Why is China Attacking the US?
This is an easy question. China is attacking the US because China is #2, and the US stands in its way. In order to become #1 — even in East Asia — China must degrade the status and ability of the US in any way it can, without provoking an all-out war which China would lose. And so the People’s Liberation Army has gone to war against the US.
An army is attacking the United States. Its war is being waged without bullets or fanfare. Denied by its government, these soldiers operate in shadows and in silence. Yet, glimpses of their operations are seen on a daily basis—hackers and spies attacking and stealing from U.S. businesses and the U.S. government.
… “Recent Chinese doctrine articulates the use of a wide spectrum of warfare against its adversaries, including the United States,” states the report, which quotes China’s Maj. Gen. Qiao Liang saying “The first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules, with nothing forbidden.”
The report outlines China’s uses of hybrid warfare, which include, “trade warfare, financial warfare, ecological warfare, psychological warfare, smuggling warfare, media warfare, drug warfare, network warfare, technological warfare, fabrication warfare, resources warfare, economic aid warfare, cultural warfare, and international law warfare.” __ China Silent War
The infographic below gives more details on how this particular war works. Note that most participants in this unconventional war are members of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) which is an arm of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and not an army for the state of China. The PLA is under the control of President Xi.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) “is not a national army belonging to the state,” states a Nov. 12 report from the Congressional Research Service. “Rather, it serves as the Party’s armed wing.” __ China Silent War
That is a lot of soldiers for a war that nobody talks about. Yet it is a war that costs the US $trillions of income and millions of jobs. China is winning this covert war against the US at this time.
China is also Conducting Covert Warfare Against Its Neighbors
China also conducts covert military and espionage operations against Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, India, Myanmar, Russia, Mongolia, the two Koreas, the EU, and Pakistan — among other nations in Central and Southeast Asia, and elsewhere [including Australia]. Most of this activity is in the way of establishing regional dominance, but technology theft and laying the groundwork for infrastructure sabotage is also involved.
China’s military faces many problems in its mission to subvert all potential obstacles to establishing regional hegemoney:
Perhaps the biggest challenge for China’s military is creating the internal discipline and esprit de corps required in a modern military. The PLA, like other parts of the Chinese state, remains deeply involved in a culture of bribery and corruption and patrimony.
One of the most important question is: what is the relationship between the new leadership and the PLA?
Within the army itself, there are officers who claim that ideological correctness must be restored, while there are others who propose deeper modernisation. __ http://www.worldreview.info/content/why-chinas-pla-weak-dangerous-army
The internal schisms, corruption, and lack of professionalism within the PLA present significant risks to China’s enemies — who may get caught in the middle of PLA infighting — and to China’s government itself.
The PLA is the armed wing of the National Communist Party of China, but the actual nation of China is far bigger than its CPC and the PLA.
Which Brings US to the Question of China’s War Against Itself
Throughout history, China has experienced many cycles of unification, fragmentation, re-unification, re-fragmentation, etc. etc. Much of this integration / disintegration revolved around wealth — gold — and power. And yet until now, China has not seemed interested in geopolitical expansion. Times are changing just as China’s economic model is running out of steam. The pot of gold is shrinking at the same time that China’s population is ageing and growing restless. Popular outcries against top-level corruption are getting louder and more difficult for Xi to ignore. Xi is directly in charge of the military, as well as being President and Party Secretary. All eyes are on Xi and how he will deal with corruption in the PLA and in the Party.
With the PLA’s involvement in a range of companies—from defense to petroleum, aerospace to infrastructure—the opportunities for skimming money abound. The evidence, as prosecutors frequently point out, can be found in the cars driven, in the favors done and received, in the red envelopes passed silently as gifts. Gu Junshan, connected to Xu Caihou, stands accused of siphoning off 30 billion yuan, bribing people by offering them the keys to a Mercedes filled with gold. Xu himself allegedly had received sufficient ill-gotten gains to fill ten trucks. Gao Xiaoyan, one of the few women to have reached the rank of PLA Major General, is now under investigation on bribery charges stemming from her work for a PLA hospital. The very opacity of the system makes it harder to pass off military dealings as legitimate. There is always room to imagine corrupt activity. If corruption is to be truly rooted out in China, the PLA will have to be subject to relentless investigation, too.
