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PLA: Chinese Military Doesn’t Compare to U.S. Military

by John Reed on May 19, 2011

This is interesting. The PLA’s top officer, Gen. Chen Bingde, announced during his recent visit to Washington that China’s is no where close to matching the United States’ in terms of military capability. Yes, we’re fretting over China’s rise as an economic power, but according to the general, his nation has a long way to go before it catches the U.S. militarily.

From Fox News:

“Through my visit over the past couple of days in the United States, I am surprised by the sophistication of the U.S. military, including its weapons and equipment and doctrines and so on,” People’s Liberation Army leader General Chen Bingde said. “I can tell you that China does not have the capability to challenge the United States. As a matter of fact, the reconnaissance activities along China’s coast by U.S. military aircraft and vessels are seen in China as deterrents.”

For emphasis, the general added, “What I’m trying to say is that we do not have the capability to challenge the United States.”

He even went so far as to try to answer the question that’s long been on U.S. defense officials minds: What do Chinese officials mean when they says they want to ‘defend what is theirs’ with their new military might?

“As it is known to all, the United States is a super-power in the world today; how can China easily have the ability to challenge it? That is simply not part of Chinese culture and we do not have that capability. We would strive for world peace, civility and development and well being of the whole humankind…The United States has far more advanced weapons and equipment.”

Chen took some exception to the accusation, insisting the routine test flight was not targeted at Gates’ visit, and questioned why similar issues were frequently raised to China but not the United States.

The general insisted, “After 30 years of reform and opening up, China’s economy has made tremendous progress and we are now the world’s second-largest economy…Our efforts to grow our economy is to ensure that the 1.3 billion people are better off. We do not want to use the money to buy equipment or advanced weapons systems to challenge the United States.”

From the general’s answer, it sounds like China has no intention of getting into Cold War II with the United States. Arms races can be notoriously expensive and distracting from the buildup of other sectors needed to support a healthy economy; something China is strongly focused on. For now, it seems like China wants to be the big military power in the region while focusing more on the long-term growth of its economy. This reminds me of how the U.S. overtook Britain as the world’s most powerful economy decades before it overtook the empire in terms of military and global political might. However, once China overtakes the U.S. as the world’s largest economy (predicted to happen sometime in the next 20 years if current trends hold) who knows what kind of military investments it will make?

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{ 156 comments… read them below or add one }

Sanem May 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm

saying you're weaker does help to convince polititians to give you more money
and convince the other side that they don't need to invest more
but you don't have to match an enemy in strength to beat him, you just need to hit him hard enough where it hurts (satellites, carriers, domestic cyber network…)

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kevin March 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm

and end up paying for it

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Chong Lee December 27, 2013 at 12:42 am
Fritzthedog May 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm

The Chinese have been a society for over 4000 years. They will adapt and overcome and, in the end, if their technology is outdates, they will simply overwhelm us with their vast numbers. We are doomed

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WJS May 19, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Wow Danny downer! Negative much?

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Andrew May 20, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Hey we are the 2nd largest Military and the World and the United States could make rapit Expansion of the Armed Forces by a Draft plus we could do alot of damage we could destroy a country not saying I want that just saying what we are capable of.

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anon May 20, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Dear god, the draft barely worked back then and it wouldn't work out well now.

I won't deny "we could do alot [sic] of damage", but I wouldn't say "destroy a country"; because we've yet to try it on a country lately that hasn't been brutalized by sanctions or of decrepit infrastructure.

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Matt May 22, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Draft gets under trained, under motivated troops who will not be able to properly use modern high tech wepons. Also in a country w/ free press and anti-war hippies forced service is sucide if you dont win EVERY SINGLE BATTLE and have great standards of living in a warzone…

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anon May 21, 2011 at 8:36 am

By the way, China is a country of human beings, not zombies that lurch towards the sound of the guns, exhausting munitions before clawing your eyes out and eating your braaaains.

Happy Rapture day all.

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Jacob Hall October 27, 2011 at 7:30 pm

We are not doomed. The United States could take over China, it would be hard, but we could do it. As far as the economy we will fix our problems and stay the best.

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Mrwhatever December 2, 2013 at 5:02 am

It would not benefit China to overtake the US. Who else is going to buy their junk. The US plays a major role in the advancement and acceleration of their economy. Now Russia on the other-hand would do nothing but benefit from a US take over. However I doubt that China wold allow it. Because as it stands right now China has a defacto rule over our economy. They find it beneficial and powerful to do nothing more than shore up the US economy to in turn maintain their industrial sector. AND KEEP THEIR PEOPLE WORKING! They hate to pay out unemployment benefits. The US loves to payout unemployment & disability benefits. Without it the insurance companies of the US would not be useful.

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guest May 19, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Probably just a PR exercise. I doubt China is that humbled by American might, or that they're unable to challenge us. They are by no means on par with us on technology or quality, but let's not kid ourselves that they couldn't give us a serious run for our money if they tried.

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Stephen Nordqu September 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm

China is smart, building for the future. As the US wisdom is to spend $660 billion a year on military when the US can not even give the public basic health care. When China's economy is larger than the US. Watch out., then they will be the ones spend trillions on military. For now they are smart building their economy instead of military.

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RAM February 9, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Exactly.

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blight May 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Kind of a given. However its hard to say if this guy speaks for his leadership, though its unlikely he would be allowed to make these statements if he wasnt trustworthy.

However, the US will continue developing newer and more interesting weapons.

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ggggg May 19, 2011 at 7:15 pm

How will we do this when all of our procurement projects have or will be cancelled?

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Guest May 20, 2011 at 11:58 am

And then we find out about those stealth blackhawks. There is no doubt we have a lot more in development than any one person knows.

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jacob May 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm

china has no long term in about 15 to 20 years they are suppoed to fall because of the populatin diffrence and the female male situation

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anon May 21, 2011 at 8:53 am

It'll rectify itself in a generation when people can afford the taxes associated with Child Two. Or when surplus rural girls are sold off to city boys. It might even be a good business opportunity for someone in the countryside. Build a school for girls, stock it with orphans, then make your products marketable. Bam, money.

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George,Gollnick April 13, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Also please note USA s not buying so much Chinese any more.
I just bought some HAINES undrwear at WAL MART. yes the same that mj sells it was made in Vietnam,
I was in Cambodia last year and saw many Cambodiens making NIKE shoes
I think u will see usa do the same to China as we did with Japan,
USA NOW IS SPREADING THEIR APPLES TO 4 or 5 different countries

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Steve B. May 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm

The US military has to be good at a lot of things worldwide. By it's very nature we have a generic military with not a lot of ability to handle a variety of new concepts in military strike capability done in a massive way in a local region. Yes we have a huge force structure, that is scattered across the globe. That's one weakpoint.

