we'll equip your police," he said in an interview with a group of reporters.

The comments came after Chinese security forces last month stepped up a crackdown in Tibet's capital Lhasa, two years after protests marking a failed 1959 uprising erupted in deadly violence.

More than 400 people have reportedly been rounded up so far in the "strike hard storm" campaign, which has worried residents on edge since the March 2008 unrest in the remote Himalayan region.

The US State Department last month said China's rights record "remained poor and worsened in some areas," with repression in the restive Tibet and Xinjiang regions, and the detention and harassment of activists.

The annual State Department report said China also imposed "tight government controls" on Tibetans, who faced restrictions on practicing their religion and severe repercussions if they tried to escape to Nepal.

Nepal has been under growing pressure from China to clamp down on Tibetans who try to cross the Himalayan region en route to India.
x-posting from Indian-Mil thread

[url="http://www.dailypioneer.com/246616/India-ups-the-ante-on-China.html"]India ups the ante on China[/url]
[url="http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE6310ER20100402"]France says arms sale to Pakistan held up[/url]

Quote:PARIS, April 2 (Reuters) - France's plan to sell 1.2 billion euro ($1.6 billion) worth of military equipment for Pakistan's JF-17 combat aircraft has been held up, a source at President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said on Friday.

Newspaper Le Monde had reported earlier that France decided to suspend the sale of electronics and missiles -- the first section of a 6 billion euro contract -- under pressure from India and uncertainty over Pakistan's finances.

"It's a deal that's not ready from the Pakistani side," the source said, without giving further details. "For now, the state of the dossier doesn't allow us to carry on with it."

A consortium made up of French company ATE, arms group Thales (TCFP.PA) and missile manufacturer MBDA was supposed to produce the equipment, Le Monde said. Thales declined to comment.

France was also worried over insufficient protection of its technology, with Pakistan pushing to assemble the equipment on its soil, the paper said.

In February, MBDA said it planned to upgrade India's Mirage 2000 fighters and was looking to expand in India.

Le Monde said talks over that upgrade also played a role in the decision.
[url="http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6310WG20100402?loomia_ow=t0:s0:a49:g43:r1:c0.300000:b32432714:z0"]China buys air defense systems from Russia[/url]

Quote:Russia has delivered 15 batteries of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to China, Interfax news agency reported on Friday, under a contract analysts said could be worth as much as $2.25 billion.

China is a major buyer of Russian weapons, and the two countries say they are trying to forge a strategic partnership, though senior Russian officials are privately concerned about an increasingly assertive China.

Russia has delivered 15 S-300 batteries to China, Interfax news agency quoted Igor Ashurbeili, director general of Almaz Antei which makes the missiles, as saying.

"We have implemented a contract to deliver to China the newest system S-300," Ashurbeili said. He gave no details about the value of the deal. A spokesman for the plant was not immediately available for comment.

In Russia's armed forces, an S-300 battery normally consists of four truck-mounted installations, each with four missiles held in metal tubes.

Analysts said the contracts to deliver the S-300 to China were signed in the mid-2000s and that each battery usually costs about $120-$150 million. That indicates the value of the Chinese contract was about $1.80-$2.25 billion.

"The price for one S-300 battery varies between about $120 million and $150 million," said Konstantin Makiyenko, deputy head at the Moscow-based CAST defense think tank.


The S-300, known in the West as the SA-20, can shoot down cruise missiles and aircraft. The missiles have a range of 150 km (90 miles) or more and travel at over two km per second.

Russian arms exports rose to a post-Soviet record of $8.5 billion last year, with Algeria, India and China accounting for two thirds of deliveries. Syria, Venezuela, Malaysia and Vietnam accounted for another 20 percent of deliveries.

Moscow has said it plans to fulfill a contract to supply the S-300, nicknamed "the favorite" in Russia, to Iran, unnerving Israel and the United States.

The possible sale to Tehran of the S-300, which could protect Iran's nuclear facilities against air strikes, has become a sensitive issue in Russia's relations with Israel.

