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China's PLA Sees Value in Pre-emptive Strike Strategy
Department of Defense ^ | Aug. 11, 2003 | Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample

Posted on 08/11/2003 3:57:03 PM PDT by Spruce

China's PLA Sees Value in Pre-emptive Strike Strategy

By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2003 — The military strategy of "shock and awe" used to stun the Iraqi military in the opening campaign of Operation Iraqi Freedom might be used by the Chinese if military force is needed to bring Taiwan back under communist control.

According to the released recently The Annual Report on the Military Power of the People's Republic of China, the country's military doctrine now stresses elements such as "surprise, deception and pre- emption." Furthermore, the report states that Beijing believes that "surprise is crucial" for the success of any military campaign.

Taiwan, located off the coast of mainland China, claimed independence from the communist country in 1949. The island has 21 million people and its own democratic government.

China, with 1.3 billion people, claims sovereignty over the tiny island, sees Taiwan as a breakaway province and has threatened to use military force against Taiwan to reunify the country. And China's force against Taiwan could come as a surprise attack.

But "China would not likely initiate any military action unless assured of a significant degree of strategic surprise," according to the report.

The report states that Lt. Gen. Zheng Shenxia, chief of staff of the People's Liberation Army's Air Force and an advocate of pre-emptive action, believes the chances of victory against Taiwan would be "limited" without adopting a pre-emptive strategy.

The report says that China now believes pre-emptive strikes are its best advantage against a technologically superior force. Capt. Shen Zhongchang from the Chinese Navy Research Institute is quoted as saying that "lighting attacks and powerful first strikes will be widely used in the future."

China's new military thinking has evolved over the past decade. PLA observers have been studying U.S. military strategies since the first Gulf War, when they noticed how quickly U.S. forces using state-of-the-art weapons defeated Iraqi forces that in some ways resemble their own.

Since then, the report states the PLA has shifted its war approach from "annihilative," where an army uses "mass and attrition" to defeat an enemy, to more "coercive warfighting strategies."

The PLA now considers "shock power" as a crucial coercion element to the opening phase of its war plans and that PLA operational doctrine is now designed to actively "take the initiative" and "catch the enemy unprepared."

"With no apparent political prohibitions against pre- emption, the PLA requires shock as a force multiplier to catch Taiwan or another potential adversary, such as the United States, unprepared," the report states.

Ways the PLA would catch Taiwan and the U.S. off guard include strategic and operational deception, electronic warfare and wearing down or desensitizing the opponent's political and military leadership. Another objective would be to reduce any indication or warning of impending military action, the report states.

Preparing for a possible conflict with Taiwan and deterring the United States from intervening on Taiwan's behalf is the "primary driver" of China's military overhaul, according to this year's report. Over the course of the next decade the country will spend billions to counter U.S. advances in warfare technology, the report states.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: china; war

1 posted on 08/11/2003 3:57:04 PM PDT by Spruce
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To: Spruce
They still have to somehow get a large army across the straits and supply them during the campaign. This is something that they really have no capability to accomplish.
2 posted on 08/11/2003 3:59:39 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: Spruce
They're both huge US trade partners, and we're selling hardware to Taiwan. Either way, if the "stuff" ever hits the fan, it puts us in one heck of a bad position.
3 posted on 08/11/2003 4:01:15 PM PDT by July 4th
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To: Spruce
The only hope for Taiwan is to go nuclear. They need to aquire a credible nuclear deterrent, maybe a triad like the U.S. used to have, and to announce with no ambiguity that they have the means and the determination to destroy China in case of aggression.

Credible nuclear deterrence works. We saw it in the cold war, and there is no reason to doubt that it would work in this case. Taiwan has the technological base to rapidly develop a powerful nuclear force, which they should do in secret, and then announce it to a surprised world.

I don't think they should rely on the U.S. to defend them. You can't take chances when faced with a huge, evil, and implacable enemy like communist China. They're fools not to have done it already.

4 posted on 08/11/2003 4:07:23 PM PDT by Batrachian
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To: Batrachian
I don't think they should rely on the U.S. to defend them.