The Chinese military on the other hand, only has to be good enough at keeping the US from interfering with an invasion and take-over of Taiwan. When they aim for that limited capability, they have the ability to concentrate any number of moderate systems against us in ways that will make it very difficult for us to respond. A look at the systems they are developing, intermediate range carrier killing ballistic missiles, stealthy land based fighter bombers, an enhanced land based conventional bomber force, over the horizon and satellite based naval detection systems, regional aircraft carriers, better and more non-nuclear submarines, etc… all point more towards denying our ability to influence events in the immediate vicinity of the mainland, Taiwan included, then challenging the US on a global scale.

So no, they do not have nor do they seem to be building a global military, but instead are thinking locally and building up a multitude of systems and techniques to defeat us in that region.

SB

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Troy July 27, 2013 at 2:57 am
Mike May 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I think Chinese general spoke according to book called "Art of War" from Sun Tzu.
There is one quotation in this book which I think behind general's remark:
"All warfare is based on deception."
general want to fool americans , you can see every action they take is aganist usa . Chinse will not use satelite killers aganist taiwan, they developed it aganist USA military.
If USA can not succeed circling Chinese like Green Belt in Soviet military might, USA will lose , this is simple. The price will be paid by USA's people not by muslims. Chinese must be in conflict with another country like Pakistan or another Asia nations like East Turkistan not with USA.

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8up1977 May 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm

"When we are able we must seem unable, when we are near we must be thought to be far, when we are far, thought to be near" "The General skilled in victory while being prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared." "Hold out baits to entice the enemy, feign disorder, then crush him" -The Art of War. 2500 year old words still true today.

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WJS May 19, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Huh?

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thetruth December 29, 2011 at 6:51 pm

well we cant say that they are really against america but i would say that the general have moree confident in his country to put his country down..maybe to lower the competiton mindset of chinese takeover idk..but he proabaly hiding something because we all know if china can jump the ladder in ten year to being close to super power how fast would it be for them to jump ahead

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OliSki May 19, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Everyone is taking away from the equation the NATO factor do you really European and even Asian and south American countries would let that happen. Countries we give billions to for economic aid and development as well as military aid. The US supplies the world with weapons and if it wanted could monopolize and squeeze countries for making or selling weapons. Think of all the countries that purchase US weapons or corporations that are intertwined with European defense companies China doesn’t have A chance. The US only shows you what you think you want see. US invented modern war in a century alone we been in approximately 7 major conflicts not to name the minor ones. US wrote warfare. Not to brag.

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tt33 May 19, 2011 at 7:09 pm

There are large oil deposits in Central Asia. If the Chinese really needed resources they would simply move east on land.

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anon May 20, 2011 at 8:40 am

And enter the Russian Sphere? Maybe if China makes better deals with the stans, but I can imagine the Russians stepping it up to influence the CIS.

"Lenin Doctrine", we'll call it.

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STemplar May 20, 2011 at 9:08 am

Large oil deposits are not going to spring out of the ground into gas stations. Cut off the flow of oil for 3 weeks and China has none. That would result in the collapse of their entire economy.

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Chimp May 24, 2011 at 5:45 am

Not "none"… though not enough. China is a fairly large oil producer in its own right.

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@kefoster May 19, 2011 at 8:18 pm

All warfare is based on deception.
- Sun Tzu

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anon May 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Or doublethink, where we are forced to hold two diametrically opposed concepts as simultaneously equal until the moment of truth. Not a pleasant feeling, psychologically.

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Stephen Russell May 19, 2011 at 8:36 pm

dont trust his comments yet DT runs these pics etc about Chinese planes, ships etc & Im scared, Hes bogus or playing US for fools,
Their spies know our secrets anyway IF not sold to them.

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dennisbuller May 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm

From a South Park Episode:

President Clinton “I have talked to the Prime Minister and he assures me he wants peace and that I have a very large *****.”

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Rob May 19, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Even if China matches us on every weapon in count and effectiveness they have one serious disadvantage… USA military is all over globe. China military is just on one , thou rather vast, area. The only counter to that, includes Russia & its few alliances, but in my view is neutralized by rest of NATO

China would be a great allie if wasn't for the issues with North Korea, Taiwan and the overall bitterness between Japan and China. They have no choice but to beef up their defenses while there seems to be no ultimate resolution for any of these countries.

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Guy May 19, 2011 at 9:42 pm

I hope people aren't buying this. Seems like a ploy to convince the US to let its guard down.

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Guy May 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Reminds me of an episode of south park. Watch it and you will see what i mean. http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s03

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Prodozul May 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Great reference!

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Joshua Philipp May 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm

True. China can't match the US when it comes to physical combat, which is why they're focusing on unconventional warfare — things like cyberwar, exfiltration of data, and economic warfare. They use things like anti-access strategies, soft power (aka, the war of words,) and what they refer to as "non-contact warfare."

The US is aware of this. There was a RAND report on it not long ago. I wrote a story on it for The Epoch Times: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/china/chinese-reg

I'd also recommend looking up the terms "Assassin's Mace," and the "Three Warfares." The Assassin's Mace project is one that uses cyberwar and espionage, while the Three Warfares focuses on soft power and perception management. I did a story on this recently: http://joshuaphilipp.com/2011/05/china-fights-a-w

Their strategy is based on a 50-year timeframe — they seem to know they can't currently match the US military. One of the best sources on this was a report from two Chinese colonels called "Unrestricted Warfare." It's worth a read also, as it shows the lengths they'd go to in order to win a war.

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thetruth December 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm

what do you mean physically if you mean strength wise chinese have pretty hard training and regular soldier have abusive discpine ..you see how some of the police special force train as hard as seals..they have a long history of strict heavy training like most asian country in the past even now some like south korea still have a bit abusiveness in it and a bit of american style training but north korea is purely korean training of endurance real shit something ancient asia would use to do and if you talking about conventional warfare they may no be up to tech like usa but they got the number to back it up…..

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John B May 19, 2011 at 11:09 pm

I see many wrong assumptions here. Think of yourself as the Chinese. They have no desire to go to world war III with the US in the near term because that would mean self destruction. Their intention is that they want to be a local then regional power first where US intervention would be made very expensive that would deter us from doing so. In their point of view, Yankees put your nose away and let us finish the local business, whatever that would be. In the long term beyond 20 years, not even gods know what will happen.

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DJ Elliott May 20, 2011 at 2:10 am

Have you ever read Sun Tzu? I know this Chinese General has.

"When weak, appear strong. When strong, appear weak."

Deception is a major tenant of Chinese military philosophy and, unlike the US, they have no law against officers lying to the press…

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Matt May 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm

To be fair to American generals i wouldnt think theyd just blindly believe what a Chinese general says

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anon May 23, 2011 at 12:17 am

Or American generals are well-aware of the value of deception. The Soviets weren't above a few white lies, for example.

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ogopogo May 20, 2011 at 10:03 am

This article once again overstates the "threat" made by the yes boys and yes girls in Washington, DC about any country on this planet that is modernizing it's economy and/or military and may pose a challenge to the US. The fact is clear that today's PLA even with the ongoing modernization programs to it's doctrines and equipment is still not a real threat to the US. Remember, the defense industry is a BUSINESS and relies on actual and perceived threats. War between the US and China is highly unlikely. The main reason is that both countries are basically joined at the hip economically. China also holds about $1.6 trillion in US debt. So they don't want to see any major disruptions to the US economy by selling off this debt. The US can't afford to get involved in any more conflicts. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya are enough for the time being.

