Fred Thompson (who, along with John McCain and 81 other American senators, voted for the MFN status for China), is dangerously naive about China. They claimed that there are only some questions about China’s “peaceful rise”. (However, McCain wisely called on China and Russia to be excluded from the decision-making table and would pursue hawkish foreign policies versus them. Cato Institute, by criticising him, has proven that he’s a hawkish conservative.) Actually, China is a totalitarian state which is now arming itself with ICBMs, SLBMs, subs, planes, surface ships, tanks and other weapons. How does it pay for them? With cash earned for its cheap, defective exports, which China subsidises by 40%. The AFP claimed that the truth that China is annually undervaluing its currency by 40% is an allegation. The AFP also noted China’s growing annual trade surplus vis-a-vis America (which China spends on ships, planes and missiles).
Giuliani is also naive about China; he said that China is a great opportunity for America and that Americans should welcome China as a global player.
Among the weapons that the Chinese are procuring are:
1) Aircraft carriers. They’ve already bought 2 ex-Russian carriers (incl. the “Varyag” (“Viking”) ship) and are now building an indigeneous carrier.
3) Conventional SSNs (e.g. Kilo-class subs). One such vessel was stalking CV-63 in 2006 and then emerged close enough to that carrier to sink it. Until it resurfaced, neither the CAW nor the escort ships nor their helicopters could detect that submarine.
4) Dong Feng ICBMs.
5) Su jets, including Su-27s, J-11s and Su-30s. (Su-27s are equally as good as F-15C/Ds but superior to F-16s).
6) Ju Lang SLBMs, which are arming China’s growing fleet of SSBNs.
7) Other types of missiles (including air-to-air missiles ranged far longer than American rockets, even AIM-120s).
The Chinese ballistic submarine fleet will numerically match the British and French ballistic sub fleets – although the Chinese one includes one diesel-powered vessel and one Xia-class vessel (both prone to ASW equipment, but Globalsecurity.org wrote about the Xia-class sub that “Although the range of the JL-l limits the XIA’s utility as a deterrent platfonn, targets throughout the region, including US military facilities, could be targeted with the J-l from launch points inside traditional Chinese Navy operating areas.”). The latter will be retired in 2015, when the Chinese ballistic missile submarine fleet will numerically exceed the British and French fleets because it will have one diesel-powered sub and 4 Jin-class SSBNs (so its SSBN fleet will numerically match the British and French fleets).
By 2020, the combined submarine fleet of the Chinese Navy, numbering 78 subs (71 subs in 2015), will outnumber the combined submarine fleet of the USN, which currently consists of 18 Ohio-class, 48 LA-class, 3 Seawolf-class and 4 Virginia-class vessels, for a total of 73 vessels.
Globalsecurity.org wrote that “A ballistic missile submarine fleet would enhance Beijing’s assurance of an effective retaliatory capability, as well as strengthening her deterrent posture.” http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/china/type_92.htm
The Chinese military also has 1524 fighterplanes (the PLAAF and the PLAN combined), which fleet will grow to 2025 fighterplanes in 2015 (the PLAAF and the PLAN combined). Together with the Russian military, it already outnumbers the combined fighterplane fleet of the American military. Currently the PLAAF has 1250 such planes while the PLAN has 274. By 2015 the total will include 1800 jets of the PLAAF and 225 jets of the PLAN. Then there are 25 JH-7 fighterplanes of the PLAAF, which will be joined by 175 JH-7 jets of the PLAAF by 2015, 24 J-11 jets of the PLAN, and 20 JH-7 jets of the PLAN, which will be joined by 30 JH-7 jets of this branch of the PLA by 2015. So by 2015, the PLA will have 2299 fighterplanes – more than the USAF has. Their JF-17 jets are inferior to F-16s and F-15C/Ds alike, let alone 5th generation American jets, but they account for only a tiny fraction of the plane fleet of the PLA. F-10s and Su-30MKK (K=China) are as good as F-16s and F-15C/Ds; F-11Bs are superior to them all (as are Indian Su-30MKIs).
MiG-29SMTs, JF-17s and F-10s are superior to American jets by electronic attack equipment. Su-30MKKs and F-11Bs are superior to American planes on that count as well as weapon loads and unrefueled operational radiuses. Su-30MKIs can boast all that and are more maneuvrable than American jets. All of these planes can track as many as 10 targets simoultaneously and engage them with their decent missiles.
Chinese unmodified PL-12 missiles can be launched slightly farther than American AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles; Chinese modified PL-12 missiles and Russian KS-172 rockets are much longer ranged than AIM-120s. As are Russian R-77 (AA-12) missiles, which, with a range of 108.7 miles, are superior to American AMRAAMs (whose range is only 60 miles). (Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AA-12_Adder; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMRAAM).
The Chinese military also has 188 strategic bombers (the PLAAF and the PLAN combined) – the PLAAF has 120, the PLAN has 68. Together with the Russian military, it already outnumbers the strategic bomber fleet of the USAF (the USN has no strategic bombers).
The Chinese are also building a secret underground naval base in Sanya, Hainan Province, where they will house 20 submarines and “a host of carriers”, according to the Daily Telegraph. The base will host 20 subs indeed. It’s being built at the southern tip of the Hainan Province. There is also a Naval Air Station in Sanya.
The Chinese also have a network of SAMs and decoy silos. And they’re buying and building more of them.
The land branch of the PLA is also strong – its arsenal includes 7010 tanks, 1200 self-propelled cannons and 6000 antitank missiles. China is now developing a new tank type, Type 99.
China’s annual military budget is $125 bn, according to the Pentagon, i.e. twice more than Britain’s annual defence spending ($60 bn and shrinking). However, China is militarily stronger than these aggregate stats would suggest. Firstly, in China, one dollar can buy much more than in Britain or America. Secondly, China spends its monies wiser than the British MOD and the Pentagon. The British MOD spends large sums on expensive, inferior European military equipment (produced in Europe), rather than on cheap, decent, British-produced British and American weapons. For example, rather than buy 232 stealthy F-35B fighterplanes, which can take off from land bases and carriers alike, the MOD has bought 232 EF-2000 (Typhoon) jets that are not stealthy nor flexible, and are twice as expensive as F-35Bs. As for the Pentagon, the Congress has forced it to waste huge sums on maintaining old planes (for parochial reasons) rather than buy new ones.
Some American pacifists have alleged that China’s military spending is “proportional” to its “legitimate defence needs”, but they’re liars. Firstly, China’s military investment is nominally excessive; secondly, it’s disproportional also, because China is not threatened by any state that would justify such a huge military investment ($125 bn). China is a belligerent actor that plans to fight the Tibetans, nuke America, conquer Taiwan and aid the DPRK if a second Korean War starts.
China will start rivalling the US by winning more gold medals than America during the 2008 Olympics (which Dubya refused to boycott).