China - Geostrategic & Geopolitical.

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
China’s land reclamation in the South China Sea is aimed at pushing its own sensor and weapons range so far into the Pacific that it becomes impossible for American forces to touch Chinese positions without risk to its fleet.

This is to gain freedom of action to assert its own interests against Taiwan. The only contingency PLA(N) can not manage as a 335-ship fleet would be a distant blockade by the US Navy. Capt (retd.) James Fanell has estimated that by 2030, the Chinese fleet will have a surface force of over 450 ships and a submarine force of about 110 boats. China could attempt to counter by increasing self-reliance or the careful establishment of a string of strategic positions in peacetime. Both are already core elements of current Chinese policy, namely “China 2049” and the “Belt and Road Initiative.”
Destroyers, frigates, carriers and bombers of the PLA(N)

1. Nanchang, the first Type 055 ship of the class, began construction in 2014 at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, and was commissioned on 12 January 2020. There will be at least 6 of these 180 metre long, 13,000 ton destroyers/cruisers that are armed with 112 HHQ-9B surface-to- air missiles.

2. Kunming, the first 157 metre long, 7,500 ton Type 52D destroyer was commissioned on 21 Mar 2014 and is the first Chinese surface combatant to use canister-based universal VLS, as opposed to the concentric type VLS. 64 HHQ-9B surface-to- air missiles are carried, with 10 of this ship’s class being constructed (with 13 being planned according to the above graphic). Having entered military service on 12 Jan 2020, Zibo is the PLA Navy’s first ship of the improved version of the Type 052DL. This new Type 052DL is 161 metre long, with an extended flight deck (to carry the Z-20 helicopter) and a new long-range radar on its mast. The PLA(N) has plans for up to 13 Type 052Ds and 12 Type 52DLs in the near future.

3. Lanzhou and Haikou, the first two 155 metre long, 7,000 ton Type 52C destroyers were laid down at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai in 2002, and entered service in 2004 and 2005 respectively. The other 4 were of the class, Changchun, Zhengzhou, Jinan and Xi’an were built much later, around 2013, as the shipyard that built them was relocated.

4. Guangzhou and Wuhan, 155 metre long, 6,500 ton Type 052B destroyers were the first two Chinese-built warship capable of area air defence and entered service in 2002.

5. Binzhou, the first of 30 frigates of this class. These 4,053 ton Type 054A and 054A+ frigates are 134.1 metre long, armed with 32 HQ-16 or HQ-16B air defence missiles, was first built at the Guangzhou-based Huangpu Shipyard in 2005. An much improved variant beginning with the 17th unit has the seven-barrelled Type 730 CIWS replaced by the more capable 11-barrelled Type 1130, and is unofficially referred as Type 54A+. Another reported improvement over the original Type 054A includes the incorporation of a towed array sonar and present an overmatch against the capabilities of the Taiwanese Kang Ding class frigates. These 054A frigates are bigger and better armed than Singapore’s Formidable class frigates, who are the most heavily armed frigates that are based on the La Fayette design.

6. Ma'anshan, and Wenzhou, were the only Type 054 frigates built in 2003 and were commissioned in 2005. These outdated 134 metre long, 3,900 ton frigates were armed with the inferior HQ-7 (when compared to the HQ-16 and HQ-16B air defence missiles of the Type 054A). The Type 054 who are armed with the HQ-7 (similar to the French Crotale) resembled the French La Fayette-class frigates in shape and displacement and were intended to match the capabilities of the Taiwanese Kang Ding class frigates.

7. Right now in 2020, the PLA(N), operates 2 carriers, Liaoning (with 26 J15s) and Shandong (with 32 J15s) and a large fleet of Xian H-6 bombers armed with the YJ-12 anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM). The danger posed by the YJ-12 comes from its range of 400 km, making it the longest-ranged ACBM ever engineered, and its ability to travel at high rates of speed (up to Mach 3). These ASCMs when launched from the air, give the PLA(N) plenty of long range strike options. Just imagine how powerful the Chinese Navy will be by 2032, when it has 3 carriers and it begins to modernise its bomber fleet. Given its large H-6J and H-6G bomber fleet, the PLA(N) is more than its carriers — each of which carries 8 YJ-12 supersonic ASCMs.