Russia has a more advanced air defense system, known as the S-400 "Triumph," and Ashurbeili said the country's armed forces were expected to receive the third battery of these "any day from now."

A senior Russian general said last year that Moscow was now developing a fifth-generation, surface-to-air missile, the S-500, which would be able to implement the tasks of both air and space defense.

Officials have said that the new system would be capable of engaging ballistic hypersonic targets flying at a speed of 5 km (3 miles) per second.
[url="http://www.afcea.org/signal/articles/templates/Signal_Article_Template.asp?articleid=2246&zoneid=292"]China Enters the Aircraft Carrier Club[/url]

Quote:Far from being amusement park oddities, the country’s new carriers will be highly capable indigenous ships.

China’s growing blue-water naval strength soon may be augmented by the country’s first aircraft carrier. A series of seemingly unconnected steps over the past two decades have positioned the People’s Republic to begin construction and incorporation of a modern carrier into its fleet.

For decades, China’s position has been that aircraft carriers were tools of evil superpowers and China would never build one. Announcements of the Chinese desire for People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) carriers in 2006 actually came from PLAN captains of the Luda-class DDG-108 destroyers and the Jianghu-III-class FFG-537 frigates rather than from senior aviation officers. One possible reason for this anomaly could be that in 1990 the first nine naval air pilots graduated from the Guangzhang Naval Academy “Captain Pilot Warship” class and now are commanding destroyers until the carrier is launched.

Dalian Naval Academy began a 50-man class for carrier pilot training in 2009. An “Aircraft Carrier Office” was established in 2004 under the name of Program 048 for the carrier. China’s 2006 defense white paper noted a reorganization of China’s naval air administration: “The navy has cut the naval aviation department and converted naval air bases into support ones. Following these adjustments, the combat troops … are now directly under the fleets.” In December 2008, Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said, “Among the big nations, only China does not have an aircraft carrier. China cannot be without an aircraft carrier forever.” Early in March 2009, Adm. Hu Yanlin, PLAN, stated, “Building aircraft carriers is a symbol of an important nation. It is very necessary.”

A study for a carrier program began in 1992, aiming at a planned launch by 2000. In 1993, China stated that starting construction on two 48,000-ton carriers would allow them to be completed by 2005. In 1995, Beijing said two 40,000-ton carriers would begin construction in 1996. In 1998, rival India claimed two Chinese carriers were being constructed in Dalian under the code name of “Project 9935.” In 2004, Internet photographs showed a “carrier” under construction in Shanghai. A 2006 Beijing news release stated that a 78,000-ton carrier was to be built at Jiangnan. The latest indication was a Taiwan news release in December 2009 stating that China had begun carrier construction.

India’s and China’s carrier programs have several parallels, such as the use of Russian technology. India has a one- or two-year head start on China. Nearly all of the carrier predictions feature a ski-jump design because of the complexity of airplane elevators and steam catapult technology; although one report states that China already has obtained those, and an 80,000-ton Essex-size carrier is predicted, as unlikely as this seems.

China began selecting needed unique aircraft carrier component vendors in 2006. The initial Chinese carriers likely will feature a ski-jump flight deck rather than a steam catapult. The first carrier will be constructed in the Shanghai Changxing complex and is expected to have the keel laid by the end of 2010. A second hull should follow within a year.

About 50 carrier-qualified pilots and aircraft will be available for the first carriers. After the Soviet Union collapsed, China bought the 67,000-ton Varyag, a new construction carrier. The Varyag, which was 70 percent complete when China purchased it, logically will serve as a carrier training platform until the new indigenous PLAN carriers are commissioned around 2014.

The new Chinese carriers will not be called “aircraft carriers,” which is a terminology approach similar to Russia calling its first carrier an “antisubmarine cruiser” and India calling its carrier a navy “air defense ship.” Terms such as “special heavy vessel” have been used in many prior Chinese government announcements.

