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June 27, 2005

The "Chinese Dragon Awakens"

Yesterday was the first part of Bill Gertz' three part series on China, "Chinese Dragon Awakens", published in the Washington Times.

The gist of the series can be found in the opening paragraphs:

China is building its military forces faster than U.S. intelligence and military analysts expected, prompting fears that Beijing will attack Taiwan in the next two years, according to Pentagon officials.

U.S. defense and intelligence officials say all the signs point in one troubling direction: Beijing then will be forced to go to war with the United States, which has vowed to defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack.

China's military buildup includes an array of new high-technology weapons, such as warships, submarines, missiles and a maneuverable warhead designed to defeat U.S. missile defenses. Recent intelligence reports also show that China has stepped up military exercises involving amphibious assaults, viewed as another sign that it is preparing for an attack on Taiwan.

Gertz is the National Security reporter for the Times and over the years has written of number of highly informative books on military and foreign policy matters. He regularly appears on Fox News also, in addition to his articles in the Times. His ability to get detailed information up-to-date about security threats is second-to-none, and it is obvious he has some very good contacts in the defense establishment.

How dangerous is China?

"We may be seeing in China the first true fascist society on the model of Nazi Germany, where you have this incredible resource base in a commercial economy with strong nationalism, which the military was able to reach into and ramp up incredible production," a senior defense official said.

Fortunately, the US military is well aware of the problem. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has spoken recently about the Chinese threat, and wondered aloud, obviously in a rhetorical question, why China would build up it's military when it faces no military threat to itself.

The two-year timeframe Gertz mentions is in line with what I've seen elsewhere. In a longish post last April, "War with China: 2008 - 2010?" I examined some open-source literature and came to a similar conclusion. However, given that the 2008 Olympics would be held in Bejing, my theory is that China will wait until after the games are over to make their move. They will not want to suffer the fate of the Soviets, who's Moscow games in 1980 were boycotted by many nations in reponse to their invasion of Afghanistan.

Gertz has much more to say in his article, so you'll want to read the whole thing.

Posted by Tom at June 27, 2005 8:36 AM

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