8. A PLA(N), carrier battle group is heavily armed, with about 304 cells for air defence missiles. The destroyers serving as escorts also carry numerous vertically-launched YJ-18 ASCMs, CJ-10 land attack cruise missiles, and the YJ-83 anti-ship missiles. The PLA(N)’s Yu-6 torpedo completed development in 2005 and is carried on their destroyers and frigates. At speeds of sixty-five knots, the Yu-6 is faster than the listed speeds of the Mk 48 Mod 6 ADCAP. The ships in a Chinese carrier battle group would typically consist of:
  • 1 aircraft carrier (with 26 or 32 J15s)
  • 1 Type 055, Renhai class cruiser with 112 air defence missiles
  • 2 Type 052D or 052DL Luyang III class destroyers with 64 air defence missiles on each destroyer
  • 2 Type 054A or 054A+ frigates, with 32 air defence missiles on each Jiangkai II frigate
  • a Type 901 support ship
 
Last edited:

cdxbow

Active Member
....China’s encroachments in Ladakh share the most baffling quality of conquest in recent decades: risking military conflict for such a small territorial payoff. Only when the Indians are in a position to make such a payment, can they get China to withdraw to their side in a manner that minimises the amount of bloodshed for this border dispute......
Pushing against India has just managed to push India toward the US and the West. Why is the PRC now pushing in all directions at once?
For a decade or more most of it's assertiveness was directed toward the South China Sea and it's land border disputes where quiet, HK was left in relative peace, it talked 'nice' to other countries etc. By it's recent actions the peaceful rise of China is seen as a fantasy by many in the West, even amongst those of the centre/left and even business people.

This article discusses speculates about some reasons why now. “For Our Enemies, We Have Shotguns”: Explaining China’s New Assertiveness - War on the Rocks I keep thinking perhaps we have moved into stage 4 early? Is it possible the PRC might over overplayed their hand?
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Pushing against India has just managed to push India toward the US and the West. Why is the PRC now pushing in all directions at once?
1. Because CCP decided that it can achieve its goal to train weak willed Indian politicians in 2020. The history of China’s military strategy suggests that it does not half-heartedly commit forces to combat and is generally willing to absorb a high cost when it does employ force. Combined with China’s substantial military superiority, this makes it hard to envision how India’s present forces or even its forces of the future will physically prevent China from conducting any military operation to which it has committed itself.

2. China chooses when any border war will start, not India. Indian politicians are scared sh*tless. It also strains credulity to imagine that China would alternatively back down from the use of force because the Indian Army is capable of holding some percentage of Chinese forces at risk of retaliation. The Indian Army is brave but not so it’s political class. China’s standard tactic is probe with a bayonet. If you meet steel stop. If you find mush, push further.
For a decade or more most of it's assertiveness was directed toward the South China Sea and it's land border disputes where quiet...
3. You are forgetting what happened with India in 1962 and 1975. China wants to train Indian leaders to fear conflict and to avoid actively supporting the Americans, due to Indian need for self preservation. After all, India has a shared 4,056 km land border with China. China’s action is not surprising if you look at it my point of view. Singapore in its hedging action in 1990 by signing the MOU with the Americans demonstrated that its leadership team understood Deng. Singapore knew that an assertive China is a possible outcome (from the succession path after Deng that led to President Xi’s rise to power).

4. Deng’s endorsement of Singapore as a model during his early 1992 “southern tour”, undertaken to restart the reform process, led to an outbreak of “Singapore fever” within the CCP and Singapore’s leadership back then was hopeful that China could be socialised to ASEAN norms. But that was not to be the case.

5. What changed in the period from 1991 to 2001 that made Singapore really worried? I challenge you to think on this.
(i) A key geopolitical event, occurred in 1995 from July 21 to 26 — along a long string of seemingly unrelated prior events — the equivalent of a geopolitical earthquake. That 1995 event was not even triggered by China. For the PLA, this was a never again moment, where it was forced to back down. Unlike other areas of territorial contention, such as in the South China Sea, analysts say Beijing will show no flexibility on this issue and has not ruled out force.​
(ii) Most Americans today don’t even remember what happened back then. And President Trump definitely does not know about what happened in July 1995. American officials in the Clinton administration also saw the 1995-96 period as significant — and worrisome.​
(iii) One Asian affairs veteran of the Clinton administration called it “our own Cuban missile crisis — we had peered into the abyss.” That July 1995 event is still fresh in Xi’s mind. China’s embracing of an anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) strategy, supported by the means to enforce such a plan, was a direct response to the humiliation it suffered back then.​