Any Chinese carrier must have top-line area air defense radar and missiles. Two such prototypes currently are in service. One is the Aegis phased array radar and three layers of air defense, such as on the 052C Luyang II. These layers include the long-range HQ-9 vertical launch system (VLS) surface-to-air missile (SAM), the medium-range HQ-16 SAM and the short-range close-in weapon system (CIWS). Another option is the 30N6E phased array radar with the Rif-1 S-300 SAM that is on the 051C. Both of these modern radar and SAM systems are imported from Russia.

China has considered several aircraft for its carrier. The J-10 and J-10A have been used for much of the testing of unique carrier equipment, but the Su-33 is more modern and specifically designed with carrier operation equipment, such as tail hooks, for Russian carriers. PLAN J-11 fighters have indigenous 1474 fire control and WS-10 jet engines, which are inadequate for carrier operations. China has been negotiating with Russia for two years to procure 50 Su-33 naval fighters. Aircraft must be ruggedized and strengthened to handle the shock of the tail hook catching and stopping the jet while in approach landing. China bought four sets of Russian complete tail hook kits in 2006 from Tsnii Sudavogo Mashinostroenia. This included below-deck equipment, catch nets and the actual tail hook system.

A ground attack JH-7 aircraft was spotted with a tail hook for testing, but it is unlikely to be an aircraft actually intended for naval air complement. The Varyag is the perfect platform for such carrier landing tests, and reports exist of a Varyag–type ski jump at the Yanliang aviation test base in Xian. Folding-wing technology is crucial to China, but Russia will not sell the Su-33 to China because of illegal copying of the AL-31F engine. The J-11A, J-11B and J-10A all share this power plant. Deploying a fixed-wing carrier fighter still is possible, as France has done this with its Rafael design. China has been in discussion with Ukraine since 2006 to use carrier pilot training facilities at Odessa, Nitka and Sevastopol.

Over the past three decades, China has obtained four foreign aircraft carriers. The first was the 15,000-ton ex-HMAS Melbourne, which was towed to Dalian Shipyard in 1984 for scrap. It was studied for five years prior to dismantling. A dummy carrier deck was constructed at an airbase north of Beijing in 1985, and it was used for deck landing and flight deck handling trials with a J-8III aircraft. The next carrier was the Minsk, the first of three ex-Soviet carriers. It was bought from a South Korean scrap yard to be used for an amusement park in Shenzhen in 1998 and arrived via the Guangzhou shipyard. The third was the Kiev, which was bought in 2000 for display in a warship recreation park in Tianjin. Russia had spent five years stripping all equipment and systems after decommissioning it in 1995.

The fourth was the Varyag. China bought it from Ukraine in 1998, and it was towed from Nikolaev Shipyard to Macao to be a gambling casino. After a discrete six years, it was towed to the Dalian Shipyard in 2000. In April 2005, Varyag went into a dry dock at Dalian Shipyard for work. After being moored at the end of a Dalian Shipyard pier for four years, the carrier was towed two miles into Dalian Dry Dock Number 3 after the 2008 Olympics. Since late April 2009, intensive equipment and hull work has been continuing. China certainly is closely monitoring progress on the Indian navy’s new carrier, development of which is being assisted by Russia.

China had considered other carrier purchases. In 1995, Spain’s Bazan Shipyard negotiated to produce two 23,000-ton carriers for China. They would have been enlarged versions of a carrier that was built for Thailand. In 1996, China negotiated with France to buy the 32,000-ton Clemenceau when it was to be replaced by a new carrier. France wanted the sale contingent upon buying French electronics and Rafael carrier fighters, but this was not in China’s development plans. There were reports of a roll-on/roll-off design for a PLAN carrier similar to the British HMS Argus, but this never was a serious possibility. Rumors of Russian interest in a French carrier in late 2009 turned out to be another dead lead.

By way of comparison for carrier tonnage options, the Varyag is a 67,000-ton carrier, the Kiev and the Minsk are 44,000-ton carriers, India’s carrier is 40,000 tons, the Clemenceau is a 32,000-ton carrier, and the Thailand carrier is 23,000 tons.

