PRC Peoples Liberation Army Navy

ngatimozart

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Saw that on a USNI mailout. It's not a silly idea when you think about it. Well worth some other navies considering it if their ground forces have amphibious vehicles.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Active Member
Seems they know their own amphibious assets will not enough to transport divisions wide strength accross Taiwan straits. Perhaps they have calculate there will be significant casualties on the transport assets, thus adding the number with civilian ferry will be needed.
There probably would be high losses in amphibious ships in case of a war. But using converted civilian shipping would be very dangerous, as they'd have very little way of protecting themselves. Might be worth considering towards the end of a conflict where it was almost won, but sending them in with the first or second wave could be suicidal. (Then again the Chinese government might not give a damn.)
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Amphibious operations in the era of high performance missiles is a worrisome scenario for any assaulting force. The big question is how effective are defensive systems that will counter an attack. Highly classified for sure. Mines and submarines further complicate amphibious operations. I agree, the PRC threshold for acceptance of high losses is an order of magnitude higher (at least) than the allied opposition to an invasion of Taiwan, IMHO.
 
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Shanesworld

Active Member
Amphibious operations in the era of high performance missiles is a worrisome scenario for any assaulting force. The big question is how effective are defensive systems that will counter an attack. Highly classified for sure. Mines and submarines further complicate amphibious operations. I agree, the PCR threshold for acceptance of high losses is an order of magnitude higher (at least) than the allied opposition to an invasion of Taiwan, IMHO.
Civilian vessels could prove instrumental on the east coast of taiwan and to establish cut offs or even a second island chain grab. They would be the pre - positioning, in place before the plan fleet units move into their assembly points. Pretty sure this was in both versions of assymetric warfare.
 

ngatimozart

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There probably would be high losses in amphibious ships in case of a war. But using converted civilian shipping would be very dangerous, as they'd have very little way of protecting themselves. Might be worth considering towards the end of a conflict where it was almost won, but sending them in with the first or second wave could be suicidal. (Then again the Chinese government might not give a damn.)
Not necessarily depending upon the escorts. Don't discount it just because it doesn't fit in with your particular worldview, because that's sloppy thinking. Read your Sun Tzu Ping Fa again because even though it's been years since I have read my copy, I am sure that Sun Tzu talks about the unexpected. Always expect the unexpected and the enemy is never going to play by your rules or comply with your plans unless they are fools and idiots. And for all the things that the CCP and PLA may be, fools and idiots isn't any of those.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Active Member
Not necessarily depending upon the escorts. Don't discount it just because it doesn't fit in with your particular worldview, because that's sloppy thinking.
I don't discount anything in the slightest. I was talking about risk to civilians, not a certain outcome. In my personal opinion, the issue with using civilian ships in the Taiwan Strait is the large number of anti-ship missiles there, which are only increasing. That doesn't even consider the risk from Taiwan's new submarine project and other countries' submarines.

You're right that escorts can mitigate part of that risk, but the sheer volume of missiles in this case makes things challenging. In 1982 the Royal Navy had few defences against exocets. Defensive technology has changed a lot since then. But it was just two missiles fired at the RN taskgroup that sunk Atlantic Conveyer. Change those two missiles to a saturation attack from Taiwan and potentially intervening foreign forces, and that's nothing something I'd want to be involved in even with a top-line frigate or destroyer next to me.

If the CCP wants to send in civilian ships in early on, I can't stop them. But if it was the case that Taiwan's anti-shipping capabilities had been neutered such that it was safe to use them early on, that probably means Taiwan's already about to lose because it suggests the bombardment was so devastating as to leave few military assets on the island intact.

And for all the things that the CCP and PLA may be, fools and idiots isn't any of those.
I'd say the CCP has objectively acted incredibly foolishly in the last few years. They've given up the vast majority of the goodwill with the developed world that they painfully created over the last 20-30 years for no obvious gains.

