War Zone – Ports, other logistics hubs and command and control centers would be heavily targeted in any conflict with China.
USNI Proceedings – As the Ukraine conflict makes plain, the costs of full-scale war can be high and unpredictable. This could reinforce Beijing’s preference for the tactics of insurgency—some of which the United States may need to adopt.
Global Times – Over the past month, the Japanese Defense Ministry has posted more than a dozen reports on Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) naval activities around the island country, as the last ship in the PLA Navy task force led by the Type 055 large destroyer Lhasa reportedly returned to the East China Sea on Tuesday, wrapping up its voyage that went round Japan almost entirely. The growing capabilities of the PLA Navy will mean that such activities become routine, and their significance goes beyond just sending Japan warnings amid its right-wing provocations, as the PLA Navy aims to become a blue-water navy that will operate farther in distant waters to safeguard China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, experts said on Wednesday.
Global Times – The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy recently held simulation training for transport aircraft to land on aircraft carriers, with military analysts saying on Wednesday that the move indicated that China is now developing fixed-wing transport aircraft and special mission aircraft including early warning aircraft for its third aircraft carrier, thanks to the latter’s electromagnetic catapults.
War Zone – At least 20 Chinese and Russian naval vessels have been tracked sailing around Japan and its outlying islands in the past few days.
1945 – James Holmes does not see Fujian as a game-changer in the Western Pacific, chiefly because the carrier will still face geostrategic challenges manifest in a first island chain occupied by potential foes.
USNI News – On Friday morning, China launched its third aircraft carrier, named Fujian. The 80,000-ton carrier is China’s first flat deck carrier and uses Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS)-powered catapults to launch its aircraft, in contrast to the ski jump of its other two carriers. The EMALS system can launch heavier aircraft, such as the J-35 fighter and airborne early warning aircraft, to operate off its flight deck.
The Hill – China this week vehemently denied a Washington Post report that it is covertly constructing a naval base in Cambodia. How to evaluate assurances of beneficent intent issuing forth from Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mouthpieces? Three bits of advice: Look at your map. Study past CCP practice. And remember that all such efforts to placate Asian and world opinion are perishable. They’re expedients, nothing more. A pledge’s shelf-life expires once Beijing decides it has outlived its usefulness.
Global Times – China’s first domestically developed 200 ton-class unmanned surface vessel, characterized by its capabilities in stealth and far sea operation, has wrapped up its first autonomous sea trial, with analysts saying that drone ships like this can provide new tactics for naval warfare including distributed operations and swarm combat.
War Zone – Imagery shows the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong working as a deployment platform for vertical takeoff and landing drones.
BBC – Australia has accused the pilot of a Chinese fighter jet of carrying out a dangerous manoeuvre near one of its aircraft over the South China Sea.
War Zone – China’s new drone ship is officially designed for ocean research, but has obvious value for the country’s military.
Global Times – China on Thursday slammed Japan for making dangerous close-range tracking and disruptions to an aircraft carrier of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy during the latter’s recent, legitimate drills in the West Pacific, with analysts saying that the Japanese move reflected the country’s ulterior motive of offensive military expansion under the excuse of the “China threat” theory.
Defense News – It appears China has put at least one other semi-submersible transport ship into service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy, according to photos published by state media showing the ship transporting an amphibious hovercraft.
(Thanks to Alain)
Global Times – The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy reportedly sent its most powerful bombers on Wednesday for drills in the West Pacific, joining the Liaoning aircraft carrier group, which has been holding exercises there since the start of the month, a move experts said could be a rehearsal for keeping foreign forces from interfering in the Taiwan question.
Reuters – Military analysts say a vessel spotted in a Chinese shipyard in rare, recent satellite images could be a new or upgraded class of nuclear-powered attack submarine.
(Thanks to Alain)
War on the Rocks – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine set off a flurry of handwringing over Taiwan. Russia, in this interpretation, “broke the ice” by attacking Ukraine, emboldening China versus Taiwan. But any such action by China would likely run into a similar buzzsaw of resistance, while lacking Russian advantages such as access to overland transit. Ukraine is not Taiwan, and regardless of what Chinese leadership thinks they are learning about the benefits of naked aggression, the People’s Liberation Army lacks the necessary power projection and sustainment capability and capacity to execute an opposed occupation of a densely urbanized island packed with citizens who have no interest in living under Communist rule.
Chinese Maritime Studies Institute – Most analysts looking at the Chinese military threat to Taiwan conclude that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is incapable of invading the island because it lacks the landing ships to transport adequate quantities of troops and equipment across the Taiwan Strait. This report challenges that conventional wisdom, arguing that the PLA intends to meet these requirements by requisitioning civilian vessels operated by members of China’s maritime militia (海上民兵). Since the early 2000s, the Chinese government and military have taken steps to strengthen the national defense mobilization system to ensure the military has ample quantities of trained militia forces to support a cross-strait invasion. Despite ongoing challenges—including poor data management, inconsistent training quality, and gaps in the regulatory system—and uncertainties associated with foreign-flagged Chinese ships, this concept of operations could prove good enough to enable a large-scale amphibious assault.
USNI News – China has been honing its ship-killing skills for potential future conflicts on new targets in a remote desert, according to new satellite photos reviewed by USNI News. New analysis shows the People’s Liberation Army is testing the ability to hit ships in port with long-range ballistic missiles.
1945 – It’s important to note that strategic deterrence vis-à-vis China involves far more than doomsday weapons. The Chinese Communist Party has resolved to make geostrategic gains with the least amount of physical force possible. Preferably party chieftains want to intimidate Asian neighbors without warfare; they want not to fight, and pursue their aims accordingly. Therefore, deterring China in the “gray zone” and the conventional arena is strategic deterrence.
USNI News – Russia has deployed trained dolphins during its invasion of Ukraine to protect a Black Sea naval base.
China Maritime Studies Institute – The PLA Army’s (PLAA) amphibious units would serve as the core of any joint force charged with invading Taiwan. As a result of the 2017 reforms, the PLAA now possesses six amphibious combined arms brigades distributed across three group armies (the 72nd, 73rd, and 74th). During a cross-strait invasion, these brigades would likely receive support from other elements of the group armies to which they belong. This could include fire support, air defense, air transport, aerial fire support, and electronic warfare/cyber-attack.
Center for Strategic and International Studies – How foreign companies help modernize China’s navy.
War Zone – This appears to be our first glimpse of China’s anti-ship ballistic missile tailored to be fired from its most advanced warships.
War Zone – China’s mysterious air-launched anti-ship ballistic missile just made its latest appearance.