As long as reports of PLAN carrier construction plans have been discussed, speculation has raged as to what shipyard would build it. As a precedent, most of the modern PLAN guided missile destroyers have had their second hull launched one year after the lead ship and usually from the same yard. If this Chinese new-construction practice holds true, then only one shipyard would receive the contract to build the first two fuel-powered carriers. Speculation is that two nuclear carriers could follow soon after the first two fuel-powered carriers. This would provide work for one or more of the shipyards not selected for the first builds.

One of the two leading candidates for the first build has been the Dalian New Shipyard, which was established in 1990 with a 365 x 80 x 12.7 meter Number 3 dock. The other is the Jiangnan China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) Shipyard with its 232 x 40 meter dock. It is one of a dozen traditional shipyards along the Huangpu River in the Shanghai old city. Both have experience in large tonnage hulls and modern sophisticated systems. Jiangnan had much experience with gas turbines in guided missile destroyers, so that would be a plus if they were to be the propulsion for the carriers. Dalian has a background in boiler propulsion plants.

In Shanghai, the Pudong New District was established in 1990. The first phase of two 25,000-ton and two 15,000-ton deep-water berths at Waigaoqiao was completed in 1994. In 2005, Jiangnan added a new modern Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipyard in the new Pudong area, with two large 300,000-ton docks (of 480 x 106 meters and 350 x 76 meters) and two 600-ton gantry cranes. At about the same time, Shanghai initiated a huge plan to upgrade the three Chongming islands in the mouth of the Yangtze River. Two will be eco-friendly resort islands; but Changxing Island, the one closest to Pudong Shanghai, will feature a giant shipyard complex. The Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone opened the metro line 6 station in December 2007, and a new subway line 9 will have a Pudong station at the Waigaoqiao harbor container port. A 9-kilometer tunnel completed in 2010 under the Yangtze River will connect Waigaoqiao to Changxing Island, where a huge new shipbuilding base began construction in 2005. It is being mentioned as the new prime contender for building the first Chinese carrier.

In June 2008, the Jiangnan Shipyard Group relocated from the old site where it had been located since 1865 to Changxing Island. This site includes a China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) and China Shipping Jiangsu Shipbuilding base, Zhenhua Port Machinery Company base and a building material wharf. It already has a huge 580 x 120 meter Number 3 dock and a crane that is larger than any the old Jiangnan or Dalian shipyards have. The first phase of Changxing Shipyard development features four large dry docks and nine outfitting piers on a 3.8-mile coastline. Phase two of Changxing Shipyard complex will include the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard from old Shanghai and the Pudong New District Waigaoqiao Shipyard relocation.

Low-voltage switchboards likely will be manufactured at Zhenjiang Marine Electrical Appliance Company. If the carrier has boiler propulsion, all modern PLAN guided missile destroyer boilers are built by the Harbin Boiler Company. If gas turbine is the propulsion, plants at Harbin, Shenyang and Shanghai have experience with U.S. and German manufacturers. The propulsion plant design could have an effect on the selection of the carrier shipyard. Dalian-launched ships such as the Luda upgrade, Luhai and Lanzhou all had steam propulsion. Recent Jiangnan Shanghai construction Luhu, Luyang I and Luyang II all were gas turbine powered. China manufactured Ukraine DN-80 gas turbines for the 052B and 052C guided missile destroyers. Russia and Ukraine are the sources for most imported carrier-unique systems.

Final confirmation of when and where construction will take place may be imminent. China may announce the beginning of aircraft carrier construction on the anniversary of the founding of the PLAN on April 23. Another possible date is the National Day for the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1.

James C. Bussert is employed at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, Virginia, where he works on surface ship antisubmarine fire control systems.
When pure muslims of Paki-satan say this, it is for their self preservation when they have their back to the wall dealing with their rouge terrorists, and today can't defend their border with India.