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Riceball May 20, 2011 at 10:47 am

The thing that you and others are forgetting is that while China isn't a threat yet that doesn't mean they won't be in another 10 – 20 years. Instead of focusing so much on where they are now take a look at where they were just 10 years ago and then compare that to where they are now and you'll see that they've modernized their military by leaps and bounds from a military comparable to most 3rd world countries to one that's only about a decade behind ours. At this rate, if we don't at least maintain our current rate of development and innovation China will likely catch up with us within another 10 years and in another 10 pass us up.

That's the danger of getting complacent, look at how long it took us to develop and field the F-22 and look at how long it's taking for the F-35 to come on line. Currently, high tech weapons like jet fighter, tanks, and warships take decades to design, test, and field and aren't something that we can just crank out almost overnight like we did back in WW II. Note, I'm not talking about production here, I'm talking about development and I'm afraid that if we don't keep up and think that because we're currently ahead we can just simply sit back and rest on our laurels and we come to a situation where the F-35 has been in service for 15 years with no replacement in sight and meanwhile both the Chinese & Russians have since fielded either advanced 5th generation aircraft and/or are working on developing of fielding 6th generation aircraft.

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Lance May 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm

More fear mongering from the DT blog I would fear Russia making statements about starting a arms race than the junk China has. It would be economic suicide for China to start a war with the US even a cold one. We are both so economically tide that its impossible that one nation would want to break ties together with out a economic depression starting.

DT get on real threats no fear mongering pls.

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OliSki May 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm

When countries become aggressive in nature the world usually comes together to freeze there assets. For China to attack Taiwan would be the biggest economic and military blunder. Annihilating a countries infrastructure and assets is self defeating remember when Napolean attacked the Russians. The Russians destroyed there city and left what was there to conquer same principal applies. If your smart u will do it economical where they become dependent on you. And what about invading a country that’s surrounded by water very difficult mine warfare then you have to fight block by block while other countries watch there investments perish I think not. Reunification can happen only through peaceful means.

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rangerbob1_bn May 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm

all the more reason not to stop military funding!!

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So? May 21, 2011 at 10:17 am

- American peni BIG, Chinee peni small.
- Gee, thanks!

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HoosierFan May 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

and this is surprising how? only someone totally ignorant or the average layman would argue the general's statement.
100% of the time the Chicom boogeyman scenerios are brought upon by either belligerent politicians or captains of the defense industry.
I mean common how else are you going to grow your multi billion dollar business unless you convince people there's the big bad red chinaman out there is trying to git ya?
Last I check American military has fought in a lot more wars and killed more people than any other sovereign nation so who's the bad guy again?

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Paul Blackburn May 22, 2011 at 2:07 am

China has been around for ~ 4000 years, and their culture allows them to more comfortably think strategically, not just tactically compared to US society. Socioeconomic trends for China and the US appear to be sloping in opposite directions. The statements were nothing new to anyone, and were most certainly carefully crafted for any number of reasons, from getting the US to relax its vigilance, to providing fodder for those wishing to reduce military spending, etc.

Also, we should be very careful to not design or formulate our responses and preparation solely in terms of current and past military dogma. Cyberwar will invariably be a factor that could completely alter military (and military-industrial, Mr. President Eisenhower) design, capabilities, and responses.

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Hunter78 May 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Black Owl,

The gaffe about the division sizes seriously damages your credibility. You put in those commas, that was no typo. You don't have familiarity with your subject matter.

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anon May 22, 2011 at 3:56 pm

My best guess is that the 125,000 & 150,000 numbers are the overall figures from the Chosin Reservoir conflict itself (based on the "seven division" comment). In my laziness, I used wikipedia, which gives X Corps as ~100,000 troops and ~30,000 "committed" and the 9th Army as 150,000 and ~60,000 committed. Where the ballpark figures for 125,000 and 150,000 come from is then clear.

I was also going to comment that irregular warfare (SEALS, Spetnatz) predates the world wars (Debate: maybe Hutier tactics/Stosstruppen?), and "night warfare" has been practiced as a component of irregular warfare. I would also comment that in the Korean War and in Vietnam, PLA-influenced irregulars used night warfare as a favored mode of attack. Infiltrate, attack at close range. Saying the "Chinese" never learned this in WW2 is one thing, but surprise attacks meant to hug the enemy were de rigeur in Korea and Vietnam. Attacking first was responsible for their early victories in Sino-Soviet, Sino-India and Korea and Sino-Viet; though only Sino-India is a clear-cut victory.

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anon May 22, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Correction, I meant to say that irregular warfare predates the world wars, but the modern "SEALS, Spetnatz" equivalent might've first arisen in WW1 as part of Hutier tactics, and thus could not be credited to events in World War Two.

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Matt May 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I will say this about the Chinese: they know where America's weakness is. By saying they arent trying to be the threat impowers anti war politicians to make more cuts to our military. China knows it cant take us yet but if they keep giving the radical left wing "lets all get together and hug" people talking points like this we will no longer be the best. To be the best requires constant investment.

Also its important to note if/when America goes to war with China we cant just pump out weapons like in WWII. It takes years to get high qulity fighters, IFVs, etc and if America doesnt prepare now we might go the way of Europe or even Russia.

An advantage America has is the fact that it has been at war for the past decade and has troops hardened by combat. Something China's money cant buy.

What has pissed me off in the comment sections is citing Sun Tzu as some magical being that only the Chinese military can understand. Hate to break it to you but his knowledge is well know in the West too.

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anon May 23, 2011 at 12:15 am

You can fight for a few years on legacy equipment, and both sides will be doing so. Then again, our experiences with slow military production might simply be products of peacetime inertia: look at the tedious procurement/construction processes in the depression era, then contrast this to the sudden invigoration that came with World War Two.

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Figoni May 23, 2011 at 5:50 am

I can't believe this hasn't been posted yet….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIx1vDKCmuU

Sorry for the poor quality video choice, but the internet here in Afghanistan kinda sucks.

on a serious note, so as to not juts be that guy and the half time hero at the same time, i agree with most of the sun tsu comments above. It's been a while since I read it, but i do remember it saying something about winning battles without actually engaging at all. not to mention victory through deception.. the prior being seen through what almost appears to be an economic battlefield, and then with this.

That said, maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe the global governments really are just gonna chill out the next 20 to 50 years.

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Figoni May 23, 2011 at 5:55 am

kind of sucks, so i got tired of trying to let the videos buffer to see which was the one i was looking for*

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Mastro May 23, 2011 at 10:51 am

If China has no ambitious military goals- they should ditch the CV's.

CV's are for projecting power- the Japanese know that and have stayed away- even though they certainly could have made some good ones in the last 50 years.

