The Telegraph (UK): “China preparing for armed conflict ‘in every direction'”

[As China emerges as an imperialist power, it speaks in boastful, exaggerated terms, as imperialists do.  Nonetheless, its strategic direction is clearly sketched in this piece.–Frontlines ed.]

China is preparing for conflict ‘in every direction’, the defence minister said on Wednesday in remarks that threaten to overshadow a visit to Beijing by his US counterpart next month.

By Peter Foster, Beijing 29 Dec 2010

“In the coming five years, our military will push forward preparations for military conflict in every strategic direction,” said Liang Guanglie in an interview published by several state-backed newspapers in China. “We may be living in peaceful times, but we can never forget war, never send the horses south or put the bayonets and guns away,” Mr Liang added.

China repeatedly says it is planning a “peaceful rise” but the recent pace and scale of its military modernisation has alarmed many of its neighbours in the Asia-Pacific, including Japan which described China’s military build-up as a “global concern” this month.

Mr Liang’s remarks come at a time of increasingly difficult relations between the Chinese and US armed forces which a three-day visit by his counterpart Robert Gates is intended to address. A year ago China froze substantive military relations in protest at US arms sales to Taiwan and relations deteriorated further this summer when China objected to US plans to deploy one of its nuclear supercarriers, the USS George Washington, into the Yellow Sea off the Korean peninsula.

China also announced this month that it was preparing to launch its own aircraft carrier next year in a signal that China is determined to punch its weight as a rising superpower. The news came a year earlier than many US defence analysts had predicted.

China is also working on a “carrier-killing” ballistic missile that could sink US carriers from afar, fundamentally reordering the balance of power in a region that has been dominated by the US since the end of the Second World War.

A US Navy commander, Admiral Robert Willard, told Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper this week that he believes the Chinese anti-ship missile, the Dong Feng 21, has already achieved “initial operational capability”, although it would require years of testing.

Analysts remain divided over whether China is initiating an Asian arms race. Even allowing for undeclared spending, China’s annual defence budget is still less than one-sixth of America’s $663bn a year, or less than half the US figure when expressed as a percentage of GDP.

However in a speech earlier this year Mr Gates warned that China’s new weapons, including its carrier-killing missile, “threaten America’s primary way to project power and help allies in the Pacific”, underscoring the difficulties that lie ahead as China and the US seek to contain growing strategic frictions.

As China modernises, Mr Liang pledged that its armed forces would also increasingly use homegrown Chinese technology, which analysts say still lags behind Western technology even as China races to catch up.

“The modernisation of the Chinese military cannot depend on others, and cannot be bought,” Mr Liang added, “In the next five years, our economy and society will develop faster, boosting comprehensive national power. We will take the opportunity and speed up modernisation of the military.”

One thought on “The Telegraph (UK): “China preparing for armed conflict ‘in every direction'”

  1. The following is translated from a recent article posted in Maoflag website on 19 January 2011. The key issue raised in this article is the basic principle involved in forging unity with various social forces to advance the proletarian revolution.
    Learning from the Failure of Revolutionaries in Kaiserreich Germany and from the Successes of Revolutionaries in Czarist Russia
    Towards the end of World War 1, revolution broke out in Russia in February 1917 giving rise to a dual-power situation whereby a Workers’ and Soldiers’ Soviet regime coexisted alongside a bourgeois capitalist regime. Favorable situation aided and abetted the Bolshevik party in launching the October revolution to overthrow the provisional bourgeois regime to culminate the proletarian socialist revolution. In 1918 Germany, revolution broke out with the setting up of Workers’ and soldiers Soviet but the rightwing faction of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) purged leftists from the party, sabotaged the revolution and subverted the Soviet regime leading finally to the formation of the bourgeois Weimar Republic instead of a proletarian socialist republic.
    Similar revolutionary situation gave rise to success on one hand while on the other failure; we need to dig deeper and learn from this:
    1. Eisenaher(spelling?) Faction should not have Merged with Opportunistic Lassalle Faction.
    Marx and Engels chastized the Eisenaher (name of a city in Germany) faction leaders for their unprincipled merger with the Lassalle faction in the 1870s to form the SDP; they also criticized Liebknecht and Bebel for lack of political vigilance to the treachery and deceptiveness of opportunism. After the historic merger, opportunist thinking was left unchecked causing the SDP to be mired in opportunism. When World War 1 broke out in 1914, opportunists in the SDP seized power in the party leading it to join the German imperialist state in fighting the war. This was no accident but a direct consequence of SDP being chronically corroded by opportunist thinking.
    When the Bolshevik faction and the Menshevik faction in Russia were clashing over party line, the Second International supported the Mensheviks; in 1905, the Second International formed an arbitration committee to “mediate” between the feuding Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks with the aim of achieving “unity”. The arbitration committee set one condition for the “mediation”, which called for the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks to “stop clashing” over party line. This in effect meant the Bolsheviks had to stop exposing the Mensheviks and struggling against opportunism in the party; Lenin firmly rejected such “mediation”. In 1906, Lenin again rejected Second International “mediation”. Owing to Lenin’s principled rejection of Second International intervention, the Bolshevik party was able to maintain its independent ideological and organizational line to firmly struggle against all forms of opportunism and to forge a resolute revolutionary core.
    2. German Revolutionaries Failed to Sever Ties with Opportunistic Factions in Time to Forge Organizational Independence
    Since German revolutionaries could not undo their errors of merging with opportunist factions or purge the party of widespread opportunism, they should have had severed ties with the opportunists in a timely manner especially soon after the outbreak of World War 1 in 1914 when party rightists openly joined the German ruling bourgeoisie in calling for an imperialist war under the slogan of “defending the fatherland” to hoodwink the working class into fighting and dying for the bourgeois state. Revolutionaries in the SDP should have thoroughly broken off ties with opportunists, build their own independent organization to work among the masses to expose the nature of the war and gain their support for revolution. Mass work would be fraught with all kind of difficulties in the beginning but as the progression of the war exposed ever deepening social contradictions, more people would be conscientized and rallied around the revolutionary organization. This would also provide ample opportunities for the party organization to be tempered and steeled by the struggle to win over the masses. When the revolution broke out in November 1918, the party organization would definitely be far better prepared to lead the revolutionary masses than it would have been the case whereby the party organization was hastily set up in late 1918 and early 1919.
    During the 2nd party congress of the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party, a split within the RSDWP divided it into two opposing factions – the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks – after which both factions began holding their own separate party congress. The Bolsheviks set up their own party organization and developed along Leninist line to become a resolute revolutionary organization whereas the Mensheviks were bogged down by opportunism and factionalism which chipped away their organizational integrity and fighting spirit.
    Digging into the historical lessons provided by the success and failure of revolutionaries in former Czarist Russia and Kaiserreich Germany is very timely and necessary because we revolutionaries in China are facing similar situation whereby “unity” has become an urgent cause of concern among comrades.
    It is not a matter of whether or not we have to forge unity; it is matter of along what line and or based on what principles unity is to be forged. If opportunism were to form the basis for forging unity which amounts to compromising basic revolutionary principles, the failure of revolutionary practice and theory in Kaiserreich Germany is a very good historical precedent to draw valuable lessons from. Only when we are able to forge unity based on Marxist-Leninist-Maoist principles that we will be able to defeat and overthrow the ruling bourgeoisie.
    Clarifying basic principles of unity further requires clarifying for whom and for what objectives such unity is to be fought for. We can only unite with progressive forces that will contribute to advancing the revolution; we cannot unite with reactionaries who are out to sabotage the revolution. The objective of unity is to advance the revolution not to abort it and preserve the capitalist social order.

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