… There are two main problems bedeviling Xi’s approach toward the PLA: its lack of credibility and its impact on troop morale. As to the former, in the absence of an independent ombudsman that could investigate Xi as ruthlessly as it does his political enemies, the anti-corruption campaign can never seem wholly honest and just.
… The second problem is that Xi’s campaign damages China’s national security planning. Even the non-corrupt in the PLA have little way of knowing when they have crossed the line, for the line can shift at the whims of their chairman. __ Coming Coup China
If Xi goes too far, rich and powerful military leaders may plot a coup — or more likely, a regional power play.
Capitalizing on local discontent and China’s militia-rized culture, an enterprising military commander could well gather enough strength to challenge Beijing… Once other military commands see the possibility of successful defiance, they too might act. Xi might find that quashing secessionists costs more blood and money than he can get his hands on. China might fall back into a new Warring States or warlord era, in which little fiefdoms spar, subside into coexistence, and then start sparring again. __ http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/02/26/the-coming-coup-in-china/
China has seen many transitions of this type, throughout its long and bloody history. But Xi understands all this well, and is attempting to transfer the personal loyalties of PLA members from their units and unit leaders, to Xi himself, personally.
Xi seems bent on forging a cult of personality. The public appearances, the charismatic speeches, and the trinkets bearing his image help to portray him as the Great Helmsman, the embodiment, as with emperors of old, of the “rule of law” to whom the PLA’s soldiers owe ultimate allegiance as Commander-in-Chief. All this is being touted as the discipline crucial to combat readiness. It is also the discipline crucial to preventing the military from spiraling out of Party control. __ http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/02/26/the-coming-coup-in-china/
The Xi “personality cult” is reminiscent of the Hitler cult in 1930s Germany and the Emperor cult of pre WWII Japan, with its peculiar militaristic spin. The modern “cult of Putin” falls within the same basic pattern of war-mongering leader-cults.
Up to this point, Xi’s wars have been largely covert and deniable. But this is not likely to remain true, given the direction that China’s badly mismanaged economy is going: The economic pie is getting relatively smaller, while the numbers, ambitions, and appetites of the party / government / military leadership are undiminished — in fact, they are growing.
The China Bubble has gone global, providing many potential Chinese warlords with positions of power outside the Chinese mainland itself. From Africa to Latin America to Central Asia to Southeast Asia to Siberia, Chinese power-brokers and power-foci are dispersing to build their own fiefdoms as best they can, while within the regions of China, local government leaders plot with militia and rogue PLA officers in calculating the best time and situation in which to break away from the centre.
It is likely that the bulk of the PLA will remain solidly behind Xi for as long as he can demonstrate a steadily growing capability of the military to push aside all outside challenges and restrictions. In other words, Xi had better produce tangible results on the world stage, if he wants to continue his campaign of consolidation of power, without possible challenge from within the military.
On the domestic, civilian front, Xi must have something to show to party and local government officials, to keep them loyal to him. And for the masses, Xi must give them a reason to believe that he represents all of China. He must give them a convincing cult leader (himself), if he can. He doesn’t have time to take any other approach, since economic opportunity is shrinking for most except the elite and government insiders.
This means that Xi will ally with Putin when it suits his interests, and will mercilessly take advantage of Putin whenever that is more useful or convenient.
The recent purchase by China of 24 Sukhoi SU-35 fighter jets and 4 Lada-class submarines from Russia illustrate the power that Xi has over Putin. Putin is bent over the barrel to sell China the advanced technology, even though he knows that China will reverse-engineer the military systems and sell competing models on the international markets at a lower cost — undercutting Russia’s future military sales. This is just the beginning.
Xi must also show his admirals and generals that he can stand up to the US in the dispute over China’s island-grabbing scam in the China Seas.
Interesting times, indeed, involving an entire globe of geopolitical intrigue.
One of the few forecasters to predict both the start and peak of China’s equity boom is now warning the nation will be buffeted by the same forces that caused financial crises around the world over the past four decades.