Based on the past 3 administrations I think our response would be "We're working with the Chinese government to open up trade between our two countries" no matter what they do.
5 posted on 08/11/2003 4:12:43 PM PDT by lelio
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To: Arkinsaw
Right. What's their "gator navy" up to these days?
6 posted on 08/11/2003 4:13:46 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: Arkinsaw
I forgot to fix the link to The Annual Report on the Military Power of the People's Republic of China

an excerpt re: maritime forces...

New amphibious ships are being produced in China to replace aging bottoms. The PLAN also has hundreds of smaller landing craft, barges, and troop transports, all of which could be used together with fishing boats, trawlers, and civilian merchant ships to augment the naval amphibious fleet for follow-on forces and materiel after a port has been secured or beachhead established.
7 posted on 08/11/2003 4:23:30 PM PDT by Spruce
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To: Batrachian
Unfortunately Taiwan's getting nukes is one of the conditions that may well trigger a preemptive strike by China, so even if Taiwan chooses to develop a deterrent, it must do so very secretively, without revealing the location of its nuclear facilities.
8 posted on 08/11/2003 4:38:14 PM PDT by Filibuster_60
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To: Spruce
Just because you can steal an idea like shock and awe, doesn't mean you can make it work. There's an incredible amount of communication and coordination between disparate forces that have to go into the mix as well.

They grasp the idea but we grasp the concept.

9 posted on 08/11/2003 5:20:50 PM PDT by America's Resolve ("We have prepared for the unbelievers, whips and chains and blazing fires!" Koran 76:4)
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To: Spruce
The military strategy of "shock and awe" used to stun the Iraqi military in the opening campaign of Operation Iraqi Freedom might be used by the Chinese if military force is needed to bring Taiwan back under communist control.


Taiwan has never been under communist control.
10 posted on 08/11/2003 5:41:21 PM PDT by Kadric
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To: American Soldier; onedoug; Leisler; philetus; RLK; Quix; belmont_mark; SouthParkRepublican; ...
PING!

Some very good and current info on Communist China's military capabilities and intent.

If you off my Communist China ping list or would like to be added to my list, please FRemail me.
11 posted on 08/11/2003 6:05:26 PM PDT by HighRoadToChina (Never Again!)
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To: HighRoadToChina
See Post #7 above for link to report.
12 posted on 08/11/2003 6:06:07 PM PDT by HighRoadToChina (Never Again!)
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To: HighRoadToChina; Enemy Of The State; tallhappy; ALOHA RONNIE; maui_hawaii
Kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

Another brilliant plan in the tradition of The Great Leap Forward and The Cultural Revolution.

Stick to beating Falun Gong women--if the PLA thinks it can kill U.S. forces without paying a price it confirms tertiary syphilis.

All well and good to possess Sovremenny destroyers--using them indicates a death wish.

Gen. Xiong Guangkai was warned by Condoleezza Rice against irresponsible threats.

Apparently the PRC believes it can install an administration which will not honor the Bush statement that "we will do whatever's necessary to defend Taiwan".


13 posted on 08/11/2003 6:23:41 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: Spruce
Yeah, the surprise may be that they hit us first with North Korea
14 posted on 08/11/2003 6:31:36 PM PDT by bulldogs
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To: HighRoadToChina
"Over the course of the next decade the country will spend billions to counter U.S. advances in warfare technology, the report states."

From all that I've read lately, I had the impression that from high quality magnets to steel to semiconductors, they pretty much are supplying DoD.
Rumsfeld told Bush to veto the 65% Buy American bill that Duncan Hunter proposed.
Even if China has only 2nd and 3rd generation stuff, it is still effective.
We seem to be making it easy for them to keep up, even paying them to catch up.
15 posted on 08/11/2003 6:32:15 PM PDT by LibertyAndJusticeForAll
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To: HighRoadToChina
"Taiwan, located off the coast of mainland China, claimed independence from the communist country in 1949"

Now there is a line of B.S. that runs a mile long.

I trust that I don't need to repeat the fact that Taiwan has never belonged to Mainland China at any moment during modern times. How does one sovereign country declare independence from a nation that it never belonged to?
16 posted on 08/11/2003 6:34:28 PM PDT by Dr. Marten (Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it)
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To: Spruce
Furthermore, the report states that Beijing believes that "surprise is crucial" for the success of any military campaign.