As for the PLA, I'd say pushing dozens of Indian soldiers down a raveen to their deaths wasn't very clever either, not least because of the chest-thumping that happened afterwards. Nor is the pointless beligerance from Chinese ships and aircraft (it's getting to the point that Japan may start making real increases to its defence budget).

There's this myth that the Chinese government is playing some sort of 5D chess whilst everyone else is struggling with the old fashioned 2D chessboard. Whilst I should stress I am not saying you think it, there are people that buy into this. Events of the last few years have finally shown that idea is complete garbage.
 
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Blackshoe

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I'd say the CCP has objectively acted incredibly foolishly in the last few years. They've given up the vast majority of the goodwill with the developed world that they painfully created over the last 20-30 years for no obvious gains.
Eh, I think they've gained a lot, to be frank. They are considered one of the world's premiere militaries, and are able to force other regional powers to contest their views in a coalition environment (with the assistance of the world's premiere military) or not at all. 20 years ago, we would have laughed about the PRC's ability to forcibly take Taiwain in the face of combined US-ROC efforts; now the question of whether the US would even bother to defend the ROC is openly discussed.

Also, I really do not think they care about "goodwill" one way or another; frankly it's a decadent Western concept that I think is pretty irrelevant.

On the subject of STUFT (Shipping Taken Up From Trade): tale as old as time. There's definitely scenarios where I could see it being very useful for the PLA, especially if one of your operating assumptions is that your enemy won't go Red and Free on (at least ostensibly) civilian traffic when the balloon goes up. Even if you do think they'd the ersatz phibs would take higher casualties in a landing (something I think probable but not certain)...there's certainly a casualty rate they'd be willing to take in exchange for the higher lift capacity.
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
Eh, I think they've gained a lot, to be frank. They are considered one of the world's premiere militaries, and are able to force other regional powers to contest their views in a coalition environment (with the assistance of the world's premiere military) or not at all. 20 years ago, we would have laughed about the PRC's ability to forcibly take Taiwain in the face of combined US-ROC efforts; now the question of whether the US would even bother to defend the ROC is openly discussed.
Is this purely a product of good decision making though? Or simply a natural consequence of their continued economic growth? To my mind they would really have had to drop the ball for their military expansion not to correlate strongly with their economic one.
 

CB90

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Is this purely a product of good decision making though? Or simply a natural consequence of their continued economic growth? To my mind they would really have had to drop the ball for their military expansion not to correlate strongly with their economic one.
Agreed. The JSDF and ROK military are also leaps and bounds above where they were 20 years ago, and I'd also tie that more to their massive economic growth rather than any uniquely brilliant moves.

I agree the PRC has been shooting themselves in the foot repeatedly lately (particularly in 2020), but I don't think "goodwill" is the right term though.

To elaborate on that, I think other nations have been willing to turn a blind eye to the CCP's less palatable behavior as long as it was mostly self-contained. The CCP's actions lately have been more openly aggressive, even pushing their influence outside their regional space.

The RN sending a Task Force to conduct SCS FONOPS would also have been ridiculed as a ludicrous and pointless exercise 20 years ago. Ditto for French Navy patrols in the region, and ADF expansions.
 

Blackshoe

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Is this purely a product of good decision making though? Or simply a natural consequence of their continued economic growth? To my mind they would really have had to drop the ball for their military expansion not to correlate strongly with their economic one.
The problem is I can think of at least one very close example (India) which has also had significant economic growth in the time frame; they have struggled to figure out how to buy 155mm artillery pieces. Yes, that is an oversimplification, but not the worst one. India's military is fine...but it has also been demonstrated not to be China's, either.

Mexico has also experienced a pretty significant GDP growth over the last 30 years; they cannot even exercise autonomy over their own country and are in the neigborhood of being a failed-state.

Brazil also has experienced a ton of economic growth, and while its military is fine...it's not a superpower (most importantly, it probably doesn't want to be).

