9/29/2005

Daily Kos: Is China Taking Advantage Of Our Iraq Problem?

something that I see as a military problem that's been completely neglected by the Bush Administration. It could be argued that while we've been wasting resources & lives in the deserts of Iraq, we've let a "Dragon" rise in the east. China has been spending anywhere between $30-$90 billion a year to upgrade the People's Liberation Army, to the point that some think the balance of power in East Asia might be shifting.

Ordinarily, most analysts believed that the Chinese Navy would be no match for the USS Kitty Hawk & the rest of the 7th Fleet, if they decided to move against Taiwan..

China has leveraged its arms-buying relationship with Russia into bigger and higher-end purchases, spending at least $3 billion a year. In addition to four guided missile destroyers, China is buying eight new Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines, all equipped with "Sizzler" SS-N-27 missiles, the anti-ship weapons that can fly at Mach 2.3 as they ram ships.

...The submarines, waiting along Taiwan's Pacific coast, could fire a barrage of "Sizzlers," devastating anti-ship weapons that pop out of the water, spot aircraft carriers or escort ships, then drop near the water's surface, accelerating to supersonic speeds for the kill. Little can be done to defend against a "Sizzler" attack...


And that's not all they're buying from the Russians and building themselves...

...China by late this year will have as many as 300 Russian-built SU-27 jetfighters and SU-30MKK fighter-bombers, and is acquiring aerial refueling aircraft from Russia. It also is converting older aircraft into unmanned aerial drones.

Space-based and over-the-horizon radar and weapons could enable China "to identify, target and track foreign military activities deep into the western Pacific ..." according to the Pentagon annual report. By 2010, China expects to have some 100 surveillance and communications satellites, and it's working on micro and nano-satellites.

China is reportedly probing the use of ballistic missiles against U.S. naval carrier groups - either by arming them with maneuverable warheads that can home in on ships or through electronic "pulse" weapons that explode in the air and knock out communications, rendering a carrier effectively inoperable.

Even as shipyards churn out new vessels, an increasing number of shipyards are building everything from diesel-electric submarines to frigates. The nation has built 10 destroyers in the past decade, gaining new ability to project naval power...


There's also the tale of the new "indigenously" created J-10 Fighter for the Chinese Air Force..

t's being developed by the state owned Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation. However, the design is rumored to have been based on technology shared by the Israeli government. And guess where the Israelis got it from? It's also rumored that the design has elements of our very own F-16. How did the Chinese get one? Rumors say our new "strategic partner" Pakistan secretly gave the Chinese an F-16 as some form of technology sharing/military sale deal.

And then there is the Soviet Aircraft Carrier Varyag...

Whether the Chinese intend to commision the ship as a part of a carrier battle group for their Navy is still being debated. There are some that believe they're just studying the ship for research & development purposes for when they want to build a "Chinese Aircraft Carrier", and it could be used to train Chinese pilots for Carrier landings. Others see a threat of the Chinese putting this ship into a fleet that would be a definite problem when combined with all the submarines they're buying from Russia, and all the frigates they're building.

Although the main question is why the Chinese is building & buying all of this? Who do they think is going to attack them? Is it about projecting power & national prestige? Could we be on track to a second Cold War 10-20 years down the road?

Daily Kos: Is China Taking Advantage Of Our Iraq Problem?

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