Monday, April 22, 2013

Keeping an Eye on the Long Game: Part XLVI

In the week last that was Boston, I held this back so we could chew on it a bit when we had some more intellectual white space.

Via the BBC, we have the full text of the Chinese government's Defense White Paper:
The Diversified Employment of China's Armed Forces

Information Office of the State Council
The People's Republic of China
April 2013, Beijing
This should be interesting. Reading through it from a maritime perspective China is unquestionably expansionist ... on the sea side of the equation.
... the PLAN endeavors to accelerate the modernization of its forces for comprehensive offshore operations, develop advanced submarines, destroyers and frigates, and improve integrated electronic and information systems. Furthermore, it develops blue-water capabilities of conducting mobile operations, carrying out international cooperation, and countering non-traditional security threats, and enhances its capabilities of strategic deterrence and counterattack. Currently, the PLAN has a total strength of 235,000 officers and men, and commands three fleets, namely, the Beihai Fleet, the Donghai Fleet and the Nanhai Fleet. Each fleet has fleet aviation headquarters, support bases, flotillas and maritime garrison commands, as well as aviation divisions and marine brigades. In September 2012, China's first aircraft carrier Liaoning was commissioned into the PLAN. China's development of an aircraft carrier has a profound impact on building a strong PLAN and safeguarding maritime security.
Hey, has someone been reading Mahan?
China is a major maritime as well as land country. The seas and oceans provide immense space and abundant resources for China's sustainable development, and thus are of vital importance to the people's wellbeing and China's future. It is an essential national development strategy to exploit, utilize and protect the seas and oceans, and build China into a maritime power.
With the gradual integration of China's economy into the world economic system, overseas interests have become an integral component of China's national interests. Security issues are increasingly prominent, involving overseas energy and resources, strategic sea lines of communication (SLOCs), and Chinese nationals and legal persons overseas. Vessel protection at sea, evacuation of Chinese nationals overseas, and emergency rescue have become important ways and means for the PLA to safeguard national interests and fulfill China's international obligations.
Just a friendly partner, I am sure.
Concluding Remarks
At the new stage in this new century, China's armed forces have effectively fulfilled their new historical missions, and enhanced their capabilities of accomplishing diversified military tasks, the most important of which is to win local wars under informationized conditions. They have resolutely defended national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, strongly guaranteed national economic and social development and ensured that the people can live and work in peace and stability. Their accomplishment of a host of urgent, difficult, dangerous and arduous tasks has been remarkable, and through their staging of major exercises and training for combat readiness they have won the full trust of and high praise from the people.

At this new historical starting point, China's armed forces are undertaking missions which are noble and lofty, and assuming responsibilities which are paramount and honorable. They will constantly place above all else the protection of national sovereignty and security as well as the interests of the Chinese people. They will persistently regard maintaining world peace and promoting common development as their important missions, and accelerate the modernization of national defense and the armed forces. They will continue to actively participate in international security cooperation, and endeavor to foster, together with the armed forces of other countries, an international security environment of peace, stability, equality, mutual trust and win-win cooperation.
As we drift in to the new maritime paradigm remember; never judge a navy's intentions today - plan against its capabilities tomorrow.


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