6. Having understood this July 1995 event, Singapore decided to begin building the Formidable Class in 2002. The Next Fighter Replacement competition in 2003-2005 that was won by Boeing’s F-15SG, demonstrated a sense of urgency by MINDEF (that was not generally understood at that time). In fact, the trend line of PRC defence spending was clear even so far back — which will affect the region. It is important to note that Singapore’s capability development is not directed by a China threat. Rather, it is planning to manage a general increase in regional defence spending.
By it's recent actions the peaceful rise of China is seen as a fantasy by many in the West, even amongst those of the centre/left and even business people.
7. It does not matter to China.
This article discusses speculates about some reasons why now. “For Our Enemies, We Have Shotguns”: Explaining China’s New Assertiveness - War on the Rocks I keep thinking perhaps we have moved into stage 4 early? Is it possible the PRC might over overplayed their hand?
8. That is an easy but not useful way to think about China’s probing for weakness; it is more interesting to think of options available to weaker states that includes bandwagoning, Finlandization, proactive multilateralism, entry into alliances or even defection from an alliance (switching sides).
 
Last edited:

cdxbow

Active Member
Thanks for the extensive reply OPSSG. I note you have a talent for understatement - "...Singapore’s leadership back then was hopeful that China could be socialised to ASEAN norms. But that was not to be the case."

I understand the points you make about the PRC wrt India and the 'never again' aspect in point 5.

I'm still not sure I understand why now, except the obvious, to be opportunistic wrt to Covid-19. This would have also been an opportunity to make the most of soft power, rather than belligerence. I know there has been a soft power efforts as well, but it's the belligerence that has been most noticed. The PRC has lost a lot of trust, the very currency of diplomacy. Effectively it's uniting most of the rest of the 'industrialized' world in a clear anti-china stance. In terms of economic power such a grouping is probably more powerful than PRC. As you say it just doesn't care and may even looking to a display of force, to show it's power, especially if it feels equal (US in pacific)) or better (India) than it's opponents. I still think they would do better in the long run if the Dragon had kept the jolly Panda mask on for longer.

The guardian just ran an article Why is Xi Jinping pitting China against the world? One person quoted says this:

“It is rare actually that the Chinese leadership has picked fights with everyone at the same time,” said Shirk. “There is something broken with the policy-making process. This is a reflection of what Deng Xiaoping called the ‘over concentration of power’ that leads to policy mistakes. And why does it lead to policy mistakes? It’s because nobody dares tell the leader that this is a bad idea.”

It's been a long time since one man held as much power as Xi, probably back to Mao. The PRC does have the template for dealing with the 'cult of personality' if things go wrong.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #125
Thanks for the extensive reply OPSSG. I note you have a talent for understatement - "...Singapore’s leadership back then was hopeful that China could be socialised to ASEAN norms. But that was not to be the case."

I understand the points you make about the PRC wrt India and the 'never again' aspect in point 5.

I'm still not sure I understand why now, except the obvious, to be opportunistic wrt to Covid-19. This would have also been an opportunity to make the most of soft power, rather than belligerence. I know there has been a soft power efforts as well, but it's the belligerence that has been most noticed. The PRC has lost a lot of trust, the very currency of diplomacy. Effectively it's uniting most of the rest of the 'industrialized' world in a clear anti-china stance. In terms of economic power such a grouping is probably more powerful than PRC. As you say it just doesn't care and may even looking to a display of force, to show it's power, especially if it feels equal (US in pacific)) or better (India) than it's opponents. I still think they would do better in the long run if the Dragon had kept the jolly Panda mask on for longer.

The guardian just ran an article Why is Xi Jinping pitting China against the world? One person quoted says this:

“It is rare actually that the Chinese leadership has picked fights with everyone at the same time,” said Shirk. “There is something broken with the policy-making process. This is a reflection of what Deng Xiaoping called the ‘over concentration of power’ that leads to policy mistakes. And why does it lead to policy mistakes? It’s because nobody dares tell the leader that this is a bad idea.”

