China and the USA Started Armament Race

By Alexey Koval

Washington and Beijing have given the start to the armament race, which most probably, shall turn into confrontation of the Cold War times between the USA and the USSR. Literally for last several weeks it has become evident: the both parties adopt decisions which inevitably take them to the course of a long-standing confrontation not only in diplomatic but also in military sphere. By this within confrontation the rivals are ready again to make a stake at the power of nuclear weapon, which is fraught with global consequences.

The first «shot» in this war was made by the USA after leak of information that already starting from last summer American military-men have accomplished the «concept» of preparation of a big "«air-sea» fight. Its strategic idea — by close coordination of aviation and fleet to suppress a well organized defense of the coast of the suggested enemy, to attack the very depth of rival’s territory. The aim is to make impossible the backlash towards the USA and aircraft carriers group, to «blind» the rival. In the beginning of August the existence of this plan was proved by Admiral Dennis Blair who held the position of the Head of the National Intelligence Council and controlled the total intelligence community of the USA. According to him, the plan was developed against China and Iran. Although officially this document remains to be classified and its details are not known, in open sources it is mentioned as the plan for a closer integration of possibilities of various types of troops. But the experts of different countries on the ground of already known data criticized this project as generally insolvent to gain victory over China. As the People’s Republic of China already for several years has focused on its protection from the sea, Beijing can interpret American intentions as the training of the USA to a real war.

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This evidently how it has happened. Within the frameworks of the plan accomplishment the USA have started to increase military presence in Asian-Pacific region. In particular, starting since August it has monitored coastal waters of China with the help of unmanned aircraft. Chinese, in their turn, reported that they have means in the arsenal which can impede the accomplishment of the plans to attack China from the sea. For the last month in the country there were held several trainings with interceptor missiles. In summer a former aircraft carrier cruiser Varyag, reequipped by Chinese and almost ready for active combat service, twice went to the open sea for the crew training. To compare the American strike aircraft carrier was created to fight the fleet of the rival. China also doesn’t hide that it already possess a troop of marine pilots, and obviously, is ready to officially introduce the aircraft carrier into the fleet by October 1st, when the anniversary of the People’s Republic of China establishment shall be celebrated. China has also shown the whole world new high-speed ships for fighting in coastal waters and missile frigates, which are able to strike marine targets far from Chinese coast. According to expert estimations, China has established defense along its coast line, which goes deep into sea area more than 1000 km. Exactly at this distance American aircraft carriers can be hit by ballistic missiles Dongfeng 21 D, which has already been in the armament of the People’s Republic of China for two years.

American strategy anticipates overcoming of such defense with the help of conventional armaments of aviation and fleet, without mass nuclear-missile attack, however with the use of modern means of warship, including radio-electronic intelligence and computer technologies. In the essence the plan «air-sea fight» in modern terms — is the task which the fleet and the USA Command dealt with during the Second World War in the Pacific Ocean against Japan. It’s also worth to note that the development of the People’s Republic of China fleet for the first time for more than 50 years shall force the US fleet to get ready to a possible confrontation of fleets association in the open ocean. The tactic of such fights is already almost forgotten. A number of experts reasonably note that the strategy of «air-sea fight» has no sense at all, as it is not clear how does the task of Chinese fleet and coastal defense destruction correlates with the objectives of global US domination, and whether strengthening of control over exactly Asian-Pacific region significant for such global domination. Neither American politicians, nor military men gave persuasive answers and comments on this question.

China didn’t wait explanations from the USA and replied to all potential threats asymmetrically. On August 16th it held the tests of new intercontinental ballistic missile JL-2, launched from a submarine of «Jin» class in the Yellow Sea. And already on August 24th China announced that yet in June they held successful tests of the third generation missile Dongfeng-41 (DF-41) with the range up to 14 thousand km, which by this is able to carry 10 charges in a warhead and is launched from a mobile complex. Thus, this missile is able to reach any point of the USA and by this to overcome existing missile defense system of America.

Later, however the fact of Dongfeng-41 tests was doubted by some experts, calling it a bluff. They suggest that China doesn’t possess the kind of missile, but actively develops it, intending to have 20-30 pieces in its arsenal. But the total nuclear arsenal of China which comprises 240 warheads is incomparable with American one. The USA has more than 2000 warheads at alert and more than 5000 in reserve.
However the US press immediately reacted on the tests, calling them a threatening step of China. This way, the newspaper The Wall Street Journal published the opinions of military men, that the RADAR of missile defense in Alaska shall be inefficient for Chinese missiles and that is why they need in the near future to start talks of allocation of two new RADARs in south of Japan and Philippines, similar to those, that the USA erects in Europe. Lately Japan and Taiwan island authorities have also declared about the plans to enhance their missile defense. The USA confirmed that their priority task is to cover Taiwan with anti-missile umbrella and to create a base for a regional missile defense system, which can combine American systems with the systems of Japan, South Korea and Australia.

More anti-Chinese becomes the line of India, which has also recently decided to promote its presence in Indian Ocean. Thus, in particular, a small Indian military unit in Campbell Bay in the island Big Nicobar shall be turned into a full-value military-marine base for possible location of Indian aircraft carriers Vikramaditya (which is similar in characteristics with Chinese «Varyag»), bought from Russia. Delhi has also announced that in coming two decades they shall spend 600 billion dollars for enhancement of its fleet, focusing on the growth of Chinese presence.

Thus, Chinese-American confrontation turns into a regional armament race, threatening to become a factor of global competition. As the USA already shall hardly be able to force China to refuse of extension of its presence in the world. In its turn China worries, that the USA as a dominating nuclear power eventually shall conclude that the tested during the Cold War with the USSR policy of nuclear deterrence shall turn out to be far more effective and cheap mean that «capturing» China with the network of military bases, ships and circle of anti-China allies-countries.

Beijing worries that in such case the target of the USA shall be the prevention of possibility for China to become able to make a back nuclear missile attack, if Americans attack first. Because as soon as the USA got sure that they would to avoid a return attack from the USSR and to secure their biggest cities from destruction, they started negotiations on offensive arms reduction and themselves created conditions by which nuclear war became senseless and impossible. As if each of the parties to conflict shall be able to punish the «aggressor» it shall be not important, which advantage with the number of warheads and missiles each party had before the beginning of the war. In the USA they suggest that China is still weak. However, they forget that the Tianxia develops its nuclear program out of the frameworks of restraint and obviously now shall do its utmost to assure possible revenge, although it has a long way to go to the parity with America. Beijing has also recently stated that it shall develop its own missile defense system from American missiles.

The USA doesn’t yet notice that China has no at all intentions to attack, and its military preparations are of pure defense purposes. Although by this for last years the limits of defense have significantly extended and reached the limits of defense, which evidently the USA defined for themselves since the times of the Cold War.

This is the reason for the strategists of the USA keep on staking on outdated doctrines which in modern conditions lead only to conflicts escalation. In reply the rivals and competitors of the USA, such as Iran, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, shall mostly hope for military power by such conflicts occurrence.

By this a number of American editions reasonably note that China develops its military technologies faster that the USA and its allies. And a real threat for the US national security shall occur not when China shall be able to have more missiles or aircraft carriers (which shall evidently happen not soon or even never) but in case of Chinese shall manage to find extraordinary solutions to reply the challenges in security, which lead to the return of the USA in Asia.
Translated by EuroDialogueXXI from Zerkalo Nedeli