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

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

This morning’s key headlines from

  • 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 onWednesday to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to prepare for war: 

In 2013, the goal set for the entire army and thePeople’s Armed Police force is to bolster their capabilities tofight and their ability to win a war… to be well-prepared for awar by subjecting the army to hard and rigorous training on anactual combat basis.

Although past directives have directed soldiers to be prepared in caseof war, this year’s directive, for the first time, uses the Chineseword “dazhang,” which means “fighting war,” and uses it 10 times inthe 1000 word directive. 

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

While the official directive does not mention Japan, variouscommentaries 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 inpreparation for potential full-scale war with the United States. 

These weaponsinclude hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of mobile, nuclear ballisticmissiles targeting American cities and newly developed missilescapable of striking and disabling American aircraft carriers. For thefirst time in its modern history, China has the firepower to contestcontrol of disputed territory far from its coastal waters. 

Flush with pride and confidence, senior officers in China’s People’sLiberation Army (PLA) are using increasingly hawkish and nationalisticrhetoric when discussing issues related to Japan or the United States.Some of these officers call for “short, sharp wars” to assert China’ssovereignty, or to “strike first,” “prepare for conflict,” or “kill achicken 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 thosetreaties, signed after WW II, was to discourage anyone from starting anew war, since anyone fighting a war with one of these countrieswould automatically have a war with the United States as well. 

Dai Xu, a Chinese Air Force Colonel, is arguing for a short, decisivewar with one of China’s neighbors–Vietnam, the Philippines, orJapan–in order to establish sovereignty over the Pacific regionwithout risking war with the United States. This is the “kill achicken to scare the monkeys” philosophy. According to this theory,America will NOT honor its mutual defense agreements with any of thesecountries, because the U.S. will not want to risk having its citiesdestroyed by Chinese ballistic missiles. He points to China’s 1962border clash with India, which China won decisively, leading todecades of peace. 

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

This includes Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan, who are thethree running dogs of the United States in Asia. We only need tokill one, and it will immediately bring the others toheel.

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, thepossibility that foreign countries would intervene is low, and anyconflict would not last long.” Defense News (Washington) and Reuters

China’s historic mistake

Anyone who understands even a little generational theory can quicklyunderstand that China is making a historic mistake that will be adisaster 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; withboth countries being run by survivors of World War II and, respectively,Mao’s Communist Revolution civil war and the bloody Hindu/Muslimwar that followed Partition. Each of these wars were extremelybrutal, creating tens or hundreds of thousands of casualtiesand refugees, and no one who survived either of those wars wouldever 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 hadan easy life, where their worst crisis was a sex scandal. They have nopersonal memory of the horrors of WW II, and the Gen-Xers think thatany older generation who even talks about it is completely full ofcrap. 

The Chinese, as well as many Americans, believe that PresidentObama would not strike back if China launched one of theseto this view, would be like Neville Chamberlain after Hitlerattacked Czechoslovakia. 

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

This view also overlooks the hard lesson that came out of the NevilleChamberlain episode. Britain excused Germany’s attack onCzechoslovakia, but also warned that any further aggression would leadto war. So Obama may have his Neville Chamberlain moment, but itwould only delay war.

China today is giddy with military power to the point of masshysteria and extremely overconfident. They’re ready for war, and they’reanxious to go to war. They have a military strategy of attackingAmerica’s weak points that they believe will lead them to a quickvictory, because America won’t risk having its cities attacked. 

Nothing can be further from the truth. Generational Dynamics predictsthat when China makes its move, and that day seems very close, thenthe war won’t end until every nuclear weapon on all sides has beenlaunched against some enemy’s targets. By the end of the war, there could besome 3 billion deaths, leaving 4 billion of so survivors to carry onand 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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