It's been a long time since one man held as much power as Xi, probably back to Mao. The PRC does have the template for dealing with the 'cult of personality' if things go wrong.
From what I have been reading Xi Jinping is a Maoist and it is thought that this was instilled within him during the Cultural Revolution when his father was purged and he and the family were re-educated by the Red Guards. Until the 1980 - 90s all Chinese youth had to work in rural areas for a few months every year for two or three years, with the peasants, and Xi was supposed to have loved that. It built up the body and mind through hard work and Party indoctrination. Recently he has reintroduced it saying that the youth of today are soft and spoiled. I would not be surprised if he still has his copy of the "Little Red Book" (Book of Chairman Mao's Thoughts) that used to be compulsory reading and had to be carried at all times during the Cultural Revolution.

The difference between Xi and Mao is that Xi is far better educated which makes him more dangerous, because he knows and understands how to use the tools of the Party and state better, plus he has Mao's history to draw upon. He has made it compulsory for Xi thought to be taught in all schools, and he has ways of reaching, indoctrinating, surveilling, and controlling the masses that Mao could only dream of. He won't make the same mistakes that Mao made and he will be very aware of the Gang of Four and their ultimate fate.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
@cdxbow, China would have done this with or without:
(i) Xi in power (i.e. any Chinese leader would do this, once they had enough military power). The Center for a New American Security has a new report, "Sharpening the U.S. Military's Edge: Critical Steps for the Next Administration." Few U.S. national security challenges are of greater consequence and urgency than preventing conflict with China and promoting a peaceful Asia-Pacific region. China’s theory of victory increasingly relies on the notion of “system destruction warfare”: crippling an adversary’s networks at the outset of conflict by deploying sophisticated electronic warfare, counter-space, and cyber capabilities to disrupt critical C4ISR networks, thwart U.S. power projection, and undermine American resolve; or​
(ii) soft power donations of PPE in the wake of Covid-19 (for China soft power is salad dressing to the salad).​

It’s part of their long term plan to be assertive. By tonnage, the PLA(N) is the World’s largest navy by tonnage and they intend to use their navy for both soft power and hard power projection. For the China, coercion is a form of communication and that is their plan.

I feel sad that the CCP at a deep level really don’t care that leaders and citizens of other countries don’t like their actions. But it is what it is and my personal feelings are irrelevant to my understanding the issues.
 
Last edited:

cdxbow

Active Member
@cdxbow, China would have done this with or without:
(i) Xi in power (i.e. any Chinese leader would do this, once they had enough military power). The Center for a New American Security has a new report, "Sharpening the U.S. Military's Edge: Critical Steps for the Next Administration." Few U.S. national security challenges are of greater consequence and urgency than preventing conflict with China and promoting a peaceful Asia-Pacific region. China’s theory of victory increasingly relies on the notion of “system destruction warfare”: crippling an adversary’s networks at the outset of conflict by deploying sophisticated electronic warfare, counter-space, and cyber capabilities to disrupt critical C4ISR networks, thwart U.S. power projection, and undermine American resolve; or​
(ii) soft power donations of PPE in the wake of Covid-19 (for China soft power is salad dressing to the salad).​

It’s part of their long term plan to be assertive. By tonnage, the PLA(N) is the World’s largest navy by tonnage and they intend to use their navy for both soft power and hard power projection. For the China, coercion is a form of communication and that is their plan.

I feel sad that the CCP at a deep level really don’t care that leaders and citizens of other countries don’t like their actions. But it is what it is and my personal feelings are irrelevant to my understanding the issues.
I'm afraid you are probably correct. Though I feel the one man band may be marching a little faster to the party.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Boagrius

Active Member
I thought this was an interesting piece, and puts PRC assets in the SCS in context:
Naval theorist Milan Vego opens a chapter on chokepoint control with a quote from British Admiral Sir John Fisher, who stated that there are “five keys to the world. The Strait of Dover, the Straits of Gibraltar, the Suez Canal, the Straits of Malacca, and the Cape of Good Hope. And every one one of these keys we hold.”1 Fisher spoke from an Anglo-centric view, but his point is evident that control of key chokepoints equated to control of national strategic interests. But a century later, with the technological advances in weapons and sensors, and the interconnectedness of the global economy, can such a claim be made today?

There are over 100 straits where international interest in the free flow of trade transcends the interests of the nearby littoral states. Not all of these maritime chokepoints are of equal importance. Military strategists often speak as Fisher did of strategic chokepoints, believing them to have significant geopolitical value and act as epicenters for maritime strategy, where the control of which is considered vital for success in maritime conflict. But are these chokepoints truly strategic? Does the success of a nation’s maritime strategy actually hinge on the control or loss of control of these narrow seas?..

