China Releases New Defense White Paper

China Releases New Defense White Paper

China released its new National Defense White Paper this week, which can be found here on the People’s Daily Online. The paper says China’s defense expenditures are both “reasonable and appropriate,” and puts that figure at 1.38 percent of China’s GDP in 2007 (the CIA puts that figure at closer to four or five percent). “Although the share of China’s defense expenditure in its GDP increased, that in the state financial expenditure continued to drop on the whole,” it says. The paper says defense spending increases are needed to (1) increase salaries and benefits of personnel; (2) compensate for commodity price rises, such as food and fuel; and (3) push military modernization.

The paper states that, “China has become an important member of the international system, and the future and destiny of China have been increasingly closely connected with the international community. China cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world, nor can the world enjoy prosperity and stability without China.”

Here is Stratfor’s take:


“While the White Paper is not directly threatening a more aggressive and confrontational Chinese military, it does suggest that the capabilities for a cooperative PLA are equally applicable to a confrontational one, should the global system evolve in the “wrong” direction. Coming as it did on the day of Obama’s inauguration, the paper is clearly part of a Chinese strategy to shape the new U.S. administration’s views on China from the start. And the message is clear: “The world [cannot] enjoy prosperity and stability without China.””

The paper doesn’t present a particularly sophisticated view of global developments, reading in places like a Thomas Friedman column. The paper says the world is becoming increasingly interconnected and that common economic and political interests tie nations together “thereby keeping low the risk of worldwide, all-out and large-scale wars for a relatively long period of time.” The paper seeks to allay fears of rising Chinese power: “China will never seek hegemony or engage in military expansion now or in the future, no matter how developed it becomes.”

The paper highlights China’s increased participation in “Military Operations Other Than War,” including UN peacekeeping operations with 1,949 Chinese personnel serving in nine UN mission areas that include Congo, Liberia, Sudan and East Timor. The paper says the PLA has stepped up military exercises and exchanges with other nations.

As for that one scenario upon which defense analysts hang a potential U.S.-China war:

“The attempts of the separatist forces for “Taiwan independence” to seek “de jure Taiwan independence” have been thwarted, and the situation across the Taiwan Straits has taken a significantly positive turn. The two sides have resumed and made progress in consultations on the common political basis of the “1992 Consensus,” and consequently cross-Straits relations have improved.”

The Chinese appear to be as concerned with internal as with external threats. The paper says China faces “disruption and sabotage” from “separatist forces,” and that economic forces are causing “new issues in maintaining social stability.” As many Chinese analysts have warned, if Chinese economic contraction continues and GDP growth slips much below 6 percent (Chinese GDP growth has not dropped below 7 percent since 1992), the country could face very serious social unrest.

The paper has a very Cebrowski-like “network-centric” warfare theme, saying Chinese military modernization is focused on “mechanization” and “informationization,” which the paper describes as an embrace of the familiar, information-technology driven “Revolution in Military Affairs” concept, but with “Chinese characteristics.” The Chinese aim for military modernization by the middle of the 21st century and the paper describes some of the downsizing it has undergone in recent years as it tries to reduce personnel costs.

“The focus is to increase the capability of the main battle weapon systems in the areas of rapid detection, target location, friend-or-foe identification and precision strikes. Some tanks, artillery pieces, ships and aircraft in active service have been informationized, new types of highly informationized combat platforms have been successfully developed, and the proportion and number of precision-guided munitions are on the rise.”

China’s military and industry aim to achieve “leapfrog development in key areas” such as logistics, and “informationization,” but modernize will proceed with an eye towards “diligence and thrift” so as to make the “fullest use of its limited defense resources.” A component of that thrifty approach is outsourcing logistics and support, including: “commercial and housing services of combat units stationed in large– and medium-sized cities, general-purpose materials storage, capital construction, logistical equipment production and logistical technical services.”

Chinese military strategy is based on what the paper calls “active defense,” which sounds very Sun-Tzu, although I’m sure it loses a bit in translation:

“This guideline aims at winning local wars in conditions of informationization. It takes into overall consideration the evolution of modern warfare and the major security threats facing China, and prepares for defensive operations under the most difficult and complex circum-stances. Meeting the requirements of confrontation between war systems in modern warfare and taking integrated joint operations as the basic approach, it is designed to bring the operational strengths of different services and arms into full play, combine offensive operations with defensive operations, give priority to the flexible application of strategies and tactics, seek advantages and avoid disadvantages, and make the best use of our strong points to attack the enemy’s weak points. It endeavors to refine the command system for joint operations, the joint training system and the joint support system, optimize the structure and composition of forces, and speed up the building of a combat force structure suitable for winning local wars in conditions of informationization.”

Naval Developments

The paper says China’s navy is in the midst of a transformation designed to boost its “integrated offshore operations, strategic deterrence and strategic counterattacks, and to gradually develop its capabilities of conducting cooperation in distant waters and countering non-traditional security threats.”

“Efforts are being made to build new types of submarines, destroyers, frigates and aircraft, forming a preliminary weaponry and equipment system with second-generation equipment as the core and the third generation as the backbone. The submarine force possesses underwater anti-ship, anti-submarine and mine-laying capabilities, as well as some nuclear counterattack capabilities. The surface ship force has developed a surface striking force represented by new types of missile destroyers and frigates, and possesses maritime reconnaissance, anti-ship, anti-submarine, air-defense, mine-laying and other operational capabilities. The aviation wing has developed an air striking force represented by sea-attack aircraft, and possesses reconnaissance, anti-ship, anti-submarine and air-defense operational capabilities. The Marine Corps has developed an amphibious operational force represented by amphibious armored vehicles, and possesses amphibious operational capabilities. The coastal defense force is represented by new types of shore-to-ship missiles and possesses high coastal defense operations capability.”

