A series of leaked internal documents reveal that China’s military reforms are aimed at allowing Beijing to “manage a crisis, contain a conflict, win a war” and overtake the United States in military strength, according to the Express.
The leaked documents were published by the Central Military Commission in February for the purpose of spreading President Xi Jinping’s “thought on strengthening the armed forces”.
If the reforms go ahead, they will lead to heightened tensions with China’s neighbouring countries, including Japan, in the East and South China Seas and the US. –Express
“As we open up and expand our national interests beyond borders, we desperately need a comprehensive protection of our own security around the globe,” read the leaked documents, which adds that a strong military is the best way to “escape the obsession that war is unavoidable between an emerging power and a ruling hegemony”.
It’s worth noting that in March Beijing rolled out their largest defense budget in three years.
According to the leaked documents, China’s rapid military expansion will allow them to “more effectively create a situation, manage a crisis, contain a conflict, win a war, defend the expansion of our country’s strategic interests in an all-round fashion and realize the goals set by the party and Chairman Xi”.
The Japan Times reports that the authors of the documents argue that “strong military might is important for a country to grow from being big to being strong,” and that the US, Russia and Japan are examples of this, and would avoid the “Thucydides Trap“ – a deadly competition between superpowers first identified by anicient Greek historian Thucydides who explained: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.”
China believes that Military reforms, therefore, are a significant “turning point” for any given emerging country to “overtake a slower vehicle on a curve,” says the document – referring to the United States is in decline.
Citing the examples of the collapse of the Soviet Union and political unrest in some East European countries, one chapter said that it is important to control the military in a bid to ensure the Chinese Communist Party’s long-term ruling status.
History proves that as long as the party keeps a tight grip on the military, it can withstand rigorous challenges both at home and abroad, it said.
It also criticized the “antagonistic blocs of the Western world” for plotting to instigate separatists in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong to pursue independence as well as Falun Gong practitioners to stage protests and individuals to carry out terrorist attacks. –Japan Times
China has built up a significant presence in the disputed South China Sea – installing air bases, radar systems and other defense capabilities. Meanwhile, Beijing is supposedly testing advanced features on its military craft – outfitting aircrafts, destroyers, tanks and submarines with stealth technology.
As we reported in February, Beijing’s rapid military modernization is “remarkable” according to Dr. John Chipman, Director of UK based Internaional Institute for Strategic Studies, in their annual report.
“China’s emerging weapons developments and broader defence-technological progress mean that it has become a global defence innovator” says Chipman.
In particular, he points out that China’s Chengdu J-20 low-observable combat aircraft is set to challenge America’s “monopoly on operational stealthy combat aircraft.” As we reported yesterday, the J-20 is rumored to have already been deployed to the South China Sea along with several of China’s Su-35s, to take part in a joint combat patrol over the region, according to the Chinese Ministry of Defense whose release did not mention the J-20.