Some articles and a few thoughts for the weekend …Release of the Annual DoD Report on the Military Power of the People’s Republic of China

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=53642

Though it doesn’t specifically mention the recent harassment of USNS Impeccable by Chinese ships in international waters http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7933171.stm, the new Department of Defense report, released on 25 March 2009, does provide some interesting insight on the Chinese armed forces, also known as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). For example, the document acknowledges press reports of the new naval base under construction on Hainan Island, explaining …

“The base appears large enough to accommodate a mix of attack and ballistic missile submarines and advanced surface combatant ships. The port, which has underground facilities, would provide the PLA Navy with direct access to vital international sea lanes, and offers the potential for stealthy deployment of submarines into the deep waters of the South China Sea.”

On a broader scale, the report also urges China to increase transparency and suggests caution by stating that, “China continues to promulgate incomplete defense expenditure figures and engage in actions that appear inconsistent with its declaratory policies.”

Check out and comment on the full DoD report, available here:
http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/pdfs/China_Military_Power_Report_2009.pdf

And perhaps readers missed some other interesting news last week concerning the Russian military aircraft that flew within 500 feet of a U.S. aircraft carrier during military exercises …

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/03/19/us.russia.planes/index.html?iref=newssearch

This was actually reported more than a week ago, but it hasn’t gotten much traction. It’s been over a year since the Russians last did an over-flight like this, but it is worth noting that the aircraft were detected early and escorted by F/A-18s from 70 miles out. According to the article, two Russian IL-38s flew 500 feet over the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis (CVN 74) on 16 March, and then the following day two Bear bombers flew 2,000 feet over the command ship Blue Ridge (LCC 19). Both vessels were taking part in military exercises with South Korean forces.

And this week’s international navies photos is …

The aircraft Carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), background, joins a multinational battle group formation including the People's Republic of China Navy multirole missile destroyer Guangzhou (DDG 168) and the Pakistan Navy frigate PNS Badr (D 184). Roosevelt, the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), and the U.S. Coast Guard high-endurance cutter Boutwell (WHEC 719) are among ships from seven other countries participating in the multinational naval exercise AMAN, an Urdu word meaning peace. AMAN 09 is a Pakistan Navy-hosted multi-lateral maritime exercise designed to develop and improve response to tactics, techniques, and procedures with a focus on the global war on terrorism. Lake Champlain and Boutwell are deployed as part of the Boxer Amphibious Readiness Group supporting Maritime Security Operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker/Released

 Update: Listen to the WTOP radio interview with Eric: Danger on the High Seas




Posted by Eric Wertheim in Uncategorized


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  • http://www.jimdolbow.blogspot.com Jim Dolbow

    welcome back!!

  • Byron

    Gotta wonder if the electronics were burned out on that May when the CG put the “eye” on it.

  • Dee Illuminati

    On a broader scale, the report also urges China to increase transparency and suggests caution by stating that, “China continues to promulgate incomplete defense expenditure figures and engage in actions that appear inconsistent with its declaratory policies.”

    One of the reasons I like this blog is that there are statements that are palatable and succinct, the result of well thought out editorial construction. That statement sums up my concerns; that a continuation of thwarting transparency in all of China’s dealings and their public statements. And taken at face value, the public statements are not entirely reassuring either.

    While not wanting to be zenophobic, not wanting to instigate distrust or sensationalism, I nonetheless would not continue in my personal relations seeking a relationship when the acts were so inconsistent with the rhetoric.

    The old tired term: “Are You Gonna Believe Me or Your Lying Eyes?”

    The CSMONITOR report on the Dalai Lama and hacking are not surprising, if the same tactics and attitude that is used by China in how they treat the Dalai Lama is used against other groups, then the friend or foe issue is resolved.

    The statements are incongruent with acts, I imagine this will become clear at the G20 summit where a reluctance of China to be a responsible partner in economic cooperation will cause unrest and chaos in developing economy nations.

    In not cooperating with the west China ensures that the developing economies fail while blah-blahing about the IMF and reform, as if China was incapable of: a.) offering direct loans to developing economies or b.) floating their currency to encourage growth. EITHER act however undermines a willingness to forego an assualt on the US dollar and thus makes them uncooperative in international trade. Their acts do not square with their rhetoric.

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