...Today, a resurgent China lays claim to the South China Sea (SCS) as its own internal waters. As discussed above, the Strait of Malacca has traditionally been a key to control of the SCS and, therefore, strategically important for trade between Europe and Asia. But the Strait of Malacca is not the only access route to the SCS, which can also be accessed through the much larger Luzon Strait and numerous passages through the Indonesian and Philippine archipelagos. The PRC recognizes this and has adopted control mechanisms that do not depend on control of the chokepoints, but instead focuses on long-range anti-access, area-denial (A2/AD) weapons and redundant fortified islands within the SCS.11

China’s A2/AD strategy in the SCS is important for two reasons. First, the assumption that physical control of a chokepoint guarantees use of the chokepoint is invalid in the face of PRC A2/AD weapons and sensors. Although the United States and its partner states may possess the land on either side of the Strait of Malacca, and have sufficient naval forces to patrol the strait, the PRC could nonetheless prevent free transit of the Strait of Malacca using ASBM and long-range anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM). Furthermore, these long-range weapons based on the Chinese mainland or in the central SCS can contest the other straits leading into the SCS. Conversely, the reduced reliance of predictable trade routes for maritime traffic – both merchant and military – means they can easily bypass the Strait of Malacca if it were to be “controlled” by an opposing power.12 Chokepoints can be replaced.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #129
It's an interesting read but I don't agree that practice of maritime trade warfare is confined to the dustbin of history as some theorists suggest. I agree with the author that in today's world it will be somewhat complicated because of the nature of modern shipping practices, but it can still be prosecuted to the detriment of the enemy. Whilst some argue that in the modern context choke points no longer apply, I would argue that is a fallacy because whilst shipping companies will divert around a war zone, it comes at a cost both in time and money. With modern day logistics practices of just in time delivery, such delays have an ongoing impact throughout the supply chain. If it is military related then those delays can have impacts upon operations. Also some combatants may not have scruples about sinking neutral flagged ships as well. It's happened before and will happen again.

Yes some freight can be diverted through other modal links but using the rail example in the paper if, for example, the PRC was to start importing 200,000 tonnes of oil per shipment by rail. Well that's one very tempting target, for example, the Indian Air Force to interdict and it doesn't even have to go looking for it because you can't hide train tracks. Build a pipeline - that can be attacked by air or ground forces.

So I think that maritime trade warfare is very much still in the toolbox.
 

Ananda

Well-Known Member
Yes some freight can be diverted through other modal links but using the rail example in the paper if, for example, the PRC was to start importing 200,000 tonnes of oil per shipment by rail. Well that's one very tempting target, for example, the Indian Air Force to interdict and it doesn't even have to go looking for it because you can't hide train tracks. Build a pipeline - that can be attacked by air or ground forces
That's when Pakistan come to play. This is where China will support Pakistan whatever they can. US influence on Pakistan day by day, bit by bit being replaced by China.

India can't attack China Sea and Land routes (road and belt routes) in Arabian sea and Central Asia without have to pacified Pakistan first.
Despite all the talk on Indian analysts and fan boys, they can't pacified Pakistan without committing most of their Armed Forces, which left them open to China.

As long as Pakistan in China's camp, there's not much India can do to attack China's route in Arabian sea and Central Asia.
China's with Pakistan can also circumstances Malaca strait. All they have to do it's get Iranian oils through Central Asia and Pakistan ports. India can't do anything without all out attack to Pakistan with the risk left their northern borders with China open for Invasion.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
That's when Pakistan come to play. This is where China will support Pakistan whatever they can. US influence on Pakistan day by day, bit by bit being replaced by China.

India can't attack China Sea and Land routes (road and belt routes) in Arabian sea and Central Asia without have to pacified Pakistan first.
Beyond the fact that Pakistan’s rail system can be disrupted by India, the Indian Air Force and Navy faced off with Pakistan during:
(a) Operation Safed Sagar by the Indian Air Force; and​
(b) Operation Talwar by the Indian Navy​
both in May and July 1999.​

Operation Talwar was a demonstration of Indian Naval capability that involved the largest ever deployment of Indian combatant ships. The Pakistan Navy was forced avoid the Indian Navy and it was later revealed that the blockade of Karachi and interruption of oil supply, caused an operational pause by Pakistan that aided Operation Vijay by the Indian Army. It has been chronicled that Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif indicated after the conflict that — the Indian Navy blockaded Karachi — Pakistan had fuel supplies only for six days of conventional combat due to the blockade.
Yes some freight can be diverted through other modal links but using the rail example in the paper if, for example, the PRC was to start importing 200,000 tonnes of oil per shipment by rail. Well that's one very tempting target, for example, the Indian Air Force to interdict and it doesn't even have to go looking for it because you can't hide train tracks. Build a pipeline - that can be attacked by air or ground forces
Forgive my off topic reply on this thread — with a different take on shipping that I hope adds to the discussion.

