Photo Credit: The Telegraph By Julian Ryall. China’s armed forces are to extend their operations and its air force will become an offensive as well as defensive force for the first time, in a major shift in policy that will strengthen fears of accidental conflict . . .
The People’s Liberation Army, including its navy and air force, will be allowed to “project power” further beyond its borders at sea and more assertively in the air in order to safeguard its maritime possessions, the [defense] white paper [released by the chief administrative body of the Chinese government] stated . . .
The posture risks escalating the tension over disputed islands in the South China Sea and elsewhere in the Pacific, where the United States is determined to protect the interests of allies like Taiwan and the Philippines . . .
Global Times, a tabloid newspaper run by the Communist Party, said that China might have to “accept” there would be conflict with the United States.
“If the United States’ bottom line is that China has to halt its activities, then a US-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea”, said the paper, which is often seen as a mouth-piece of hardline nationalists in the government in Beijing. (Read more from “US-China War ‘Inevitable’ Unless Washington Drops Demands Over South China Sea” HERE)
What Else did China’s Defense White Paper Predict for the Future?
By Kieth Johnson. [I]n the United States . . . the consensus over accommodating China’s rise seems to have given way to a more hawkish stance on the need to contain the rising Asian giant.
China’s new white paper provides plenty of points of continuity with past strategies, especially with Mao Zedong’s doctrine of “active defense,” known in the United States as the Billy Martin school of conflict management (“I never threw the first punch; I threw the second four.”)
At the same time, though, the defense blueprint breaks new ground. It codifies the ongoing transformation of China into a true maritime power, and puts more emphasis on high-seas, offensive naval operations. More broadly, it envisions a much bigger, global role for Chinese armed forces than had previously been the case, and in some places echoes the famously hawkish Chinese views of thinkers such as Liu Mingfu, whose bestselling book “The China Dream” paints a vision of nearly inevitable conflict between the two global titans. . .
For a 5,000-year old civilization that has survived invasions from Mongols, Japanese, and Western Europeans, this is a sobering conclusion: “In the new circumstances, the national security issues facing China encompass far more subjects, extend over a greater range, and cover a longer time span than at any time in the country’s history.” Later, the paper notes: “Due to its complex geostrategic environment, China faces various threats and challenges in all its strategic directions and security domains.”
That’s especially true when it comes to the South China Sea. (Read more from “China’s Military Blueprint: Bigger Navy, Bigger Global Role” HERE)