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  • Chinese Military Modernization Gains Steam

    A speech by Chinese leader Hu Jintao, who is head of the powerful Central Military Commission that oversees the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), has attracted a fair amount of attention.

    Western news reports note that Hu talked about the need to “accelerate its transformation and modernization in a sturdy way, and make extended preparations for military combat in order to make greater contributions to safeguard national security.” This has raised concern that China is preparing for conflict, perhaps in the context of the ongoing South China disputes, or with the impending Taiwan election in January 2012.

    But Hu’s recent speech is actually more consistent with a longstanding set of themes that he has repeatedly emphasized. In 2004, Hu laid out the “new historic missions” for the PLA, including the need to engage in “army-building” (i.e., improving the military), while focusing more on overall national economic construction. Hu’s speech is also in line with the position laid out by his predecessor, Jiang Zemin, that the PLA must move away from an emphasis on quantity and focus more on quality, i.e., high technology.

    It is this latter aspect that merits more attention, because Chinese reports note that Hu subsequently met with the All-Army Military Equipment Conference (quanjun zhuangbei gongzuo huiyi). Hu apparently congratulated China’s weapons designers and manufacturers on their achievements in the previous 11th Five-Year Plan (2006–2010), even as he also exhorted them to improve their performance in the current 12th Five-Year Plan.

    Considering some of the programs that were revealed in the course of the past five-year plan, including China’s new stealth fighter (the J-20), Chinese anti-satellite capabilities (highlighted by the 2007 ASAT test), and reports of anti-ship ballistic missiles achieving initial operational capability, as well as a range of new unmanned aerial vehicles, this suggests that the Chinese leadership expects even more advanced systems to be developed in the coming five years.

    American leaders should bear this in mind as they contemplate the shape of future defense spending and preparations.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Chinese Military Modernization Gains Steam

    1. West Texan says:

      It's ironic that your blog appears the very day Japan attacked Pearl Harbor 70 years ago. Let this unfortunate event alone be a reminder that military preparedness is not optional but a mandated necessity. The main reason states ratified the U.S. Constitution was for the common defense. All the left turns, however, have disoriented our nation's leadership to the point where they're ineffective at handling the Beltway's fundamental obligation. Is there another surprise attack in our country's future? Will big government social progressives have us repeat similar tragedies? Will we be ready to defend ourselves and/or stop such belligerent aggression? Some sobering questions that seem to have been played down or completely ignored by the current congress and administration.

    2. Leon Lundquist says:

      The Progressives have pulled this trick so many times before, it is no mistake it is Malfeasence. It is failure to uphold their Oaths Of Office. Obama has no intention of defending the United States against all enemies foreign or domestic! He is the Domestic Enemy! Everything he does benefits the Foreign Interest and nothing he does cleanly benefits our Nation. But this has gone on a long time. Why does the United States defend every Socialist European Nation? To weaken our own defense. The shoe has dropped, now we "don't have" enough money to defend ourselves, but that isn't it really. Vote for Ron Paul to stop this nonsense.

    3. Behemot says:

      @West Texan
      Attack on Pearl Harbour was no mystery for US authorities for at least a few days. The aircraft carriers weere moved to high seas while other ships where left to Japan aircrafts (purple code encoding). It was needed for Us society to wake up from isolationism.

    4. Behemot says:

      Personally I think that US should make their NATO fellows to increase substancially military contributions. It can't be that US is spending about 5-7% of GDP on military while UE 1,7-2% on average. Make them spend more or tell them to defend themselves. There is no free ride or free lunch.
      For instance Germany the 4th economy spends 1,5% on military, while it should at least 5% as United States of America.

    5. Behemot says:

      @Leon
      Ron Paul is too much right wing to win with Obama. I think Rick Perry (30%) or Mitt Romney (70% and huge cash) are going to win Republican nomination.
      But i Think in last battle for presidenct itself Rick Perry could win becasue Mitt is Mormon (I'm vry lax on religion topics in politics but people are not).
      Obama is not that bet either.
      But making our NATO allies to contribute to global security is first task.
      NO free ride.

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