China's CV's are a direct threat to Taiwan, Vietnam, the Phillipines, and Japan.

Are they too dumb to realize this?

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anon May 23, 2011 at 12:16 pm

If one wanted to nitpick, one could go here.

"We do not want to use the money to buy equipment or advanced weapons systems to challenge the United States".

And then think: who wants to use money to buy equipment and weapons to challenge a regional superpower? Doesn't mean you won't do what you have to do to survive.

The more peaceful answer would be to say "we have no political or military ambitions at the first, second or third island chain" but this did not come out.

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Chimp May 24, 2011 at 5:57 am

When considering statements by Chinese leaders, *exact* wording matters. I don't think it's a nitpick.

The idea here, I suspect is "to defend what we perceive as our legitimate interests from the US".

I think it's pretty clear that China has "political or military ambitions at the first, second or third island chain". What exactly those ambitions are is a matter of opinion. My own guess is that the target is a loose hegemony, similar to that of the US in some regions. Actual conquest is not, I think, on the table.

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Nex6 May 23, 2011 at 5:46 pm

his whole answer is two pronged, on one hand there is much truth in what he says. military wise the US is so far ahead its not funny. meaning, kinetic warfare…

on the other hand, there are other types of warfare, so what he is saying is no kinetic war with the US. but that does not mean no economic, or cyber wars…..

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STemplar May 24, 2011 at 2:41 am

I love this assumption that the US is so far behind in offensive cyber war. Given Stuxnet I would say the US is probably very far ahead. Our commercial national infrastructure is naked, but that doesn't mean the US is cyber toothless. I read one report we were launching cyber ops from one of the subs off Libya.

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James August 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm

So, if the Chinese start a cyber, or economic war, we're not going to engage in a kinetic war with them. Once they start to do anything that dumb, we will f— them up.

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Jacob May 28, 2011 at 1:51 am

12345

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Relisys June 6, 2011 at 3:54 am

IMHO, we got this country by taking by force from Britain, and taking it by force (and disease) from the Native Americans, and now we spend all day with one hand on our six guns just waiting for some punk dictatorship to look at us wrong.

I think China simply doesn't want America. It would be hard for them and they've got other things to worry about. I think they're just trying to tell us to relax because they have no interest in America right now or in the foreseeable future.

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David June 29, 2011 at 8:00 am

First, it's great when people say how quick & cheap a war will be over. In 1914, the French and the Germans promised to be 'home by Christmas.'
Second, who ever is the top economic power ends up the top military power by default. It's very rare to look through history and see a top moneyed power that can't put the hurt on its neighbors.
Last, I agree that our medium-sized force of experts is the top dog in the fights we are fighting now. Afghanistan and Iraq in particular would have been unadultered disasters with a conscripted force. The guys (and gals) in the field right now are unmatched in human history. But our list of trigger-pullers is at about 50K. I think back to Japan at the opening of WW2. They possibly had the most developed, most trained force in the world, but once they burned through their warfighting experts, they didn't have a lot to back that up. The rest of the war was grueling, but they did not have time to train up the second generation of warriors who could fight above their weight. I'm not sure we're in such a different boat now.

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blight2 July 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm

The IJA had much higher losses and was spread too thin. They conscripted Koreans for more combat duties, and were able to somewhat meet the obligations of colonial occupation.

The /Navy/ and air force on the other hand, had rigorous training systems that didn't seem up to the task of producing pilots and sailors. Even with the manpower of occupied Korea (which worked for the army, a more manpower intensive institution) they couldn't find enough skilled personnel for the navy or the air force.

In our case, I suspect America will have plenty of drone operators in the near future, but when it comes to trigger pullers in the field it's kind of uncertain. The United States has been involved in a fair number of wars, producing a fair amount of veterans who have retired and are sprinkled throughout society. If push comes to shove, the Volksgrenadiers wouldn't be entirely inexperienced people.

To rectify the problems of regular Americans being unable to do well in the field, we need to step back and rebalance our priorities in education. PE sucks. As a standard nerd, I probably would've gotten a kick out of doing cross country runs over playing basketball, and I might've preferred rifle safety/target shooting/machine shop classes over…damn, I don't know what we had. "Tech Proficiency", and other "safe" electives with reduced liability risk.

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Richard July 10, 2011 at 10:47 am

Cut off their supply line& their oil route, sink their ships with our subs, use many drones to bomb their weapons radar sites like what was done to Iraq, less human casualties, things like that, but only if they were threatening to attack. that's the easy part, trust me, they could not make it to the U.S. to attack us, we would shoot them down by air, unless they were to use their airliners, with soldiers, pretend they were normal people, and land here, try to play the Trojan horse game, I had a dream of a scenario, of most of the Chinese that came to America Legally & Illegally did that, and were activated by the Chinese Government to attack all Americans. I have read somewhere on the web, there is a Chinese General that said" If we were to attack and occupy America and Canada, the women and children would also be executed to make room for the Chinese people" I wouldn't trust China one bit.

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blight2 July 10, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Well then, I guess my parents must be sleeper cell agents waiting for the Exterminate command for their Dalek overlords. Or, by blood /I/ must be some kind of sleeper agent.

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Jay Che September 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm

the question is us will not able to hold on to its military economically long time. so we are looking for smooth transfer from usa to Russia to china or
usa to china to Russia

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Kski September 21, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Oh that Chicom general is just makin us feel warm inside. You can wikipedia practically everything about our military. Now the Chicoms are just makin us feel we have nothin to worry about. 20-30 years down the road. BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WORLD WAR THREE.

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Alessandro December 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm

What the PLA general said about U.S. military capabilities vis a vis China's is true, but even so, it is probably just Chinese Communist rhetoric designed to lull the U.S. into a sense of complacency. Communists are notorious deceivers when it suits their national interests and statements like General Chen Bingde's would not have been made without official government foreknowledge and approval. His words are just a smoke screen to mask China's real agenda.

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Frank February 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm

I am amazed at what is being written lately . We have to raise taxes for this, raise taxes for that. Who wants taxes to build on the moon, Need taxes to go to Mars. I say we are at the turning point NOW. Shipping is going to be the turning point for consumer products as the oil prices go higher and higher and no relief in sight. It may cost two dollars to build and two hundred to ship. The middle east will always be a mess and this will always be a reason or excuse to keep oil prices high. Could you think of the prices, if Israel and Iran go to war. Start building factories NOW, make all that is needed here NOW, food and household items. For starters! Modernizing our energy resources. If all homes and businesses were permitted to take 100% tax credit. Only for American owned and American made solar systems, wind mills,Geo-thermal. This would be a major step towards tax paying jobs, which will affect Real estate tax owes and a country starting to becoming self reliant. There are so many ways to get this done and get America back on track of be unstoppable. But when I look toward our leaders for leadership and direction, it seems that our government has gotten too-too complicated and corrupt. For every dollar that goes toward the American people, the political process makes 600xs over for themselves. JFK said it right when he said, don`t ask what your country can do for you, but ask what can you do for your country (meaning them) FDR got the factories going when we had gotten involved in WWII. I don`t say we need a war. But we are in a war for our very lives, children and grandchildren lives. We need to secure this country's future. I am retired, but I am sick and tired of other countries having their hands in our cookie jar and then hating us for it.