..or in other words, they know darn well that if they can't make their invasion fait a complete within about 30 days, they're toast against a U.S. lead retaliation effort.

On the other hand, their pre-emption doctrine provides a solid basis for future friendly relations with both Taiwan and the U.S.A.. < /end sarcasm >

It explains their continuing interest in acquiring operational footholds in stragetic locations in our (U.S.A.'s) backyard. Never trust a Commie or Democrat; lying is what they're all about.

SFS

17 posted on 08/11/2003 6:54:27 PM PDT by Steel and Fire and Stone
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To: Dr. Marten
I trust that I don't need to repeat the fact that Taiwan has never belonged to Mainland China at any moment during modern times. How does one sovereign country declare independence from a nation that it never belonged to?

Well, since WWII nobody has ever recognized Taiwan as anything other than a part of the blurry notion of "China." When they had nation-state status from 1949 to 1971, it was only as "Republic of China" under Nationalist (KMT) rule - the Communists weren't recognized by the UN for those 22 years. Since then Taiwan's become an independent nation-state in all but name, though it's not likely it'll ever gain international recognition as such. So if we ask the Chinese "When was Taiwan ever part of China?" they'll simply respond "When was Taiwan ever recognized by the international community as a sovereign non-Chinese state?"

18 posted on 08/11/2003 6:59:11 PM PDT by Filibuster_60
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To: Filibuster_60
When should they be recognized as a nation? Now would be an excellent time. Perhaps the successor to the UN (which we badly need) will once again exclude China, and other totalitarian dictatorships. That would be a step forward. Taiwan proves that what is wrong with China, mostly, is it's evil form of government. Same people, same culture, much fewer natural resources and they have both democracy and about 20X the standard of living as Red China.
19 posted on 08/11/2003 9:31:03 PM PDT by Jack Black
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To: HighRoadToChina; Spruce; All
SORRY STATE (Communist, Nationalist, and Dangerous)*** OBSTACLES TO EMPIRE The grand project of restoring and Sinifying the Manchu dominions has unfortunately met three stumbling blocks. The first was Outer Mongolia, from which the Chinese garrison was expelled following the collapse of Manchu rule. The country declared independence in 1921 under Soviet auspices, and that independence was recognized by Chiang Kai-shek's government in 1945, in return for Soviet recognition of themselves as the "the Central Government of China." Mao seems not to have been very happy about this. In 1954, he asked the Soviets to "return" Outer Mongolia. I do not know the position of China's current government towards Outer Mongolia, but I should not be surprised to learn that somewhere in the filling cabinets of China's defense ministry is a detailed plan for restoring Outer Mongolia to the warm embrace of the Motherland, as soon as a suitable opportunity presents itself.

The second is Taiwan. No Chinese Imperial dynasty paid the least attention to Taiwan, or bothered to claim it. The Manchus did, though, in 1683, and ruled it in a desultory way, as a prefecture of Fujian Province, until 1887, when it was upgraded to a province in its own right. Eight years later it was ceded to Japan, whose property it remained until 1945. In its entire history, it has been ruled by Chinese people seated in China's capital for less than four years. China's current attitudes to Taiwan are, I think, pretty well known.

And the third stumbling block to the restoration of China's greatness is…….the United States. To the modern Chinese way of thinking, China's proper sphere of influence encompasses all of East Asia and the western Pacific. This does not mean that they necessarily want to invade and subjugate all the nations of that region, though they certainly do want to do just that to Taiwan and some groups of smaller islands. For Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Micronesia, etc., the old imperial-suzerainty model would do well enough, at least in the short term. These places could conduct their own internal affairs, so long as they acknowledged the overlordship of Beijing, and, above all, did not enter into alliances, nor even close friendships, with other powers.