1. In Asia, trade is strategy. Nothing unites North East Asian (NE Asian) interests like a threat to their shipping — which is why, both Korea and Japan have deployed naval ships to the Gulf of Aden.

2. Just because India has a border dispute with China it does not mean that the Indian Navy is free to escalate in any manner it likes. China is not at war with Japan, Korea, Taiwan or Singapore; and in a capitalistic society, businesses will seek profit, even if that profit is from moving China’s cargo in the Indian Ocean to get round an Indian blockade. Just as the South China Sea is not a Chinese lake, the Indian Ocean is not an Indian lake.

3. Three points to note: One, attempts by Indian strategists to talk about disrupting Chinese (aka NE Asian) trade routes in the Indian Ocean is not credible. Two, as a non-aligned state (free of alliance responsibilities), Indian attempts to get more than lip service sympathy from ASEAN members with regards to its border issues, with China or Pakistan, is doomed to failure. Three, China’s 3,700 plus merchant ships carry cargo from not just China but for NE Asia, and vice versa for the Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese merchant ships in these interlinked economies. Any Indian Navy attempt to disrupt commercial shipping will make it a pariah state.
(a) A simple way for China to avoid Indian Navy attempts to do so, would be to reflag 15% to 30% of Chinese flagged merchant ships to another flag (eg. Singapore, Panama, Marshall Islands, and Hong Kong to name 4 of the top 5 flag states). About 8,600 ships fly the Panamanian flag. By comparison China has just over 3,700 registered vessels. From decision to the massive reflagging (for 550 to 1,100 ships), this administrative task can be done in about 3 to 4 weeks. In the event of an Indian blockade, the PLA(N), wil just escort some of their own remaining merchant ships, with higher value cargos in convoys — in 2019, China had a 335-ship naval fleet, according to a US Congressional Research Service report — the PLA(N) is also well rehearsed in forming counter piracy escort groups for the last 12 years. The PLA(N) has the capability to conduct convoy escorts for its own merchant ships on the scale of Operation Earnest Will, conducted by the Americans, in 1987.​
(b) If the Indian Navy plays its cards wrongly, and their dispute with the PLA(N) affects innocent merchant traffic, the RAN, JMSDF, ROKN, ROCN and RSN could end up running escorts to convoy NE Asian and Oceania cargo routes transiting through the Indian Ocean — esp container liner trade that is currently controlled by:​
(i) Mitsui OSK Lines, NYK and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha;​
(ii) Hyundai Merchant Marine, CK Line, Dongjin Shipping, Don Woo Shipping, Dong Young Shipping, Hansung Line, Heueng-A Shipping, KMTC, Namsung Shipping, Pan Continental Shipping, Pan Ocean, Sinokor Shipping, SM Line and Tai Young Shipping;​
(iii) Evergreen Line and Yang Ming Marine Transport; or​
(iv) Pacific International Line.​
(c) Japanese, Korean, Indonesian and Singaporean owned or flagged cargo ships would just enjoy high cargo usage — from a multi-modal transport cost point of view, cargo moved by sea is much cheaper than rail.​
(d) For the energy trade, to evade an Indian Navy blockage, Chinese SOEs could also buy a portion of its supply from other trading hubs (eg. Singapore) or from sources that do not need to sail through the Indian Ocean. The LNG and oil will be owned by MNCs importing it into a port outside the reach of the Indian Navy — the Chinese would buy it there — thereafter, their merchant ships pick it up from the trading hub — by-passing an useless Indian Ocean blockage.​
4. Just because India has a border dispute with China it does not mean that the Indian Navy is free to escalate in any manner it likes. China is not at war with Australia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan or ASEAN members (like Indonesia and Singapore) and the businesses of these countries will seek profit, even if that profit is from moving container cargoes, bulk cargoes, oil and LNG cargoes that are ultimately destined for China, at a later stage, and transiting through the Indian Ocean. The reverse is also true, just because China has a border dispute with India, it does not mean that the PLA(N) is free to escalate in any manner it likes.