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Dream Katcher May 4, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I honestly think we should be great allies with China.

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Tielor December 17, 2013 at 9:39 pm
coolhead September 1, 2012 at 10:18 am

I just hope that everyone here does realize that China vs. USA or Russia is the end of the world for all of us….all that military might is only useful against less developed countries.

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carl September 19, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Sure China does not have the might alone. The US has been attacking China and Russia's allies for decades. What if the US struck China say in retalliation to China knocking out out SAT COMM's(?) Then, while we were busy with them Russia could sail their versions of the Cruise missiles to cripple our ports. While we were busy with the second pearl harbor, Al-qaeda and the rest of Mexico could storm the southern borders.
All this while civil unrest here wreaks havoc on local authorities….It goes on and on.
The USA really is on its last thread of hope.
I for one dont think that the new world order (whoever they are) has any intention of the USA being at the top of the food chain.

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carl September 19, 2012 at 11:07 pm

subscribed

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jrp January 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm

shoot china troops in us on site!

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blight_ January 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm

They're here already?

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SleezE Dan May 5, 2013 at 10:25 pm

walmart, bruh

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Raja April 3, 2013 at 9:35 pm

China does not want a war with the U.S. We are their largest trading partner. WE owe them a lot of money! If we are to fear a nation, it is North Korea. Not because they are strong but because they are weak, starving and desparate. They look at the South Koreans and are jealous. Like a bully, the North cannot compete, therefore the threats. The North is relying on China like in the Korean War but this is another dumb mistake. China does not want the 1,000,000 war orphans a war would bring! They are already feeding billions and do not need more.

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self sabotage April 8, 2013 at 7:01 pm
Weson Ribig July 19, 2013 at 10:49 am

Guys guys,recall back your memory to the bombing of Pearl harbour by Japan. Is it not the Japanese that started the war on USA ? The same thing will happen. The US won't start any thing first, but if the chinese start it first, well, that's it. They want a war, I am sure the US won't sit down and relax. As we all know the US has the TR3B spy plane during the late 80s already. Their TR3B even can go the moon and Mars. What about their TAW50 fighter bombers which is in deep space now. That is why i'd rather trust the US than china. As you all know now, china want to take the whole of south china sea for them selve.

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Floridastorm August 12, 2013 at 3:54 pm

China, just like Russia (USSR), is a totalitarian regime. Every decision, whether domestic or for defense, is made by governmental bureaucrats. Their military personnel don't make a move without orders from above. None of their soldiers, sailors, or airmen, make a decision on their own. Which simply means that they don't know how to think independently. Going up against a military, in which all of its personnel are capable of independent thinking and reasoning, would put both China and Russia at such a disadvantage that they may be of little threat in a real war. Sure, the Chinese military can march just great and can go out on exercises. There is no adversary for them to confront. Their ships can patrol and their planes can go through the motions. However, what happens when this machine comes up against a thoroughly experienced, well trained, well equipped, and independently thinking force? How much different will they be than what the Iraqi million man army was? I think that, just as the Soviet Union acknowledged, they are scared to death of confronting the US military machine. They're not stupid. They understand that their military is robotic in nature and may well fall apart at the first sign of adversity. Their entire country would be at risk of being totally destroyed.

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Greg October 30, 2013 at 11:53 am

I wonder what the calculation is for one drone equals how many men?

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Nan April 19, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Well everyone knows the US Navy is the best on this planet. The Russians still have some kind of technology no comparison to the US but they can beat China. Germany UK and France got more technology than China so why fear China only because they have atomic bomb. I would strike against China at once, the PLA is full with dancers singers and other cultural bullshit but no real fighting forces. They are not better than 1953 during Douglas MacArthur even worse. At that time Mig 15 was from the Soviets and they do not have well trained pilots. The Chinese are single child, no soldier in China prepares for dying. No parents sent their only child serving in the Chinese PLA for dying but for a secured job with money and payment. Japan could strike the islands at once. They know about beating China. I just say China is weak, like Iraq or Afghanistan and especially North Korea. It is time beating them, They cannot fight they are not Sun Tze and they do not read Art of War. The spoiled children do not know living without mum and dad without toys mobiles and computers. Just first bomb water factory and the power plants. Nobody of the Chinese knows living without water and electricity. They are weak.

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Sanem May 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm

yup, the advantage of being behind in technology

for example the Nazi's didn't have semi-automatic rifles, but skipped to the superior assault rifles

and with China being the US's (and everyone else's) biggest economic partner, a war would be a disaster for pretty much the whole planet

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ytterby May 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Such a dismissive attitude is begging for disaster. You seriously think the navy could just park off China's coast uninhibited and annihlate the PLA just like that? If they were fighting on or near their hometurf I can guarantee you that the Chinese wouldn't just roll over. It would be a bloody fight for all sides.

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steve October 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm

they can't even detect chinese nuclear submarines, how are they going to do a naval blockade? I have more faith in a world with China as a superpower, than with the current war hungry nations in power.

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hjtjl January 8, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Blockade won't be useful, they already have anti-ship ICBM's that can kill aircraft carriers or paralyze them if not a direct hit. They would have crush the US navy in Asia

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DUMB AS March 4, 2012 at 10:48 pm

LOOK ASS HOLE CHINA IS NOT WEAK AND IF AMERICA LOSE THERE TEC AMERICA WILL FALL IN TO CHINAS HANDS DUMB ASS

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Davis March 29, 2012 at 1:32 am

Wake up and face the truth, us got kick as by Vietnamese and how they encounter with Chinazium….

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Jacob May 19, 2011 at 4:05 pm

That's assuming that China has the technical know-how to catch up. Another thing is training; China might get itself some fancy toys, but America is the one that knows how to use them.

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MrMoo May 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Thats a poor example, Germany during WW2 had semi automatic rifles like the G41 and G43. The failure to utilise these weapons was more to do with the German infrantry Squad doctrine which centred around an infantry squad with a MG.34/42 as primary source of firepower, supported by the riflemen with Kar.98K bolt-action rifles. Technology had nothing to do with it.

If the Argentian forces during the Falklands war had more Exocets stockpiled the war could have turned out very differently.

Antiship Missile tech has came a long way since the 80s. The US should not be complacent. If the Chinese have enough missiles to deny area access how could the US ever impose a blockade if their ships are getting blitzed from over the horizon? One or two Carriers get took out then what?

China can be behind all it wants in other areas of technology if it stays ahead in the technology of keeping the us away long enough from its shores to complete their objective (Taiwan).

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STemplar May 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm

You assume a blockade has to be conducted outside a port. The Chinese do not have the capability to challenge the USN on the open sea and won't for decades, maybe ever. Then of course there are our submarines. To say nothing of the fact if the US were in an open war with China and declared oil tankers bound for China as legitimate merchant targets, there are few crews that would risk US naval power on the high seas, and no insurance company would underwrite the cost of the voyage.