Which, of course, too many of them have done, the competitor power in every case being the U.S. It is impossible to overstate how angry it makes the Chinese to think about all those American troops in Japan, Korea, and Guam, together with the U.S. Seventh Fleet steaming up and down in "Chinese" waters, and electronic reconnaissance planes like the EP-3 brought down on April 1 operating within listening distance of the mainland. If you tackle Chinese people on this, they usually say: "How would you feel if there were Chinese troops in Mexico and Jamaica, and Chinese planes flying up and down your coasts?" Leaving aside the fact that front companies for the Beijing regime now control both ends of the Panama Canal, as well as Freeport in the Bahamas, the answer is that the United States is a democracy of free people, whose government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed, so that the wider America's influence spreads, the better for humanity: while China is a corrupt, brutish, and lawless despotism, the close containment of which is a pressing interest for the whole human race. One cannot, of course, expect Chinese people to be very receptive to this answer.

Or, indeed, to anything much we have to say on the subject of their increasing militant and assertive nationalism. We simply have no leverage here. It is no use trying to pretend that this is the face-saving ideology of a small leadership group, forced on an unwilling populace at gunpoint. The Chinese people respond eagerly to these ultra-nationalist appeals: That is precisely why the leadership makes them. Resentment of the U.S., and a determination to enforce Chinese hegemony in Asia, are well-nigh universal among modern mainland Chinese. These emotions trump any desire for constitutional government, however much people dislike the current regime for its corruption and incompetence. Find a mainlander, preferably one under the age of thirty, and ask him which of the following he would prefer: for the Communists to stay in power indefinitely, unreformed, but in full control of the "three T's" (Tibet, Turkestan, Taiwan); or a democratic, constitutional government without the three T's. His answer will depress you. You can even try this unhappy little experiment with dissidents: same answer.

Is there anything we can do about all this? One thing only. We must understand clearly that there will be lasting peace in East Asia when, and only when, China abandons her atavistic fantasies of imperial hegemony, withdraws her armies from the 2 million square miles of other people's territory they currently occupy, and gets herself a democratic government under a rule of law. Until that day comes, if it ever does, the danger of war will be a constant in relations between China and the world beyond the Wall, as recent events in the South China Sea have illustrated. Free nations, under the indispensable leadership of the United States, must in the meantime struggle to maintain peace, using the one, single, and only method that wretched humanity, in all its millennia of experience, has so far been able to devise for that purpose: Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.***

20 posted on 08/12/2003 12:06:14 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Spruce; HighRoadToChina
China Waging War on Space-Based Weapons***The PLA also is experimenting with other types of satellite killers: land-based, directed-energy weapons and "micro-satellites" (search) that can be used as kinetic energy weapons. According to the latest (July 2003) assessment by the U.S. Defense Department, China will probably be able to field a direct-ascent anti-satellite system (search) in the next two to six years.

Such weapons would directly threaten what many believe would be America's best form of ballistic-missile defense: a system of space-based surveillance and tracking sensors, connected with land-based sensors and space-based missile interceptors. Such a system could negate any Chinese missile attack on the U.S. homeland.

China may be a long way from contemplating a ballistic missile attack on the U.S. homeland. But deployment of American space-based interceptors also would negate the missiles China is refitting to threaten Taiwan and U.S. bases in Okinawa and Guam. And there's the rub, as far as the PLA is concerned.

Clearly, Beijing's draft treaty to ban deployment of space-based weapons is merely a delaying tactic aimed at hampering American progress on ballistic-missile defense while its own scientists develop effective countermeasures.

What Beijing hopes to gain from this approach is the ability to disrupt American battlefield awareness--and its command and control operations--and to deny the U.S. access to the waters around China and Taiwan should the issue of Taiwan's sovereignty lead to conflict between the two Chinas.

China's military thinkers are probably correct: The weaponization of space is inevitable. And it's abundantly clear that, draft treaties and pious rhetoric notwithstanding, they're doing everything possible to position themselves for dominance in space. That's worth keeping in mind the next time they exhort "peace-loving nations" to stay grounded.***

21 posted on 08/12/2003 12:09:22 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Filibuster_60; Batrachian
Help. I cant decide if this reminds me more of Khrushchev's missile bases in Cuba or Iraq's secret programs to develop WMDs.

Look at how we responded. Considering how restrained our foreign policy tends to be, what do you think China will do?

