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Why China is far from ready to meet the U.S. on a global battlefront

Two J-10 fighter jets fly past each other at China International Aviation & Aeropsace Exhibition in China\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Zhuhai

Beijing’s goals include “securing China’s status as a great power and, ultimately, reacquiring regional preeminence,” according to the 2015 edition of the U.S. Defense Department’s annual report on Chinese military power.
China is not a global military power. In fact, right now it doesn’t even want to be one.
But that doesn’t mean the world’s most populous country doesn’t pose a threat to the planet’s wealthiest and most powerful one. Yes, the United States and China are at odds, mostly as a result of China’s expanding definition of what comprises its territory in the western Pacific, and how that expansion threatens U.S. allies and the postwar economic order Washington was instrumental in creating. https://vinhomesgalleria.com/
Beijing’s army, navy and air force may be flush with new equipment, but much of it is based on designs that Chinese government hackers and agents stole from the United States and other countries. Most of it has never been exposed to the rigors of actual combat, so it’s unclear how well it would actually work. Khu đô thị Dương Nội
But that might not matter. China has no interest in deploying and fighting across the globe, as the United States does. Beijing is preparing to fight along its own borders and especially in the China seas, a far easier task for its inexperienced troops.
Because, with all its military handicaps, in its own region China could be capable of beating U.S. forces in battle.
Active defense
The brutal Japanese invasion and occupation of China during the 1930s and 1940s had a profound effect on modern China’s development. Prior to the mid-1980s, China’s military strategy was focused on one great fear — another invasion, in this case an overland attack by the Soviet Union. Anland Premium
Commensurate with the threat, Beijing’s military organization emphasized short-range, defensive ground forces. In essence, a Great Wall of men and metal.
The danger from the Soviet Union ebbed and, in 1985, the Chinese Communist Party revised its war strategy. The “active defense” doctrine sought to move the fighting away from the Chinese heartland. It shifted attention from China’s western land border to its eastern sea frontier — including Taiwan, which in the eyes of Beijing’s ruling Communist Party is a breakaway province.
But the new strategy was still largely defensive. “We attack only after being attacked,” the Chinese navy asserted in its contribution to the official active-defense doctrine. It’s worth noting that, in the party’s view, a formal announcement of full independence by Taiwan would be an “attack” on China’s integrity, justifying a retaliatory attack on the island nation.
Thirty years later, Beijing is still pursuing its offshore defense, if at a greater distance. It now encompasses island territory that China dared not actively claim until recently. Still, the strategy remains the same.
Which is why, for all the hundreds of billions of dollars Beijing has spent on its armed forces since the Chinese economy really took off in the late 1990s and 2000s — and even taking into account equipment optimized for an amphibious assault on Taiwan — Beijing still acquires mostly short-range, defensive weaponry.
The U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps together operate more than 500 tankers. Because America fights all over the world.
Similarly, China’s navy is huge. With some 300 warships, it is second in strength only to the 500 vessels in service with the U.S. Navy and Military Sealift Command, which operates America’s transport and spy ships. But the Chinese navy, like its air force, is a short-range force. Beijing’s fleet includes just six logistics ships capable of refueling and resupplying other ships at sea, extending their sailing range.
America’s fleet includes more than 30 such vessels.
The upshot of Beijing’s emphasis on short-range forces is that the farther its troops fight from the Chinese mainland, the less effective they will be. It doesn’t help that Beijing has few close allies, which means virtually no overseas bases it can count on during conflicts. The Pentagon, by contrast, maintains many hundreds of overseas facilities.
In the western Pacific, however, China does threaten U.S. military standing. The flipside of possessing a defensive, short-range navy and air force is that Beijing can quickly concentrate numerous forces across a relatively small geographic area. The large numbers help China compensate for the overall poor quality of its forces.
By contrast, the United States — because it must project forces over great distances and usually is in the process of doing so all around the world — can usually deploy only a small number of ships and planes to any particular place at any given time. Because they would be badly outnumbered, it might not matter that U.S. ships and planes are generally superior to their Chinese counterparts in a one-on-one fight.
In a landmark analysis in 2008, the RAND Corporation, a California think tank, concluded that China would have a huge numerical advantage over the United States in any aerial battle near Taiwan. The size of the advantage would depend on whether U.S. forces staged from Kadena Air Base in Japan or Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. “China could enjoy a 3:1 edge in fighters if we can fly from Kadena,” the analysis warned, “about 10:1 if forced to operate from Andersen.” The report goes on to note that while American warplanes are generally technologically superior to their Chinese counterparts, they’re not 10 times superior.
<div style="\\\\\\\\&quot;text-align:" right;\\\\\\\\"=""> * David Axe is the national security editor at Medium.com. He has written for Danger Room, Wired and Popular Science. His most recent graphic novel is "Army of God: Joseph Kony's War in Central Africa.”

 

 

 

 

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