U.S. naval chief tours defense facilities in China

U.S. naval chief tours defense facilities in China
By David Lague
Tuesday, August 21, 2007

BEIJING: Amid repeated calls from the Bush administration for China to be more transparent about its military buildup, a visiting senior U.S. naval commander praised his Chinese counterpart here Tuesday for allowing a revealing tour of defense facilities and exercises.The U.S. chief of naval operations, Admiral Mike Mullen, said he had organized a comprehensive visit to the United States in April for the Chinese naval chief, Admiral Wu Shengli.

“What I asked in return was for him to do the same thing,” Mullen said. “He has done that. What I have seen is actions, not just words, which have met that standard, and I consider that to be very positive.”

Mullen, who will become the top U.S. uniformed military commander when he becomes chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Oct. 1, said that communication and exchanges between the two militaries needed to improve further but that he had reached a better understanding of China’s goals during his six-day visit, which ends Wednesday.

He said his Chinese hosts had told him that he had been granted access never before given to others. He held talks with senior Chinese officers, went to sea to observe air and sea exercises and met students at the Dalian Naval Academy, a naval officer training school.

The United States has repeatedly called on China to be more open about its defense spending and military plans as a step toward reducing tension in Asia as the People’s Liberation Army continues a rapid and sustained modernization.

Double-digit increases in annual defense outlays over most of the last 15 years have allowed the 2.3 million-strong army to increase its firepower sharply. It has trimmed manpower from what remains the world’s biggest standing force while continuing to deploy a wide range of modern weapons, including warships, strike aircraft, missiles, tanks and artillery.

U.S. and other foreign military analysts say that a top priority for the Chinese military is to prepare for the possibility of conflict over Taiwan. The ruling Communist Party regards Taiwan as a renegade province and has threatened to use force against the self-governing island in response to a number of possible contingencies, including any move toward formal independence.

Most foreign military analysts say that the PLA is attempting to build a force that could defeat Taiwan while at the same time deterring or slowing any U.S. intervention. Chinese naval forces would be expected to play an important role in this type of conflict, and Washington has been closely monitoring the efforts Beijing is making to deploy ships, submarines, missiles and aircraft that could challenge U.S. forces in Asia, particularly aircraft carrier battle groups.

Naval experts say that stealthy, Chinese-built Song-class submarines, along with Kilo-class conventional submarines purchased from Russia, could pose a potent threat to U.S. forces coming to Taiwan’s assistance.

Mullen said he had seen an exercise involving a Song-class conventional submarine.

“That submarine in particular was a very capable submarine,” he said. “Certainly I have a better understanding of that having seen it on the trip.”

The U.S. commander said the Taiwan issue had been raised in most of his discussions with Chinese military leaders. He said he had reaffirmed that the Bush administration would not support Taiwan if it made any unilateral move toward independence. But he added that it was encouraging the island to bolster its military forces as a deterrent to China.

So there you go: the Americans will not support Taiwan Province’s bid for independence but are more than happy to sell them obsolete arms to make some money on the side for their defence companies. One the other hand, China’s military buildup is largely implemented to deter Taiwan Province’s attempt atindependence with the Americans supplying Taiwan with arms to maintain the status quo and for their own benefit.

The Taiwan Relations Act claims the US of A will sacrifice American lives to defend Taiwan Province should it ever secede. However, the Americans will not support Taiwan if it is the one who provokes war but only if China magically invades out of nowhere, which is unlikely given the procedures outlined in the Anti-Secession Law. I don’t think Americans would be too keen on throwing away lives to help a backwater island fight a war it provoked in the first place, especially since the Americans are gearing up to invade Iran.

Some will keep talking about how Taiwan Province is filled with freedom and human rights, but it’s just a double-standard. China’s current reforms at this time resemble those made in Taiwan Province during the 1970s to transform itself into an economic powerhouse. The only reason why major news organisations and publications classify Taiwan Province as a country is largely because of it’s economic relevance, which is gradually diminished by the “Democratic Progressive Party”‘s mismanagement (please don’t let the party’s name mislead you).

In regards to freedom and human rights, Taiwan Province still has problems dealing with the indigenous Aborigine population (not the ethnic Chinese who hijacked their identity and call themselves Taiwanese in public), the current power structure is out to legislate reprisals at the so-called Mainlander population for 50 years of dictatorial rule under the KMT, and it uses legal mechanisms to indict anyone that is seen opposing the government as seen by Shih Ming-teh’s recent indictment for protesting Chen Shuibian’s corruption. It doesn’t help that most of these people who praise Taiwan’s freedom have never been to China, never traveled to other real countries that have better human rights/freedoms, or believe whatever their anti-Chinese Taiwanese friends tell them.