Join the Conversation

With China bankrolling US debt, the Manchurian Candidate may come to fruition. WE may become completely interoperable with the Chinese military in the end as an extension of our own military capabilities. Seems the US and China
are now dependent upon each other.

I do wish I could be optimistic like most, however and historical if we are to learn from the past. If the past teachers us anything it is not to train armies that turn against us. Some were in Washington, Statue of Liberty, Liberty bell we should have,” thou shall not train any armies.”

No, China is not dependent on us, nor will it be with the current path that the two nations are taking. The US is sinking deeper and deeper into debt. The economy is not going to get better. China is building an infrastructure for itself, and as our economy worsens, China will expand its markets worldwide, trying to compensate. In the end, we will likely become dependent on them, working for their sakes.

Robert, If you think that the Chinese are not dependent upon us, then you need to speak with all the unemployed factory workers in China. We are each dependent upon each other. Tony comes close to calling it, but we are in essence defacto allies with the Chinese due to our concurrent trade policies and raw material needs. We should try to preserve this situation as it is preferable to the alternative of outright competition.
The policy should be: “Let’s get rich together.”

At present China needs U.S. market for its economic growth. Nobody is disputing that. However in the long run, I doubt that will be the case. The trend favors Chinese side. They are building world class industry base and investing heavily in R&D. See that’s the real capital for creating wealth. On the other hand,
US are sinking deeper and deeper into this debt black hole. Capital investment in the states is all about wall street getting rich or opening up new casinos! How long do you believe the Chinese will keep lending American cash? Once they finish developing their infrastructure and technology, they really don’t need U.S. Unlike Japan or Korea, China has a vast internal market, once industrialized average Chinese would able to afford products made in their own country. By then, they can dump US T-bill and dollar reserve for good. Dollar is going to collapse anyway. The day of reckoning is much sooner than most people realize. Americans pretend they can keep their standard of living forever. I say let’s first have a reality check, cheap credit will be gone forever, I guess this so-called consumer based economy could never replace the good old production based economy. In the long run, US will complete de-industrialization in about 10~20 years. Heck, it maybe even sooner, if the manufacturing sector keeps bleeding at current pace. More than 4 million job position lost in little over 8 years. US now empolys fewer workers in manufacturing sector than a single China province (Guangdong)!
Even defense related industry would not escape this fate. At best scenario, major defense contractors morph into system integrator role, buying all the components over seas. At worst scenario, they would be bought by foreign firms after dollar’s demise and becoming nothing more than marketing department of their parent companies. It’s already happening in other industries now.

after unrest due to food shortages driven by torrential rains, China will attack to the south; and then the end will come.

As the Chinese develop an internal economic structure, they will not need us to provide the management or support services that we currently do for their manufacturing base. Unfortunately, The United States is allowing itself to slip from the Superpower that it is into being a country dependent on others to maintain its own infrastructure. As a lecturer in world economics, I find that we are destroying our own self identity for the good of the world economy. If such action continues as the Obama Administration supports then we are moving from a slow paced march in this direction into a marathon run with our own self indentity at risk.

This being said we have the ability to become a leader in this new world order. If we can bring our own internal spirit and manufacturing base to bare within a stabilized economic condition then have a great oppertunity to grasp control in this world full of landmines.

Our military must be supported from internal manufacturing basis with no consideration of external of such operations no matter what the cost. If not then we risk the destablization of our own forces to nothing more then an extension of those with such capablities.

As a military and manufacturing base, we as a country must come together as one nation. We are looking for the other person to save us when we should truly be looking in the mirror to pull ourselves up by our own boot straps. Our country has always in times of need come together as a we under one god and one nation.

Has the “ME GENERATION” truly destroyed such core values that our own salvation is such a far cry that we cannot learn from history to become such a force that no one man nor country can bring us down. If so, we can only blame ourselves for under funding the one thing that is as important as our military which is our educational system. For our people have not been taught enough of our history to remember the core values that have saved this country time and time again.

So the scenario proposed by Josh Whedon’s Serenity science fiction series become more plausible.

Well, I still will be a browncoat.

Yesterday, I found out that the U.S. Navy Research center is working with the Unversity of Peking on NanoTechnology. This is ridiculous for a couple of reasons:
1) The U.S. is the leader in Nano technology
2) What ever happen to security? Many innocent Americans are being spied on by our own intelligence communities to prevent such transfer of technology. What Hypocrits!!!

China & Fmr. Soviet Union & US, UK, European Central Countries are still holding “the cards”.

This is about resources, and yes,sanctioned International Anti-Terrorist Operations.

Remember “N. Korea, Mid-East Nuclear Threat”?

China realizes “Third World” mentality, and stability questions.

All the “powers” have something to loose in the “nuclear & bio wpn. arena”.

Look at the “African Pirates”.

Economics is crucial to all, and China realizes that “economics” as the “Control Factor” in the international formula.

Are you forgetting the dedicated “Space Programs” of East and West?

What are the international threats and national threats?

“The Fifth Column”,and “Greed” least we forget.

John W. is close, but I’m going to ‘spill the beans’. Been to both Chinas, speak some of sev. asian languages, including Mandarin. Served in 2 asian wars, (Elite Forces; including interpreter), lived in SE Asia,..for starters. It is true that the average, educated, chinese citizen, likes and admires America very much; (an understatement). They ALL want to come here. Britain, Austalia, France, Germany are always very poor seconds for them. Government views from the Forbidden City are quite divergent. This is hard to keep brief, but there will be a populist ‘demand’ for the ‘fruits of liberty & western “stff” ” You know the Net is censored in the PRC. Anyway, Peking knows this, and

These topics are so confsuing but this helped me get the job done.

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