China has almost uniquely decided that in addition to the economic growth and march forward, they must also become a martial superpower-and pulled it off! Granted, they don't have many of the same issues that India or Mexico or Brazil have, and they have lots of things going for them that those countries don't- but by no means was their path to the where they are now assured. Maybe they were just lucky-and that's always a criteria-but I think it's beyond evident that the PRC did something right (which is no guarantee they will keep doing it right, but it's at least a testament to their skill in getting there).
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
The problem is I can think of at least one very close example (India) which has also had significant economic growth in the time frame; they have struggled to figure out how to buy 155mm artillery pieces. Yes, that is an oversimplification, but not the worst one. India's military is fine...but it has also been demonstrated not to be China's, either.

Mexico has also experienced a pretty significant GDP growth over the last 30 years; they cannot even exercise autonomy over their own country and are in the neigborhood of being a failed-state.

Brazil also has experienced a ton of economic growth, and while its military is fine...it's not a superpower (most importantly, it probably doesn't want to be).

China has almost uniquely decided that in addition to the economic growth and march forward, they must also become a martial superpower-and pulled it off! Granted, they don't have many of the same issues that India or Mexico or Brazil have, and they have lots of things going for them that those countries don't- but by no means was their path to the where they are now assured. Maybe they were just lucky-and that's always a criteria-but I think it's beyond evident that the PRC did something right (which is no guarantee they will keep doing it right, but it's at least a testament to their skill in getting there).
Fair point. That said I still have to question whether that growth is due to good strategic planning (the type being discussed earlier?) or just effective economic management & force structure planning.

What I still suspect is that, at the end of the day, their authoritarian and coercive approach to foreign relations does create vulnerabilities. A number of important countries (India, Japan... even UK/France) seem to have woken up to this approach in a way they were seemingly oblivious to earlier, and it is pushing them away from a more conciliatory stance on China. "Might is right" certainly has its perks, but I'm not sure the west's capacity to create and sustain alliances is pure decadence in action..?

Just my 2c.
 
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CB90

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
The problem is I can think of at least one very close example (India) which has also had significant economic growth in the time frame; they have struggled to figure out how to buy 155mm artillery pieces. Yes, that is an oversimplification, but not the worst one. India's military is fine...but it has also been demonstrated not to be China's, either.

Mexico has also experienced a pretty significant GDP growth over the last 30 years; they cannot even exercise autonomy over their own country and are in the neigborhood of being a failed-state.

Brazil also has experienced a ton of economic growth, and while its military is fine...it's not a superpower (most importantly, it probably doesn't want to be).

China has almost uniquely decided that in addition to the economic growth and march forward, they must also become a martial superpower-and pulled it off! Granted, they don't have many of the same issues that India or Mexico or Brazil have, and they have lots of things going for them that those countries don't- but by no means was their path to the where they are now assured. Maybe they were just lucky-and that's always a criteria-but I think it's beyond evident that the PRC did something right (which is no guarantee they will keep doing it right, but it's at least a testament to their skill in getting there).
It’s not to take anything away from China - they certainly did things right on their end.

But their metrics on every scale have gone up dramatically from where they were before opening up to Western investment and technology/industrial transfer. Standards of living and individual wealth have improved, civil engineering projects have increased in scope, bottom line, so it’s not just improvement in military R&D and capabilities.
India, Mexico, and Brazil haven’t seen the same advances on the civil side that China did, even if GDP did go up.

A better comparison would be the ROK and Japan. The ROK’s timeline for industrialization is actually fairly similar to the PRC, and they’ve seen similar growth along all sectors, with corresponding growth in military capability.

Fair point. That said I still have to question whether that growth is due to good strategic planning (the type being discussed earlier?) or just effective economic management & force structure planning.

What I still suspect is that, at the end of the day, their authoritarian and coercive approach to foreign relations does create vulnerabilities. A number of important countries (India, Japan... even UK/France) seem to have woken up to this approach in a way they were seemingly oblivious to earlier, and it is pushing them away from a more conciliatory stance on China. "Might is right" certainly has its perks, but I'm not sure the west's capacity to create and sustain alliances is pure decadence in action..?

