Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Lone Military Superpower - China

Through much of our adult lives we were told about the two, military Superpowers; the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R.  After the political and economical collapse of the U.S.S.R., we have heard that the U.S.A. is the "lone Superpower".  An analysis of military strength might show America to be on the top of the pile, but do not get too arrogant.  Based on the current trends, within the next few years, it appears that China will be the top dog. 

While America is scaling back on military spending and production; other countries are mass producing weapons, committing to enormous expenditures for technologically advanced systems and dedicating their counties to military superiority.  We hear about Iran and their agenda for nuclear systems, which are sure to lead to nuclear weapons.  We sat back and watched North Korea obtain nuclear weapons and now are threatened by unstable leaders with the power to wipe out large cities.

These small countries are proving to be large problems.  But, what about China?  This is no small country.  They basically have an unlimited pool of humans to use as tools of war.  Their economy is booming and they are using their opportunity to build up a military might inferior to none.  The following is a summary of just some of the recent news concerning China's military power (based on news stories on Chosun.com):

1.  China is test-firing a new anti-ship missile - The Dong Feng 21D anti-ship ballistic missile has a range of 1,300 to 1,800 km and can carry six warheads.  It has a nickname, "aircraft carrier killer" due to the ability to sink an aircraft carrier instantly after penetrating the outer hull and exploding on the interior of the ship.  Along with the story was an artist's rendering of Dong Feng missiles heading towards a U.S. aircraft carrier. 

2.  China conducts a live-fire drill in the West Sea - Besides the Navy's North Sea Fleet, the exercise included the use of Fei Bao fighter jets (anti-ship attack aircraft), a 051C destroyer which can launch missiles, and new high-speed boats armed with stealth missiles.  At the same time, North Korea and China are strengthening their military cooperation.

3.  China now has more warships than the United States - Based on a recent report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.  China is adding ships while the U.S. and Europe are reducing the size of their militaries.  As more time passes, the gap will widen.

4.  China may have developed a new stealth submarine - Submarines are detected by sonar, which locates the source of the noise they emit.  A quiet submarine is a huge advantage in naval warfare.  At the present rate of production, China will soon have more submarines than the U.S. Navy. 

5.  China demonstrates military might - During the recent, 60th anniversary of communist rule over China, a display of weapons was staged in Tiananmen Square.  The parade included 63 ultra-modern weapons.  These included long-range nuclear missiles such as the Dong Feng 31A intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting cities in the U.S., each with three warheads with the power of up to 150 kt (equals 150,000 million tons of TNT).  Also shown was the JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, which were among the 108 different missiles on display.  They showed off the J-10 fighter and the JH-7 fighter bomber. 

6.  China claims to have ability to intercept U.S. stealth fighters - The People's Liberation Army staged an exercise to intercept a mock F-22 Raptor, the latest stealth fighter jet for the United States. 

7.  China is working on the construction of it's first aircraft carrier - This is just a part of the build-up of China's navy.  The additional forces and armory are considered to be a threat to Japan and the U.S., who now dominate the Pacific. 

8.  China has stealth ability - China's navy has 80 high-speed, stealth vessels, each of the boats are capable of avoiding radar and infrared detection.  It is believed they have stealth bombers in existence.  The story credits China's ability to build stealth bombers to the apparent "leak" of the airframe design for the B-2 bomber.  It also appears that Chinese hackers obtained classified information from a Pentagon server in 2009.  China has a radar system CETC Y-27, capable of detecting our stealth planes. 

Robert Gates, U.S. Defense Secretary, said that China is investing in cyber- and anti-satellite warfare, anti-air and anti-ship weapons, and ballistic missiles which would threaten America's power and help for allies in the Pacific. 

Is the U.S. being appeased by China, just has England was by Germany in the 1930's, by the reassurance by China that all of this build-up is purely for self-protection and the defense of their own country?  I'm sure they would not lie to us!

War games, anyone?

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