Archive for August 7th, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Yellow Sea Updates: “no War, no Stimulus”

Aircraft carrier USS George Washington, which participated in last month’s joint drills between the US and the ROK in the Sea of Japan, will be sent to the Yellow Sea for an upcoming exercise, “after days of hesitation” at the pentagon, writes China Daily. The paper quotes a Chinese Navy Military Academy researcher, Lie Jie, as saying that the US is bound to gradually seek a bigger say in East Asia.”It will never give up the region and will take a real step sooner or later.”An air force colonel, Dai Xu (戴旭), is quoted as saying (or writing) that “inside the diplomat’s velvet gloves, there should be powerful iron hands”, demanding steps that would make the US “respect” China.

In a blog post of today, Dai argues that America had always been searching for adversaries, as its economy lost its stimulus whenever there was no war. Without an adversary, America was unable to unite – 从国家历史看,美国不停地进行战争,寻找对手,实际上是其社会发展的常态。没有战争,美国的经济就失去刺激;没有对手,美国就无法凝聚全体的意志。美国已经走上了这样一条战争的不归路。America was now attempting to form a NATO-style alliance with South Korea, Australia, India, and ASEAN, writes Dai.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell announced the aircraft carrier’s participation in upcoming naval exercises west of the Korean coastline on Thursday.

No full transcript of China’s foreign ministry press conference on Friday seems to be available yet, but the papers publish single Q & A exchanges, among them this one, between an unidentified reporter and spokeswoman Jiang Yu (姜瑜):

Q: According to news reports, the American department of defense said that USS George Washington will participate in several future South Korean-American joint military exercises in the Yellow Sea. What is the Chinese side’s comment?

A: We have expressed the Chinese side’s clear and firm position concerning the South Korean-American joint military exercises before. We encourage the parties involved to deal with the Chinese side’s concerns and positions in a serious and earnest way.



Also at a press conference, Japanese foreign minister Okada Katsuya (岡田克也, quoted by Huanqiu Shibao via Kyodo News) said that “military exercises in the open seas are permitted by international law. We hope that China will respond in a calm way”. Concerning the passage of Chinese naval vessels near Japan on April 5, Katsuya is quoted as saying that “that was an exercise in international waters. Although there were problems about dealing with the matter, legally, there were no problems”.

Meantime, an Associated Press (AP) correspondent writes that

US naval planners are scrambling to deal with what analysts say is a game-changing weapon being developed by China — an unprecedented carrier-killing missile called the Dong Feng 21D that could be launched from land with enough accuracy to penetrate the defenses of even the most advanced moving aircraft carrier at a distance of more than 1,500km. The weapon, a version of which was displayed last year in a Chinese military parade, could revolutionize China’s role in the Pacific balance of power, seriously weakening Washington’s ability to intervene in any potential conflict over Taiwan or North Korea. It could also deny US ships safe access to international waters near China’s 18,000km -long coastline.

However, even if America may have to get used to the fact that aircraft carriers aren’t unsinkable, Ed Stephens jr, formerly a naval officer himself, argues that the Dong Feng 21D (DF-21D), an anti-ship ballistic missile, would depend on updated guidance to hit a moving target:

If you think your life is rough, try being a ballistic missile warhead. Specifications vary widely, but a typical warhead will sizzle along at 15,000 mph or so at peak speed, and when it re-enters the atmosphere it can encounter 19,000 degrees Fahrenheit of friction heat. That’s not exactly a hospitable environment for delicate sensors and guidance stuff.

However, Stephens concedes that the DF-21D appears to be quite a serious effort indeed.

An appearance by the George Washington in the Yellow Sea had become a matter of “face”, in the view of Robert Haddick of Small Wars Journal.

Anything less than a transit of the Yellow Sea within the next few weeks by the George Washington and its escorts will come off as a loss of face by the United States,

he wrote in an article for Foreign Affairs in July.


Dong Feng 21D “nearing operational capability”, Stars & Stripes, July 19, 2010
Short DF-21 History, Global Security, last update on June 25, 2010
PLA Raises its Voice, Asia Times, March 9, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Updates: Love and Respect, Fifty-Cent Party

Great Expectations


There are such things, say the China Digital Times and the Telegraph.

Either nepotism (Telegraph) or a sense of love and respect for Mao Zedong, transferred to Mao Xinyu, the late helmsman’s grandson, were definitely  a factor in Mao Xinyu’s recent promotion to the rank of a major general.

And there’s such a thing as a wumaodang (Fifty Cent Party), too, if a set of documents currently circulated on the internet are genuine, and the China Digital Times is up to date.


50 Cent Party, Wikipedia

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