Just my 2c.
Very much agree with this part.
China is a nation of 1.2B people. A Western (and particularly US) strategy to contain China cannot ignore the importance of the diplomatic and economic aspects of alliances.
Between their response and communication regarding COVID (or lack thereof), failure of their vaccine diplomacy with a relatively ineffective vaccine, treatment of Uighurs, Hong Kong, Taiwan - and threats (including first strike nuclear force) to any nation that provides support to Taiwan, coercive relationships in the BRI, the CCP has been scoring a lot of own goals in that regard. Which the West should see as opportunities.
 

ngatimozart

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With the PRC you cannot exclude the political dimension and the legacy of Mao Tse Tung. I believe outsiders very much underestimate the impact that Mao has had on Chinese society, thought and the political system.

If you look at the history from around 1960 until his death in 1976, Mao was starting to face opposition to his policies because of the cost of his Great Leap Forward. It's thought that possibly 20 odd million Chinese died of starvation caused by Mao's policies in the Great Leap Forward. For example when it was pointed out to him starlings were eating the grain, Mao ordered all the population to kill starlings. End result decimated starling population and grub and bug population boomed, having a drastically impact upon grain crops leading to greater famine.

Mao was a feared tyrant and he ruled through fear. In that aspect he was worse than Stalin and he was like that right from about the period of the famed Long March. Unlike Stalin, Mao was very well read in western political philosophy, and he understood it. It was through that he discovered Marx and Das Kapital. He quickly grasped the concept that for the communist nirvana to be achieved, it would have to be by force and revolution. That meant strict discipline and everyone following the right thought with no deviation whatsoever. He also understood that whilst loyalty was good, fear ensured that people stayed loyal and the more fearful they were, the better the loyalty. He had no problem with having pain or death inflicted upon people to ensure their or others undisputed blind obedience.

Mao hated to be upstaged and shown to have made an error. It is believed that in 1960 or 61 that the then Premier, who was also Deputy General Secretary of the CCP and Mao's designated successor, Liu Shaoqi, said at a Politburo meeting that they had gone to far in the Great Leap Forward with so many millions dead of starvation. Mao decided then that Lui had to be disposed of. Apparently by this time Mao was also becoming paranoid about traitors within the Party especially within the upper echelons. Some people found their way into prison camps or were executed but others Mao couldn't quite touch. As mutterings about his leadership grew, he and his wife, Jiang Qing -a.k.a., Madam Mao, struck back in 1966 through the Cultural Revolution, by using Red Guards comprised of children who had been indoctrinated on Maoist thought right through their school years. The planning had started 2 years prior with the publication of the Little Red Book of the Thoughts of Chairman Mao. Interestingly enough this book is still published in many languages by the PRC and available through their embassies as well as some book sellers.

The Red Guards literally ran riot and purged many within the CCP and wider society, with an unknown number of deaths and millions thrown into re-education camps after public humiliation. Among those was Liu Shaoqi who had been alongside Mao from the Long March. Apparently on Mao's orders he died a horrific death and it was claimed that it was filmed for Mao to watch later. Considering Mao's penchant for vengeance and violence that wouldn't surprise me.

When Mao finally died in 1976 there was a power struggle of sorts over who would replace him. His widow Jiang Qing presumed that she would replace him and she and her fellow Gang of Four conspirators acted on that presumption. Unfortunately for them Hua Gofeng and other members of the Politburo along with the PLA had different ideas and they and all of their conspirators were arrested. The Politburo had decided that it was time for stability.

Where is this history lesson leading? Well it can be argued that the PRC are still scared of Mao. His image is plastered everywhere, on buildings, statues, banknotes. His place of birth, tomb, residences etc., are tourist meccas. Yet he killed somewhere between 30 - 40 million Chinese because of his ill considered policies, refusals to change and cruelty. In the USSR after Stalin finally died he was finally called out by the CPSU for what he was.