5. Like the Koreans and Japanese, Chinese anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden have directly supported PLA(N) modernization goals and provided invaluable experience operating in distant waters. Lessons learned have spawned PLA(N) innovations in doctrine, operations, and international coordination. Many of the insights gleaned during deployments are applicable to security objectives closer to home; some officers enjoy promotion to important positions after returning. Anti-piracy operations have been a springboard for China to expand considerably its maritime security operations, from evacuating its citizens from Libya and Yemen to escorting Syrian chemical weapons to their destruction and participating in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. So great are the benefits to China’s global maritime presence and enhanced image at home and abroad that when Gulf of Aden anti-piracy operations finally wind down, Beijing will have to develop new means to address its burgeoning overseas interests.

6. As I said earlier, trade in strategy. IMHO, SLOCs are part of the global commons that capable navies exist to protect.
 
Last edited:

tonnyc

Active Member
I want to add that a Chinese-Indian conflict will not necessarily result in Pakistan giving their all-out effort to attack India. Pakistan is not a vassal state of China. There isn't even a mutual defense treaty obligating Pakistan to aid China or vice versa.

For Pakistan to pick a fight with India, even if India is distracted by a conflict with China, is a major risk. India may decide to concede some land to China and then turning around to crush Pakistan for good. China may call Pakistan batie, but this relationship fundamentally is based on realpolitik and realpolitik can easily see China deciding that they've gotten what they want and let Pakistan to fend themselves, calling for "peace in the region" and offering mediation but not lifting a single finger in terms of military assistance. After all, despite sharing a border, China can't easily use those mountain passes to invade India. The logistics are tough. On the other hand, the Indian-Pakistani border is wide open.

Pakistan knows this, or at least their higher ups do. So rather than an all out support for China in a Chinese-Indian conflict, I expect a more measured and cautious reaction.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #133
I want to add that a Chinese-Indian conflict will not necessarily result in Pakistan giving their all-out effort to attack India. Pakistan is not a vassal state of China. There isn't even a mutual defense treaty obligating Pakistan to aid China or vice versa.

For Pakistan to pick a fight with India, even if India is distracted by a conflict with China, is a major risk. India may decide to concede some land to China and then turning around to crush Pakistan for good. China may call Pakistan batie, but this relationship fundamentally is based on realpolitik and realpolitik can easily see China deciding that they've gotten what they want and let Pakistan to fend themselves, calling for "peace in the region" and offering mediation but not lifting a single finger in terms of military assistance. After all, despite sharing a border, China can't easily use those mountain passes to invade India. The logistics are tough. On the other hand, the Indian-Pakistani border is wide open.

Pakistan knows this, or at least their higher ups do. So rather than an all out support for China in a Chinese-Indian conflict, I expect a more measured and cautious reaction.
Yep, but China also regard the Pakistani ports as quite important for their access to the Indian Ocean. One could almost classify them as strategic Chinese assets in that sense. So I wouldn't necessarily dismiss the idea of China not militarily supporting Pakistan against India.
 

tonnyc

Active Member
Yep, but China also regard the Pakistani ports as quite important for their access to the Indian Ocean. One could almost classify them as strategic Chinese assets in that sense. So I wouldn't necessarily dismiss the idea of China not militarily supporting Pakistan against India.
Yes, but that's two different scenarios there. If India attacks Pakistan, China will help Pakistan because it is in their strategic interest to do so. But if China and India got into a dispute, well, what's in it for Pakistan? A long standoff between India and China sapping Indian strength may be more beneficial to Pakistan strategically.
 

Ananda

Well-Known Member
want to add that a Chinese-Indian conflict will not necessarily result in Pakistan giving their all-out effort to attack India. Pakistan is not a vassal state of China. There isn't even a mutual defense treaty obligating Pakistan to aid China or vice versa.
True, but I think the scenario being talk about here for Pakistan involvement based on scenarios on China by passing Malaca Strait and used land transport through Central Asia and Sea Lane toward Pakistan ports to transport oil imports to China Interior.