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5 thoughts on “U.S. naval chief tours defense facilities in China

  1. http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070725/wl_asia_afp/uschinataiwanmilitary

    Tue Jul 24, 10:11 PM ET

    WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States has the capability to swiftly move military forces to defend Taiwan against a potential attack from China, the top US military commander in the Asia-Pacific region said Tuesday.
    ADVERTISEMENT

    Admiral Timothy Keating shrugged off suggestions at a Washington forum that the United States, burdened by conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, did not have sufficient forces in the vicinity to respond quickly enough to an incursion on Taiwan by China.

    “I don’t lose sleep at night over our ability to respond to any crisis anywhere, including the Strait of Taiwan,” Keating, the commander of the Pacific Command, declared at the forum organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    Although the United States has fewer troops in the “area of responsibility” now than about two decades ago, “We are also capable of moving people around fairly quickly,” he pointed out.

    “We have ways of watching developments and doing better analyses — much better than before. So in the Strait of Taiwan, in particular, we could get a large number of forces there in relatively short order,” he said.

    “The more unambiguous activity we notice and the earlier we make that analysis, obviously the more we can do.”

    Tension along the Strait of Taiwan, which separates the island from mainland China, had increased in recent months with Taiwan’s independence-leaning President Chen Shui-bian pushing for a controversial referendum that could draw the wrath of Beijing.

    Despite persistent pressure from Washington, Chen said he would press ahead with the referendum on whether the island should apply for UN membership under the name Taiwan.

    China, which regards the island as a renegade province awaiting reunification with the mainland, could see it as a unilateral move to change the island’s status, triggering a possible conflict, experts say.

    Any conflict will drag in the United States, which by law has to help defend Taiwan.

    Asked whether the situation was getting better or worse along the Strait of Taiwan with China’s growing military strength, Keating said Chen’s “rhetoric isn’t entirely helpful.”

  2. Most of your blogs are all against Taiwan. I was been told by my commander US will not Taiwan go. Reason for that is China will have clear path to Pacific Ocean toward USA. with they submarine capable launching 24 nuclear warheads with 1 submarine. But hey, what do I know. Im just an officer in USAF. I dont like Taiwan, but I dont support communist. If im going into a war. I better be defending a country and freedom. communist doesn’t have freedom.

    Why dont you write something against China? like cat food, paint and toys? Since you do not wish to post that. Let me do it for you.

  3. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20254745

    WASHINGTON – Mattel announced recalls Tuesday for 9 million more Chinese-made toys, including popular Barbie, Polly Pocket and “Cars” movie items, and warned that more could be ordered off store shelves because of lead paint and tiny magnets that could be swallowed.

    The recalls came nearly two weeks after Mattel Inc., the nation’s largest toy-maker, recalled 1.5 million Fisher-Price infant toys worldwide, which were also made in China, because of possible lead-paint hazards for children.

    The government warned parents to make sure children are not playing with any of the recalled toys.

  4. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6958341.stm

    China has issued new advice for its tourists when travelling overseas.

    The list of holiday dos and don’ts says tourists should avoid shouting and drawing attention to themselves, and respect local culture and traditions.

    The guidelines also suggest they should abide by the law and do not try to solve problems through extortion or other illegal methods.

    The number of Chinese visitors to other countries is expected to rise dramatically in the coming years.

    China’s booming economy is leading to record numbers of tourists travelling abroad.

    Many go to other parts of Asia or Europe and the US.

    By 2020 it is thought that each year more than 100 million Chinese will take a holiday overseas.

    If they stick to these new guidelines, they are likely to be considered the perfect guests.

  5. Ok…

    So you posted an article dating from July prior to the policy changes and new developments in Sino-American relations. Thanks for reminding what the policy used to be instead what it is now. Also great you leaked part of America’s strategy in the Asia-Pacific region for all to see. I will forward this to the American pundits at sinodefence.com for further analysis…LOL

    Also funny that you’re still under a Cold War mentality. As of this writing, China is currently an authoritarian state with a free market economy with the communist party in power. Basically a country that is only communist on paper and with less regulations on its market than much of the world, a free market in the raw sense. People in China now have more freedoms than they did 50 years ago and resembles the quality of freedom that existed in Park’s Korea and Marcos’s Philippines…LOL

    Two more articles to bash China. People always forget that China is still a developing country with the growing pains once experienced by Japan and Korea in the 50s to the 80s. These problems are magnified due to China’s significance in the world markets.

    Actually I do write articles against China. Again you should try looking them up in the “China” tag on my blog before whining about my “Taiwan-bashing”.

    Kudos for spending time searching for these articles on google.

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