What of the Red Guards? Well they are the generation at the top of the CCP on the Central Committee and Politburo of the CCP. Xi Jinping is reported to have spent time in the re-education camps, with his copy of the Little Red Book, and he can probably still quote it chapter and verse. So was he a prisoner or a Red Guard? He would've been about 10 when the Cultural Revolution started and kids as young as 8 were Red Guards. Does this explain his return to Maoist dogma and practice? These are the questions that need thinking about.
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
Not yet an operational part of the PLAN (officially), but i am sure the PLAN is very interested in it. The possibilities are endless:
- collecting information and intelligence for military purposes, but also to spy on foreign companies.
- locating individuals which are regarded as 'enemies of the state'
- arming with explosives or capsuls with biological/chemical stuff.
- and much more.

Quite frightening.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
I have seen quite a few bird drones as well. It is hard enough to defend against drones as it is, but when just about everything that flies or swims could be potentially a drone it becomes near impossible.

I can see future military conflict being very tough on wildlife as just about any living thing approaching a ship, airfield, soldiers or what ever could be a disguised drone. Pretty much the premise of the Terminator movies.
 

ngatimozart

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I have seen quite a few bird drones as well. It is hard enough to defend against drones as it is, but when just about everything that flies or swims could be potentially a drone it becomes near impossible.

I can see future military conflict being very tough on wildlife as just about any living thing approaching a ship, airfield, soldiers or what ever could be a disguised drone. Pretty much the premise of the Terminator movies.
At the present point in time drones give off electronic signatures that are different to biologics, so it should be relatively easy to tell from the EM signature if it's a drone or a biologic. I would think that with current technology it will be somewhat difficult to mimic a biologics EM signature and fully suppress the drones EM signature. That's my 2 cents worth.
 

old faithful

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Not yet an operational part of the PLAN (officially), but i am sure the PLAN is very interested in it. The possibilities are endless:
- collecting information and intelligence for military purposes, but also to spy on foreign companies.
- locating individuals which are regarded as 'enemies of the state'
- arming with explosives or capsuls with biological/chemical stuff.
- and much more.

Quite frightening.
Interesting that the species of fish chosen is a Saratoga, an Australian species. Similar species exist in SE Asia, the Arrawana and in South America.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group

Bit few months old, but seems interesting still to see. This is the english language version of CCTV coverage on Shanghai based Jiangnan shipyard. Offcourse as it's CCTV is only shown the 'glorious' performance of the yard.

However Jiangnan is still their primary yards for any naval development, thus the importance for PLAN. In similar thing can be compared the importance toward Newport News for USN. Thus it's still interesting to see media exposure on that yard.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
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Bit few months old, but seems interesting still to see. This is the english language version of CCTV coverage on Shanghai based Jiangnan shipyard. Offcourse as it's CCTV is only shown the 'glorious' performance of the yard.

However Jiangnan is still their primary yards for any naval development, thus the importance for PLAN. In similar thing can be compared the importance toward Newport News for USN. Thus it's still interesting to see media exposure on that yard.
Yes I watched it last night. Even putting the propaganda component aside it was still quite interesting.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member

Bit few months old, but seems interesting still to see. This is the english language version of CCTV coverage on Shanghai based Jiangnan shipyard. Offcourse as it's CCTV is only shown the 'glorious' performance of the yard.

However Jiangnan is still their primary yards for any naval development, thus the importance for PLAN. In similar thing can be compared the importance toward Newport News for USN. Thus it's still interesting to see media exposure on that yard.
One has to be impressed.

Interesting that labour efficiency was often mentioned.
Surely not a problem for the largest nation in the world, yet It appears they are truly striving to build a world class modern ship manufacturing base.
They call certainly churn out ships.

Regards S
 
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