[size="2"][url="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=1&ved=0CBYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FTaqiyya&ei=i__pS-mDA4H8sgPKx-jVBw&usg=AFQjCNHd1KCogodHhdH1ogz411prpTPGxg&sig2=Pig8uu6yU-uK71wxD39KYQ"]Taqiyya [/url]is foundation fo Islam, India has to learn from its previous sour experience, and not repeat teh mistake again.[/size]

Quote:Al-Tabari's famous tafsir (exegesis of the Koran) is a standard and authoritative reference work in the entire Muslim world. Regarding 3:28, he writes: "If you [Muslims] are under their [infidels'] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them, with your tongue, while harboring inner animosity for them. … Allah has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels in place of believers — except when infidels are above them [in authority].

[url="http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/540740.aspx"]US arms not to be used against India: Pakistan[/url]

Quote:Lahore, May 07, 2010 First Published: 21:45 IST(7/5/2010)Pakistan said on Friday the military hardware it is receiving from the US would not be used against India but against terrorists operating in this country.

“There should not be any doubt that military hardware would not be used against India,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said.

“This hardware would be used against the terrorists in Pakistan,” Online news agency quoted him as telling reporters in here.

His remarks came on the day when Indian Defence Minister AK Antony said that the arms the US provided to the US could be used against India.

“The US says it is giving equipment to Pakistan to fight against the Taliban. But we feel there is every possibility of (Pakistan) diverting most of them to the Indian borders,” Antony told reporters in New Delhi.

“We have already conveyed our concerns (to the US) about transfer of equipment to Pakistan,” he added.

Pakistan is expecting the delivery of F-16 fighter jets, Cobra helicopters and spares, a Perry class frigate and unarmed drones.

USA supplied submarines and ship will be used against terrorist's navy and NOT INDIA.

USA supplied anti-tank Cobra and ToW will be used against terrorist's armored blitzkrieg and NOT INDIA.

USA supplied anti-artillery gun locating radar will be used against terrorist's field guns and NOT INDIA.

USA supplied encryption proof data link radio will be used against terrorists using sophisticated supercomputeres and surveillance satellites and NOT INDIA.

USA supplied bridge laying equipment will be used against terrorists in bone-dry rivers of Paktoonwali and NOT INDIAN Punjab.

Only buddhi-chuyt will take to this USA and Paki ruse
[url="http://news.rediff.com/slide-show/2010/aug/17/slide-show-1-pentagon-on-india-china-border-row.htm"]China deploying newer missiles, building roads near India border[/url]
[url="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/6324105.cms?prtpage=1#ixzz0wswiW9s1"]China deploys new CSS-5 missiles on border with India[/url]

Quote:PTI, Aug 17, 2010, 12.27pm IST WASHINGTON: [url="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/China"]China[/url] has moved new advanced longer range CSS-5 missiles close to the borders with India and developed contingency plans to shift airborne forces at short notice to the region, according to Pentagon.

Despite increased political and economic relationship between India and China, the [url="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/search?q=Pentagon"]Pentagon[/url] in a report to the US [url="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/search?q=Congress"]Congress[/url] said, tensions remain along the Sino-India borders with rising instances of border violation and aggressive border patrolling by Chinese soldiers.

However, a senior [url="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/search?q=Defense%20Department"]Defense Department[/url]official told reporters that the US has not observed any anomalous increase in military capabilities along the Sino-India border.

Noting that China continues to maintain its position on what its territorial claim is, the official said, the two capitals - [url="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/Beijing"]Beijing[/url] and [url="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/New-Delhi"]New Delhi[/url] - have been able to manage this dispute, in a way, using confidence-building measures and diplomatic mechanisms to be able to maintain relative stability in that border area.

"But it's something that China continues to watch; but I wouldn't say that there's anything in this report that demonstrates a spike or an anomalous increase in military capabilities along the border.

"It's something that China's paying very careful attention to. It's obviously something that India is paying careful attention to as well," the Senior Defense Department official said.

