Monday, June 20, 2011

Caucus Brief: China's Growing Military Muscle

CHINA'S GROWING MILITARY MUSCLE.  A piece from NPR examines China's growing military capability in relation to the statements of China's military leadership.  The piece quotes senior Chinese military officials as describing China's modernization as intended to provide a deterrent to the U.S. in the region: "If our army is strong enough, it will be no war.  If our army is not strong enough, the war will come."  The piece goes on to quote Andrei Chang from Kanwa Asian Defense in describing the nature of China's modernization: "Compared with Russia and U.S., only China simultaneously is building aircraft carriers, strategic ballistic missile submarines, GPS satellite – everything simultaneously."

CHINA PLANS TO BEEF UP MARITIME SURVEILLANCE.  China has announced it will be growing its maritime surveillance forces to 15,000 people from 9,000 by 2020.  This increase in manpower will be partnered with 16 aircraft and 520 sea vessels for maritime surveillance operations.  This announcement comes in the midst of heightened tensions between China and its neighbors over claims to the South China Sea. 

PHILIPPINES DOWNPLAYS CHINA NAVAL DRILLS.  Over the weekend the Philippines tried to downplay the significance of Chinese naval exercises in the South China Sea amid mounting regional tensions.  Philippine armed forces spokesman Commodore Rodriguez characterized the Chinese exercises as the normal activities of navies and expressed a hope that the Philippine Navy would have the opportunity to exercise with the Chinese at some future date.

INDIA MILITARY DELEGATON ARRIVES IN CHINA.  An Indian military delegation arrived in Beijing after defense ties between the two nations had been frozen for over a year regarding a visa dispute.  The eight-member delegation will visit Beijing and is expected to discuss border disputes as well as China's support for Pakistan's claim to Kashmir.

NEAR TERM MISSIONS FOR CHINA'S MAIDEN AIRCRAFT CARRIER.  The Jamestown Foundation analyzes the early role of China's maiden aircraft carrier as China prepares the carrier for deployment.  From the piece: "The People's Liberation Army Navy must first undergo an extensive period of trials, testing and training before the ship is mission-ready to the extent that will be useful for China's most vexing regional and international flashpoints.  Yet, the meaning the Chinese officials, experts, press and even everyday Chinese people assign to an aircraft carrier seems to imply otherwise." 


CHINA'S LEADERS LAUD 'RED' CAMPAIGN.  The WSJ reports that rising stars in the Chinese Communist Party have begun singing the praises of Mao Zedong, worrying some who had hoped that the 2012 elections in China might yield more moderate leadership.

MILLIONS SUFFER IN CHINA FLOODS.  Two provinces of China have suffered from torrential rains with nearly 1,000 businesses being disrupted and crops destroyed, pushing up food prices.  These floods come after months of crop-destroying drought in the center and north of China.  The British Broadcasting Channel reports that economic analysts say shortages in China from these floods could affect prices around the world. 

PROTESTS CONTINUE IN CHINA.  Violent protests in China over the treatment of migrant workers have continued throughout the weekend.  It was earlier reported that these protests had been suppressed.  However, over the weekend looting and violence remained widespread despite the presence of security forces. 

CHINA CLAIMS ITS PLACE AT PARIS AIRSHOW.  This week China will communicate its intentions to a major player in global aviation when government-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) makes its first appearance at the Le Bourget Paris Airshow.  The company is hoping that is can garner foreign orders which have eluded COMAC thus far.

The Caucus Brief is a daily publication for Members of Congress and Hill Staffers on China news and information compiled by the office of Congressman Randy Forbes, Founder of the Congressional China Caucus.  Email with tips, comments, or to subscribe/unsubscribe.

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