22 posted on 08/12/2003 9:46:41 AM PDT by Maurkov
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To: Spruce
The Official US Govt's position;

Pres Bush, in his face to face ,one on one meetings with Pres Jiang (three times, Oct 2001-Beijing, Feb 2002-Beijing, Oct 2002-Texas) had reaffirmed the US committment to her "ONE CHINA POLICY". Similarly, he made the same assurance to the Chicoms, in his meeting with the new Pres Hu in France, G8 Summit, 2003

The Official US GOvt line is: "the US Govt does not support Taiwan Independence"

In Nov 2002, Deputy SoD ,Paul Wolfowitz, announced in a HK Phoenix TV interview, that the US "OPPOSES Taiwan Inependence". Many analysts interpreted this statement coming from the most hawisk, ultra-Nes-Conservative, as a warning to the Taiwanese not to rock the boat.

Later, SoS Powell, Deputy SoS, Armistage, also said at news/media conferences in Beijing, that."the US does not support Taiwanese Independence"

The US has not decided to sell the AEGIS destroyers to TW yet, for that is interpreted as "crossing the RED LINE" by the Chicoms,(quoted from various news journals)

SOURCES; Taken by various news items, from FEER, AFP, REUTERS, etc
23 posted on 08/12/2003 10:09:07 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: bulldogs
The biggest surprise would be if the PLA, side by side with the Burmese and Pakistani forces, go south, overland, in a big ole convoy, into ASEAN. Truckin', tankin' and TELin'.... have we even considered this?
24 posted on 08/12/2003 5:35:32 PM PDT by GOP_1900AD (Un-PC even to "Conservatives!" - Right makes right)
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To: bulldogs
the surprise may be that they hit us first with North Korea

They will have the advantage to begin, but if they fall short it will become fall back, fall back, fall back. They won't be able to try again for a few hundred years.

25 posted on 08/12/2003 5:39:50 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: belmont_mark
The PLA is more than capable of overhelming the whole of SE Asia without Burmese or Pakistanis. The late Ho Chi Min had advised the Vietnamese people that,"when the USA comes over to wage war, they come by the 100s of 1000s, but when the Chinese come they come by the 10s of millions"

I believe this may be one of their strategy in time of a major war. After occupying SE Asia, they would deploy their IRBMs, SRBMs, and land-based cruise missiles to threaten/cover the whole of the shipping lanes from the Straits of Malacca to Korea
26 posted on 08/12/2003 6:23:40 PM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: Batrachian
Who's to say they haven't? Or just hinted that they have?

If you were a geriatric leader of China, would *you* chance it? How many ground bursts in port cities would it take to totally mess over China? I'm guessing a fairly small number.
27 posted on 08/12/2003 6:30:32 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (this space intentionally blank)
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To: FreedomPoster
Do you remember Dr. Strangelove? The effect is lost if you keep it a secret.
28 posted on 08/13/2003 2:00:36 AM PDT by Batrachian
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To: The Pheonix; Orion78; Paul Ross; DarkWaters; Noswad
Indeed, the use of "battlefield" and quasi strategic arms to satisfy strategic objectives appears to factor strongly into the strategies of nations such as the PRC, Pakistan and Russia. The US were foolish to avoid investment in 4th generation SRBMs and IRBMs and even more foolish to sign the INF, which the Soviets / Russians broke long ago and other nations are not even signatories to. Idiots here in the states will argue "but what use are SRBMs and IRBMs now that Europe is no longer the forefront of potential conflict" and I believe the scenario you depicted answers this stupid question. As for what the US could do to respond our choices would include having our own SRBMs and IRBMs located in all of our existing Pacific bases, opening up new sites such as via renewal of SEATO (by installation of a pro US anti PRC regime in Thailand if need be) and perfection of the use of ships and aircraft as launch platforms for SRBMs and IRBMs. We've demonstrated satellite launches from the cargo bays of C5As (you simply drogue the rocket out the back and then cold launch from there) so extension of the tactic to missiles is a no brainer.
29 posted on 08/13/2003 3:55:53 PM PDT by GOP_1900AD (Un-PC even to "Conservatives!" - Right makes right)
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To: Batrachian
This is apparently what North Korea aims to do with it's announcement that it has nuclear weapons. The difference, of course, is Kim Jong Il is insane and North Korea is communist.
30 posted on 08/14/2003 2:33:15 PM PDT by Orion78 (FREE IRAN!)
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