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MrMoo May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Well China has been throwing a lot of soft power around lately investing in Africa and other areas to secure resources for the future. We see the beginnings of a blue water navy designed to protect their lines of commerce with other nations.

Its not in Chinas interest to ever challenge the US on the sea. Their Navy is there purely to protect the lines of commerce and for a potential invasion of Taiwan.

I dont think China ever wants to rival or challenge the US Globally. In my opinion they are just concerned with looking after their own and most certainly the reunifcation of Taiwan.

China will have the capability to take Taiwan very swiftly. The question is will the US be able to get there in time to be able to do anything about it?

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STemplar May 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm

The original poster was discussing a blockade, I was pointing out that is a piece of cake for the USN and I agree by severing the flow of oil we would force them to their knees.

In regards to Taiwan, I frankly say let them try and take Taiwan. It will make our experience in Iraq look like a field problem. Anyone who thinks China is goign to walk into what is for all purposes a democracy, bomb them, and not end up with an insurgency that has the moral support of the whole world, and not end up with an insurgency to end them all is selling the Taiwanese very short in my opinion.

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Zap May 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Buran was superior to the space shuttle in every way , they just ran out of money .

Anyway you don't need the latest cutting edge technology to have a decent military just good enough , and good enough can be better if it is A LOT cheaper than the latest tech , most of our stuff is 15 – 20 years old and some designs are even older

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Ghudgn June 5, 2012 at 9:26 am

This is probably coming coming from a guy who's never even gone to china and is just being another over patriotic American who is always focusing on how America is great and other countries are not. This just makes people think all Americans are pricks who are always looking down on other fucking countries. Asshole.

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Belesari May 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Dude china has a HUGE problem with corruption and bribes….

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Black Owl May 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm

I can't believe how long that was. I just started writing and lost myself in it. Sorry guys.

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korny May 19, 2011 at 7:26 pm

And the comment about being "raped" by the Japanese was really tasteless.

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Chimp May 20, 2011 at 1:21 am

Thanks for that… very interesting take on things. In general, you're right about the Chinese military during WW2. There is an interesting exception.

In the early 30's, the national government decided to modernize the army. They picked the Germans to do it for them. The plan originally was to field a large number (around 60, according to Wikipedia… can't find any better English language source material) modern (for the time) rifle divisions.

A few divisions were actually fielded, and excelled. The "88th" smashed numerically superior Japanese forces, then fought to the death outside Nanjing. It was beaten in the end by Japanese air and navy assets.

I guess the point is that good training, equipment and doctrine can make *anyone* a good army. Preconceptions like "those short four eyed bastards will fold" should have died a bloody death in 1940, but seem to be hanging on.

On the other hand, the PLA (while *vastly* improved over the last two decades) would be a snowflake in a forestfire against a first line military – and they know it.

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Guest March 16, 2013 at 1:32 am

all have to do is ask for bill on debt that surrounds USA..the end, because all other countries will follow thru on taking back and get rid of US Treasuries

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Guest May 19, 2011 at 7:13 pm

That's true. Much, maybe even most of our equipment is from the 1980s and 1970s, with almost no replacements in sight. Especially with the coming budget cuts. I don't think we should feel so invincible.

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Mike May 19, 2011 at 7:21 pm

good comment, appreciated ;)

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korny May 19, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Are you serious? The Russian military is better than the PLA? The Russian military is a mean joke. Their equipment is rotting away, their officers are fat, corrupt, and inept, and their soldiers are unmotivated, drunk, and ragged. Even if the Chinese equipment isn't the best, at least its regularly maintained and regularly used.

And you're seriously basing the current PLA off of their experiences decades ago? You don't think they've at least tried to learn from their mistakes.

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8up1977 May 19, 2011 at 8:22 pm

In addition, like the Battle of Britain, all the Taiwanese would have to do is be able to continually contest air superiority in order to stall a seaborne invasion. The Taiwanese are completely prepared for this scenario.

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GeorgeD September 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm

The big problem with your point is that unlike the US, China is not a democracy and does not answer to its people. As a result they are not bound by the same rules as the US in Iraq. The other aspect is that Taiwan and Iraq have similar populations but the similarities end there. As the Iraqi problem was mainly around religious extremists as opposed to people who seek to regain their democracy.

To be fair Taiwan would be a tough nut to crack even without active US support. With US support China has very little conventional recourse against the US.

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Blue1 May 19, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Well Mr “I study History”, probably should stick to it. Your “current event” portion is lacking. The US training you “quote” is completely wrong…written doctrine for the offensive is 3 to 1, meaning we bring 3, the enemy has 1, defense is exactly the same, we bring 3, the enemy has 1. Never does a Battalion sized element or smaller train for being outnumbered EVER! That’s called “Hollywood”, written and directed by people who don’t know what doctrine is. As for numbers, 1.5 is the combined strength of the US Army (Active, AR, NG), there are only 560,000(ish) active Soldiers. The PLA actually has about 1.8 active strength with another 1.1 in reserve, what they quantify as “active” however is subject to interpretation.

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Black Owl May 20, 2011 at 7:28 pm

I was just telling it the way it is. Not really trying to be offensive.

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Sanem May 20, 2011 at 2:54 am

who says the world will side with Taiwan over China?

Japan can't risk open war with China, they're too vulnerable and defensive
Russia won't care much, if you consider Greorgia
India will protest, but facing both China and Pakistan they can't riks open conflict
will the Middle East care? Iran certainly won't
the US and EU will protest, but with China being a huge economic partner, will they risk war, or even economic sanctions that'll hurt themselves as much as it will China?

and I strongly doubt this'll be anything like the Battle of Britain:

- first commando raids, aimed at aircraft, ships, missile silo's, command centers, communications, power grids… all very vulnerable stuff if you have the right equpiment (which China does) and large numbers (which China does, they've probably had a huge network in place for decades to bring them in)

- then a huge number of missile strikes to make air bases useless

- followed by a huge air attack. Taiwan only has a limited number of aircraft, with maintenance problems. China can field huge numbers, weakening other defence area's for a limited time. and where it was actually dificult in WW2 to hit another aircraft with just your guns, today missiles make it relatively easy, meaning a high kill ratio

- and finally China will invade with huge numbers of ground troops, many deployed from air, possibly sea if routes can be forced open. combined with large numbers of infiltrators, these will make it extremely hard to put up a serious defence

- and all this within hours, very hard to stop, even for the US

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anon May 20, 2011 at 8:39 am

Or to make this short:

Is Taiwan Britain or Poland?

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STemplar May 20, 2011 at 9:07 am

I think the biggest reason would be the most obvious, which is when most of the regional players you mention come to the conclusion when are we next. To say nothing of the fact that all the risks you mention others suffer in regards to economics China risks as well.