In its annual report, the [url="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/search?q=US%20Defence"]US Defence[/url] department said, to improve regional deterrence, the [url="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/search?q=PLA"]PLA[/url] has replaced older liquid-fueled, nuclear capable CCS-3 intermediate range missiles with more advanced and survivable fueled CSS-5 MRBMs.

"China is currently engaged in massive road and rail infrastructure development along the Sino-India border primarily to facilitate economic development in western China: improved roads also support PLA operations," the Pentagon said.

The report presented to the Congress said despite increased political and economic relations over the years between China and India, tensions remain along their shared 4,057 km border, most notably over Arunachal Pradesh, which China asserts as part of Tibet and therefore of China, and over the Aksai Chin region at the western end of the Tibetan Plateau.

"Both countries, in 2009, stepped up efforts to assert their claims. China tried to block a USD 2.9 billion loan to India from the Asian Development Bank, claiming part of the loan would have been used for water projects in Arunachal Pradesh. This represented the first time China sought to influence this dispute through a multilateral institution," the Pentagon said.

Wiki reports the missile (The Dong-Feng 21 (DF-21; [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO"]NATO[/url] reporting name CSS-5 -) range to be ~ 2700 km.

Quote: DF-21A (CSS-5 Mod-2) The DF-21A was operational by 1996 and has improved accuracy with an estimated CEP of 100~300m, with both [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPS"]GPS[/url] and a radar-based terminal [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guidance_system"]guidance system[/url] in a redesigned nose. It is thought to have a lower yield, around 90[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kt"]kt[/url], but longer range (up to 2700 km).[sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DF-21#cite_note-sinodefence.com-7"][8][/url][/sup]

Same missile configured in Anti Ship mode "

Quote:DF-21D (CSS-5 Mod-4) Anti-ship ballistic missile

The US Department of Defense has stated that China is developing a conventionally-armed[sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DF-21#cite_note-8"][9][/url][/sup] [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypersonic#Classification"]high hypersonic[/url][sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DF-21#cite_note-usni.org-0"][1][/url][/sup] land-based [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-ship_ballistic_missile"]anti-ship ballistic missile[/url] (ASBM) based on the DF-21,[sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DF-21#cite_note-9"][10][/url][/sup] with a range of up to 3,000 km (1,900 mi). This would be the world's first and only ASBM and the world's first weapons system capable of targeting a moving [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_carrier"]aircraft carrier[/url] strike group from long-range, land-based mobile launchers.[sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DF-21#cite_note-10"][11][/url][/sup][sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DF-21#cite_note-11"][12][/url][/sup] These would combine [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maneuverable_reentry_vehicle"]maneuverable reentry vehicles[/url] (MaRVs) with some kind of terminal guidance system. Such a missile may have been tested in 2005-6, and the launch of the Jianbing-5/YaoGan-1 and Jianbing-6/YaoGan-2 satellites would give the Chinese targeting information from [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_aperture_radar"]SAR[/url] (Synthetic Aperture Radar) and visual imaging respectively. The upgrades would greatly enhance China's ability to conduct sea-denial operations to prevent US carriers from intervention in the Taiwan Strait.[sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DF-21#cite_note-12"][13][/url][/sup] A professor at the [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Naval_War_College"]U.S. Naval War College[/url] states that DF-21D highlights the fact that the U.S. can no longer assume [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_supremacy"]naval supremacy[/url] as it has since the end of [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II"]World War II[/url].[sup][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DF-21#cite_note-ap_2010-08-05-13"][14][/url][/sup]

The Paradox of Pakistan : Collapse or Caliphate

G.D. Bakshi, Manas, 2010, 228 p, ISBN : 81-7049-361-7

Is a very good book on TSP as of 2010.
Arihant in BRF posted:

Quote:Joel Kotkin in Frobes lists some reasons why China's economic rise might not be as inevitable as it is made out to be:


Perhaps we could nudge some of these scenarios in the right direction. I'm reminded of a Churchill quote I particularly like:

"I like things to happen; and if hey don't happen, I like to make them happen."

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