World View: China Prepares the People's Liberation Army for War

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
  • China's directive to the People's Liberation Army: Get Ready for War
  • China steps up nationalistic war-like rhetoric
  • China's historic mistake
  • 146 lines, 1183 words, 7376 characters

China's directive to the People's Liberation Army: Get Ready for War

China's DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile
China's DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile

China's General Staff Headquarters issued a harsh directive on Wednesday to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to prepare for war: 

In 2013, the goal set for the entire army and the People's Armed Police force is to bolster their capabilities to fight and their ability to win a war... to be well-prepared for a war by subjecting the army to hard and rigorous training on an actual combat basis.

Although past directives have directed soldiers to be prepared in case of war, this year's directive, for the first time, uses the Chinese word "dazhang," which means "fighting war," and uses it 10 times in the 1000 word directive. 

Last month, China announced plans to board and seize foreign ships in the South China Sea, starting in 2013, and has been conducting naval drills with warships in preparation. 

While the official directive does not mention Japan, various commentaries makes clear that Japan is the would-be adversary. VOA, South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)China Military Online (Beijing), and People's Daily Online / Military (Beijing)

China steps up nationalistic war-like rhetoric

China's military budget has been increasing exponentially for years, as I and others have reported, and this year it's finally paying off: China's military is deploying a large number of new warships, tanks, missiles, submarines, and strike aircraft, much of it in preparation for potential full-scale war with the United States. 

These weapons include hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of mobile, nuclear ballistic missiles targeting American cities and newly developed missiles capable of striking and disabling American aircraft carriers. For the first time in its modern history, China has the firepower to contest control of disputed territory far from its coastal waters. 

Flush with pride and confidence, senior officers in China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) are using increasingly hawkish and nationalistic rhetoric when discussing issues related to Japan or the United States. Some of these officers call for "short, sharp wars" to assert China's sovereignty, or to "strike first," "prepare for conflict," or "kill a chicken to scare the monkeys." 

The United States has mutual defense treaties with Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and a number of other countries. The purpose of those treaties, signed after WW II, was to discourage anyone from starting a new war, since anyone fighting a war with one of these countries would automatically have a war with the United States as well. 

Dai Xu, a Chinese Air Force Colonel, is arguing for a short, decisive war with one of China's neighbors--Vietnam, the Philippines, or Japan--in order to establish sovereignty over the Pacific region without risking war with the United States. This is the "kill a chicken to scare the monkeys" philosophy. According to this theory, America will NOT honor its mutual defense agreements with any of these countries, because the U.S. will not want to risk having its cities destroyed by Chinese ballistic missiles. He points to China's 1962 border clash with India, which China won decisively, leading to decades of peace. 

Since we have decided that the U.S. is bluffing in the East China Sea, we should take this opportunity to respond to these empty provocations with something real.

This includes Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan, who are the three running dogs of the United States in Asia. We only need to kill one, and it will immediately bring the others to heel.

As one Chinese analyst put it, the Americans will "run like rabbits." Another one said, "If there is a clash in the South China Sea, the possibility that foreign countries would intervene is low, and any conflict would not last long." Defense News (Washington) and Reuters

China's historic mistake

Anyone who understands even a little generational theory can quickly understand that China is making a historic mistake that will be a disaster for everyone. 

China's 1962 border clash with India did not lead to a wider war because the countries were in a generational Awakening era; with both countries being run by survivors of World War II and, respectively, Mao's Communist Revolution civil war and the bloody Hindu/Muslim war that followed Partition. Each of these wars were extremely brutal, creating tens or hundreds of thousands of casualties and refugees, and no one who survived either of those wars would ever allow it to happen again. 

Today, China, India, and America are in generational Crisis eras. The survivors of World War II are all gone. Today's leaders have had an easy life, where their worst crisis was a sex scandal. They have no personal memory of the horrors of WW II, and the Gen-Xers think that any older generation who even talks about it is completely full of crap. 

The Chinese, as well as many Americans, believe that President Obama would not strike back if China launched one of these "short, sharp wars" against one of its neighbors. Obama, according to this view, would be like Neville Chamberlain after Hitler attacked Czechoslovakia. 

This view overlooks the extreme nationalism of a generational Crisis era. President Obama would not have any choice if Congress declared war, which might happen within hours of any Chinese attack. 

This view also overlooks the hard lesson that came out of the Neville Chamberlain episode. Britain excused Germany's attack on Czechoslovakia, but also warned that any further aggression would lead to war. So Obama may have his Neville Chamberlain moment, but it would only delay war.

China today is giddy with military power to the point of mass hysteria and extremely overconfident. They're ready for war, and they're anxious to go to war. They have a military strategy of attacking America's weak points that they believe will lead them to a quick victory, because America won't risk having its cities attacked. 

Nothing can be further from the truth. Generational Dynamics predicts that when China makes its move, and that day seems very close, then the war won't end until every nuclear weapon on all sides has been launched against some enemy's targets. By the end of the war, there could be some 3 billion deaths, leaving 4 billion of so survivors to carry on and try to rebuild the world.

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, China, People's Liberation Army, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Dai Xu, India, Neville Chamberlain 

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