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Blue1 May 20, 2011 at 10:19 am

You forgot the biggest part of that plan, the massive cyber strikes on communications and basic infrastructure 24-48 hours before air strikes occur

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OliSki May 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm

And what happens when the US freezes their assets and stops doing business with them matter of fact the whole world.

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anon May 20, 2011 at 8:45 am

You might be thinking of the last stand of parts of the 88th at Shihang (the four banks tower) in Shanghai. Probably their Thermopylae moment.

The KMT endured against enemy air power and couldn't fight back. The enemy had proper combined arms, better artillery and poison gas. The KMT probably never had to fight against an opponent at this scale.

And then the IJA beat ANZAC in Malaysia/Singapore with amphibious landings and bicycle infantry. It wasn't just technology at play, it was using appropriate tech and good leadership.

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CSZ May 20, 2011 at 9:39 am

Be more specific on "win" and on "war". Winning a war means to achieve the strategic object (and prevent the opponent to achieve their own), not necessary capturing land and losing less people/units. Here is a list to consider:

- Korean war, combined UN force did not unit the Korean peninsular thus thus creating a buffer zone in China's east door step
- 1962 Sino-India war
- 1979 Sino-Vietnam war

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Wes Milton May 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Really? USA is the bright beacon of man-kind…? That statement made me puke. Sheer unbridled arrogance.

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Jonathan May 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm

ignore the extra fairly at the end there haha

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Alessandro December 2, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I hope that your assessment is accurate and that the Chinese people can somehow change their political system, in favor of a more democratic one, perhaps in the way the U.S.S.R. was changed. However, we must never forget that Communist dictatorships have ample means to coerce and control their populations. We know from the blood bath that followed the Tienenman Square demonstrations, that the Chinese leaders (their nomenklatura) will not hesitate to use violence against their own people to hold on to their power.

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Aburns February 25, 2013 at 3:37 am

I have talked before about those that would claim the USA is the best .Someone has typed in that the USA were the founders of modern warfare ,Where on earth do they find there knowledge from .In fact ,If you look at British inventions how on earth could anyone say that they founded modern warfare .so here is a list of British Military inventions then you decide
The Submarine
Dazzle camouflage – Norman Wilkinson
The tank – Developed and first used in combat by the British during World War I as a means to break the deadlock of trench warfare.
Fighter aircraft – The Vickers F.B.5 Gunbus of 1914 was the first of its kind.
Congreve rocket – William Congreve
High explosive squash head – Sir Charles Dennistoun Burney
Shrapnel shell – Henry Shrapnel
Harrier Jump Jet
Bullpup firearm configuration – Thorneycroft carbine
Puckle Gun – James Puckle
The side by side Boxlock action, AKA The double barreled shotgun – Anson and Deeley
Dreadnought Battleship
Bailey Bridge – Donald Bailey
Chobham armour
Livens Projector – William Howard Livens[86]
H2S radar (airborne radar to aid the bomb targeting) – Alan Blumlein
Bouncing bomb – Barnes Wallis
Safety fuse – William Bickford
Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife – William Ewart Fairbairn and Eric A. Sykes
Armstrong Gun – Sir William Armstrong
Depth charge
Stun grenades – Invented by the SAS in the 60s.
Smokeless propellant to replace gunpowder with the use of Cordite – Frederick Abel
Torpedo – Robert Whitehead
The Whitworth rifle, considered the first sniper rifle. During the American Civil War the Whitworth rifle had been known to kill at ranges of about 800 yards – Sir Joseph Whitworth
The world's first practical underwater active sound detection apparatus, the ASDIC Active Sonar – Developed by Canadian physicist Robert William Boyle and English physicist Albert Beaumont Wood
The first self-powered machine gun Maxim gun – Sir Hiram Maxim, Although the Inventor is American, the Maxim gun was financed by Albert Vickers of Vickers Limited company and produced in Hatton Garden London
Steam catapult-Commander Colin C. Mitchell RNVR

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Blue1 May 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Two things, America’s economy being one of “consumerism” is NOT a benefit, that shows your level of intellegence. Second you have NO idea how strong nationalism can be when combined with an almost genetic sense of honor to one’s country/people, shows your abundant ignorance to culture.

Simply put, the things that made America a superpower were a strong production/ manufacturing base, access to resources, and war to put it all together. AFTER we were a superpower came the consumerism.

Again people like to point out the “we’re all tied economy at the hip so there couldn’t possibly be a war, it would be stupid for everyone…” is a retarded assessment made by cherrypickers. 1910 is great example “everyone is tied together by treaties, it would be stupid to have a war…”. How did that turn out again? Someone refresh my memory…

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Blue1 May 20, 2011 at 6:02 pm

*economically

My bad

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STemplar May 20, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Is there some reason you feel you have to attack him personally to make your point? Just curious why you couldn't have posted your counter point without being rude.

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Blue1 May 20, 2011 at 6:11 pm

The whole world will not stop doing business with China because they invade Taiwan. That’s wishful thinking at best. After all, France continued to trade food for oil with Iraq even after they invaded Kuwait in the 90′s, and everyone continued business with Russia while tanks rolled through Georgia, our ally. As long as China targets military only and not civilians, most of the world will simply say “bad China” with a very curt finger wag and continue with their daily lives.

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STemplar May 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm

It isn't going to be possible for China to target only the military and not harm civilians. There is no way they can invade and conquer Taiwan without a massive civilian toll, there has never been a war that achieved that.

I think what the whole world will do will be largely decided by what the regional governments and the US does. France may not care but I guarantee, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia will care.

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David February 1, 2012 at 2:28 am

But if a significant portion of China's trading "partners" decided that China should be punished, there is no doubt that it would be easy enough to order less from China and go elsewhere (Vietnam and other) for production. There is no doubt that interdependence is key here. China would suffer massively in any embargo, or sanction, if they were widely imposed on them by major countries.

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Belesari May 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I'm sorry.

I couldnt hear you for the sound of how awesome i and my fellow americans are.

You know the best part? One day if you try…YOU can be one too!

Now excuse me i have a iquisition…….oh wait thats the Euro's. A Halocaust…..oh wait thats them to….well a world war to fight………OH YEA they started both those to……um….

But in all seriousness, Ever notice that many of the nations that once fought the US are accually on very good terms with us? Maybe there is a reason for that.

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Chimp May 21, 2011 at 4:31 am

I should look things up before declaiming from memory. Still, it proves my point, sort of. Trained, equipped and lead properly, anyone (absolutely including the Japanese) can field a good army. It's dangerous to ignore the PLA based on racial stereotypes. And yeah, the PLA probably does think it's pulling a fast one on the West with their comments about "20 years behind".

However, I reckon it's a double bluff. They actually *are* 20 years behind the West in a military sense. This is a big improvement on where they were (50 years behind).

In terms of equipment levels, parts of the PLA are probably quite competitive. In terms of doctrine, experience and so on, as well as in (as you mentioned) the ability to synergize on air superiority, combined arms, logistics and all those good things… way, way behind.