The safety on that routes can be compromise by India, but for Indian to compromise that route will means they have to pacified Pakistan first.
India can pacified Pakistan, there's no doubt in there. However to do that, they have to commit most of their forces.
As India pretext to pacified Pakistan in this scenario is for compromising Chinese routes, then China will come to equation. India simply can't afford to take both Pakistan and India in same time.

Thus if we back to topic of SCS, with China road and belt policies to open trade routes through Central Asia and Pakistan Ports, China in my opinion already open another safe route that basically quite safe from other potential opposition except US.

But I agree there's no guarantee that Pakistan will involve conflict with India only on China benefits and vice versa. They will involve only if India try to compromise China's routes in their territory or the ones that India has to reach over their territory.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #136
True, but I think the scenario being talk about here for Pakistan involvement based on scenarios on China by passing Malaca Strait and used land transport through Central Asia and Sea Lane toward Pakistan ports to transport oil imports to China Interior.

The safety on that routes can be compromise by India, but for Indian to compromise that route will means they have to pacified Pakistan first.
India can pacified Pakistan, there's no doubt in there. However to do that, they have to commit most of their forces.
As India pretext to pacified Pakistan in this scenario is for compromising Chinese routes, then China will come to equation. India simply can't afford to take both Pakistan and India in same time.
If India looked like it was going to overrun Pakistan, the Pakistanis would probably go nuclear. What's the point of having a nuclear arsenal if you aren't going to use it when your country is in military and strategic extremis with the survival of the nation at the it's most perilous.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
True, but I think the scenario being talk about here for Pakistan involvement based on scenarios on China by passing Malaca Strait and used land transport through Central Asia and Sea Lane toward Pakistan ports to transport oil imports to China Interior.

The safety on that routes can be compromise by India, but for Indian to compromise that route will means they have to pacified Pakistan first.
...
The land route from Pakistan to China is very thin indeed. India doesn't need to pacify Pakistan, or even occupy any of it. to compromise that route. Some accurate air strikes on the road would do the job. There are some beautiful high bridges, & tunnels the mouths of which could be hit . . . . and it's within easy range of Indian bases in Kashmir.

If China builds a pipeline the same considerations would apply.

Traffic through Iran, Turkmenistan, etc., bypassing Pakistan, would not be vulnerable to India.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
This link discusses Xi’s China to that of Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm wrt national goals. Hopefully any failure by China doesn’t lead to the outcome that followed Wilhelmine Germany.
 

cdxbow

Active Member
This link discusses Xi’s China to that of Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm wrt national goals. Hopefully any failure by China doesn’t lead to the outcome that followed Wilhelmine Germany.
Many parallels, but our times are unique. Let's hope the PRC are not all fired up with Pervitin (methamphetamine). Drugs tend to get written out of history, but I've always wondered how much of a role they played in the third Reich given we now how much they were used.

This is a discussion of the 'Quad' from War on the Rocks, a bit of it's history, future and issues. Democracy’s Squad: India’s Change of Heart and the Future of the Quad - War on the Rocks Seemingly the Quad rises and subsides in response to the degree of PRC belligerence, and time will tell whether it is a useful construct. Mutual interest does tend to drive friendships and the economic power of the quad is vast. The author's state:

"The Quad represents not just a quarter of the world’s population (1.8 billion people) but a little over a quarter of the world’s economic activity [GDP]. A quarter of all global foreign direct investment flows (averaging over $380 billion a year) come from Quad countries. And by 2018, the Quad held a foreign direct investment stock of $8.7 trillion — or roughly one dollar for every four dollars ever invested abroad."

I wonder how much will/does it weigh on PRC planning?
It will be interesting to see how it evolves over the next decade, economically, diplomatically and militarily. I suspect it's going to be vital for the democracies in the Indo-pacific to resist PRC pressure at a number of levels. The article gives some examples how it may have helped already.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
The PLA Navy’s growth in capability goes hand in hand with China’s economic footprint
The YJ-18 (Yingji [Eagle Strike]-18) is a Chinese cruise missile with variants for antiship and land-attack missions. It is reportedly derived from the Russian 3M-54E “Klub” missile, has a range of 220-540 km and entered service around 2014.

Forming the backbone of its "Maritime Silk Road," Chinese investment in Africa's ports generates footholds for the PLA Navy.

A new report, “Weaponizing the Belt and Road Initiative," that examines key BRI projects in the Indo-Pacific.
 
Last edited:
Top