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Blue1 May 21, 2011 at 4:53 am

I wasn’t implying they could avoid civilians, but there is a huge difference between “accidents”, and “on purpose”. If recent events are anything, apparently the world only gets involved with the latter, and only then when it is politically convenient.
Of course Taiwan could turn out to be totally convenient to a future President in 10-15 years

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anon May 21, 2011 at 8:39 am

You could clarify the "One Marine Division was about 125,000 while one Chinese division was greater than 160,000."

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anon May 21, 2011 at 8:51 am

The PRC also "won" by evicting American lackeys KMT. They didn't grab Taiwan, but oh well. They occupied Tibet. And as you state, Korean War (preserve Soviet puppet DPRK), Sino-India (put India in place). Sino-Vietnam I'm not sure about, since a lot about the cassus belli in the first place is a little confusing to me. It felt…inconclusive, like Nixon's attacks into Cambodia.

I would say the KMT held out against a modern military willing to commit atrocities that even the Germans were uncomfortable about. Poison gas was just the start. The early years of getting stomped by the west are just that, the early years when China learned the errors of isolationism. They really did have a chance to conquer the world and it only took a century or two to fall very far behind.

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Matt May 22, 2011 at 7:32 pm

The US can also claim victory in Korea as the aggressors (DPRK) were pushed back and lost land (even if only a little) in the armistic line. Also the only reason the Americans didnt storm up though Korea was Truman handicapping MacAuthor

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anon May 21, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Hard to say these days. The Russians who got beat out of Chechenya in '94 may not be the same guys of 2011. I don't know how much longer the temporary oil/natgas boom will prop up modernization, but they are certainly doing their best to catch up. They trounced Georgia just fine, which means for limited actions against small foes the military fights conventional wars just fine.

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anon May 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm

From the outside, I would like to think that training for being outnumbered was responsible for the quick victories of OIF, especially in the Thunder Run component. Holding Larry, Moe and Curly in Baghdad would have been easier if the Army wasn't outnumbered in the first place.

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anon May 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Addendum. Some keywords for the early history of the KMT (asides from the obvious search term). "National Revolutionary Army" (highlighting Soviet co-operation), Northern Expedition (highlighting the fighting against various warlords out of Beiyang and Fengtian). Also fun tidbits about the NRA absorbing warlord armies, which immediately brings about logistical nightmares.

I apologize in advance if I've confused a few points, but when you throw in the word "warlords" history is guaranteed to be a little messy, especially when primary documentation is in one culture and a different language and depends on the work of others to find and translate.

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anon May 21, 2011 at 9:03 pm

To be fair, people in the Middle Ages could kill each other just find while diseased and messed up. The VC weren't exactly studs, but could kill Americans just fine depending on the contexts, and at attrition rates they were willing to endure.

I imagine the troops in the southern district are in better shape and better equipped (as they are still fighting various rebel groups), and that they can't be the barometer for reserve units parked in say, Siberia.

Cynically, the poor-shape peacetime army will probably get chewed up in opening night to buy time for a national mobilization, just like the peacetime Soviet army pre-Barbarossa. A sad thing to say, but probably true.

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Blue1 May 21, 2011 at 11:40 pm

*sarcasm* Well to be fair, we did wiped out those pesky Nazi people, and the dirty Soviets, and the evil Confederates, and we’re trying our darnedest to eliminate those smelly Taliban folks…

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anon May 22, 2011 at 11:52 am

Those Indians on reservations may have a different opinion on how Manifest Destiny (as a part of American "foreign policy") affected their Nations. The bodycount was low, but as a percentages of land lost and way of life destroyed, I'd say the US rocked with the best of them.

In the modern era, the Morgenthau Plan would have ranked as an atrocity if allowed to proceed to completion. Read up on the early implementation of the plan and the additional suffering imposed on the German people.

I think the Mongols outranked everyone when it came to killing. That or the Soviets, Nazi Germany or Japan (Soviets for the Holdomor and the exile of ethnics, the red purge and the atrocities against Poland and East Germany, Nazi Germany for the Jews, Slavs and Roma, and Japan for crimes against the Chinese and the others of the occupied territories)

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anon May 23, 2011 at 12:13 am

Or a "surprise" attack (in the tactical sense) by the PLA, and the fear that the Soviets would escalate their support for the DPRK. I mean, where else did the DPRK get their T-34s?

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8up1977 May 23, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Lack of a land border makes a HUGE difference in engagements like this. The battle of Britain was on the order of months. And even if they were able to secure local, temporary air superiority crossing any length of sea to prosecute an invasion of an island is a tough proposition, there's no changing this. There are a lot of analysts who derisively call the invasion of Taiwan "The million man swim".

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anon May 23, 2011 at 11:53 pm

I meant Britain or Poland in political terms, where Poland had alliances that were forsaken, and Britain had a partner that could not abandon it. In a literal sense, it would be hard to imagine the PLA mobilizing the forces necessary to launch and sustain a cross-border attack.

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David February 1, 2012 at 2:32 am

The Chinese military does not have the battle-hardened personnel i.e. hard-core battle-field experience to challenge the USA in an all-out fight.

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David February 1, 2012 at 3:16 am

Steve, A naval blockade is silly – as you pointed out. You may believe China is docile and passive – they've had to be for a long time, because they've been overpowered by so many countries with superior power. With China as a superpower, maybe they will throw their weight around like a war hungry nation seeking resources – with the world population growth as it is, our planet can not support a "first-world" lifestyle for all. China's prosperity has not reached by the vast majority of its population. The demand from the common Chinese is to have a better standard of living and that's going to take massive resources. Maybe China will become "war hungry" once it realizes that it can't make the bulk of its citizens happy with what they have. I like your black and white offering though. War hungry nations, in power, are just those countries trying to suppress the oppressed. …I am having a problem making sure my comments are coming through clearly, since the website is not showing me what I am writing…contact me if you like: dregan at speakeasy .org

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Neil July 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm

How about those 50,000 US soldiers died in Korea War? All suicide?

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Neil July 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm

I don't know if China will surpass US. But I believe US will go down in 50 years for sure.

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Shark October 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm

The total number of US deaths (including MIA and non-combat) actually is roughly 43-45k in the Korean War. China on the other hand, suffered hundreds of thousands of dead alone – partly due to that their tactics being completely vulnerable to artillery and air support, not to mention their logistics line was primitive at best.

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Shark October 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm

They have started war…upon each other that is.

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Fusion January 31, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Yeah, but is this isnt the 20th century anymore. China learned from its military mistakes and called for a massive reform in the military. Besides, I wouldn't call fighting a couple of poorly armed insurgents in the Middle East proper "experience". China's military is a modern military, and it is not just a large land force anymore. They have a proper air force, navy, coastal guard, cyber, etc. It is a completely different scenario compared to the relatively easy combat in the Middle East. And the US suffered quite a bit of casualties in the Middle East anyways.

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Brandic2020 March 13, 2013 at 7:24 am

If China learned from their mistakes in Korea, then how come they still lost badly to Vietnam in 1979?

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