Un’analisi del potenziale militare cinese. La cosa interessante è che è ottenuta interamente da fonte aperta.
CHINA’S MILITARY POWER:
AN ASSESSMENT FROM OPEN SOURCES
Testimony of Richard D. Fisher, Jr.,1
International Assessment and Strategy Center,
Before the Armed Services Committee of the
U.S. House of Representatives, July 27, 2005
Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the Armed Services Committee, the following is an assessment from open sources of the direction and strategic implications of the accelerating military modernization of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This task is significantly aided by the annual Department of Defense report on PLA modernization that has been mandated by the Congress, starting with this Committee, since 1998. But as these Pentagon reports have repeatedly stressed, a full assessment of Chinese military modernization is significantly impeded by the strict secrecy the PLA attaches to almost all matters of military capability, technology and planning. Despite a decade of active diplomacy by various U.S. military and political leaders to encourage greater Chinese military transparency, there has been only minimal change; China’s abhorrence of such transparency is rooted in its military culture from the time of Sun Tzu.
While an aggressive pursuit of available open sources can yield a limited assessment of China’s recent military modernization ambitions and achievements, the nation requires an informed public debate regarding the growth of China’s military capabilities so American leaders and citizens can make decisions critical to national defense. For this reason it is necessary for the Congress to consider encouraging the Department of Defense to significantly expand its annual report on China’s military power to include increased descriptions, illustrations and projections, and to make this report available in multiple languages.
2005: The Pentagon Embraces Its PLA Report
In 2001 President George W. Bush began his first term with a skeptical view of China military build-up and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s first Quadrennial
Review recommended changes in U.S. force deployments in Asia to upgrade U.S. deterrent capabilities, aimed principally at China and North Korea. The War on Terror that became deadly serious after that September 11 forced the Administration to radically alter its military priorities. However, it is clear from his recent June 2 statements in Singapore, and then the greater attention he devoted to the July 19 issue of the Annual Report to Congress, The Military Power of the People’s Republic of China 2005, that Secretary Rumsfeld has not forgotten that China’s challenge to U.S. security interests is looming ever larger. While the War on Terror deserves the nation’s full attention, Secretary Rumsfeld has also served notice the United States must also respond to the growing military challenge from China. While noting additional dangers to Taiwan, the 2005 DoD PLA Report also identifies a profound contradiction in China’s behavior that could in the future threaten the security interests of the United States, Japan and its friends and allies:
"China does not now face a direct threat from another nation. Yet, it continues to invest heavily in its military, particularly in programs designed to improve power projection. The pace and scope of China’s military build-up are, already, such as to put regional military balances at risk.…In the future, as China’s military power grows, China’s leaders may be tempted to resort to force or coercion more quickly to press diplomatic advantage, advance security interests, or resolve disputes."2
A suggested answer to this contradiction lies in the nature of China’s still Communist regime. Despite its quick rise to global economic powerhouse status, the regime in Beijing lacks political legitimacy and is thus unstable. It lacks legitimacy because it refuses to allow political freedoms commensurate with the Chinese people’s demonstrated competence to use expanded economic freedom. In a traditional communist/authoritarian manner it suppresses all potential opposition and requires ever greater military political support and military power. This dynamic then motivates China’s external behavior, be it nuclear or missile proliferation to other anti-U.S. "rogue" states, opposing democratic reform in Hong Kong, building a military that threatens Taiwan and its neighbors, or its ambitions to displace U.S. leadership in Asia. This challenge will likely grow until the day that China’s government pursues an agenda informed by democratic values.
PLA MODERNIZATION AND PRC STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS
In the meantime, the government of China is in the midst of perhaps the largest military build-up the world has witnessed since the end of the Cold War. After fifteen years of sustained defense spending growth and effort China is transforming its armed forces. As recently as the early 1990s the PLA was mired in defensive doctrines and equipped largely with modified, but still 1950s vintage Soviet technology. Now, China is on the cusp of fielding a modern force capable of joint service offensive operations that can exploit multiple new information and precision-strike technologies. It is assessed that this force is currently being tailored to give the Chinese leadership increasing
military capabilities and thus political-military options in three major political-military directions.
1. Strategic Coercion and Strategic Denial
A key objective of China’s military modernization is to expand its capabilities for strategic coercion and strategic denial—especially against the United States. One need only recall General Zhu Chengdu’s response to Asian Wall Street Journal Editor Danny Gitting’s question about "possible Chinese tactics in the event of a conventional war over Taiwan." General Zhu stated: "If the Americans interfere into the conflict, if the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition into the target zone on China’s territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons," Gittings then said Zhu went on to say this could lead to the destruction of "hundreds of, or two hundreds" of American cities.3 There is no full official statement of China’s nuclear doctrine, so Zhu’s statement can be taken as a strong indication it contains elements that stress defensive "nuclear deterrence," but may also envision the use of nuclear threats for blackmail and coercion. In August 1996 a Chinese Foreign Ministry arms control official stated that as Chinese territory, China’s nuclear weapons "no first use" pledge "does not apply" to Taiwan. A more explicit suggestion that U.S. intervention could lead to a nuclear strike against Los Angeles was conveyed in late 1995 by current Deputy Director of the PLA General Staff Department General Xiong Guangkai. Despite the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s July 21 affirmation of its "no first use" policy, there is little doubt that China’s military leadership wants the U.S. to believe that it will use nuclear weapons against the U.S. should it rise to defend democratic Taiwan from Chinese attack. To enhance its nuclear coercive potential the PLA is now deploying a new fixed and a new mobile nuclear ICBM, will soon deploy a longer-range mobile ICBM, and about the same time, will deploy a new long-range SLBM. These new nuclear missiles—three of which may contain multiple warheads—will be active before 2010.
Just as important, the PLA is assembling new capabilities for space, air and naval warfare designed to deny access to U.S. forces to the regions around Taiwan. Ground-based laser and new direct-assent anti-satellite weapons are intended to take out key U.S. space assets. At the same time, Russian-made Su-30MKK2 and Chinese-made Xian JH-7A fighter bombers, coordinated by a variety of land and air-borne electronic sensors, in tandem with new nuclear and conventional attack submarines, are intended to launch coordinated long-range missile strikes against U.S. naval forces. The PLA may also intend to use new maneuverable ballistic missiles plus new long-range cruise missiles to strike both naval and ground-based targets. Submarine-launched non-nuclear LACMs as well as PLA Special Forces could be used against U.S. bases as distant as Hawaii, Alaska and the U.S. West Coast.
2. Forcing Unification with Taiwan
While the people of Taiwan wish to live in peace, as well as prosper with China, it is clear that the Communist regime in Beijing cannot envision a peaceful future with a
democratic government in Taipei unless it agrees to surrender its freedom. As that is increasingly unlikely, the Chinese government is determined to assemble the military means to either intimidate Taiwan into "unification" or eventually to conquer Taiwan. With the latest U.S. estimate that PLA SRBMs are growing up to 120 per year, and a recent Taiwan estimate that LACMs may increase by 200 a year starting in 2006, it is possible that by 2010 the PLA could amass up to 2,300 missiles against Taiwan. According to published estimates, the PLA could acquire up to 270 Russian Su-30 and Chinese Xian JH-7A all-weather fighter-bombers capable of delivering precision-guided weapons (PGMs). These will soon be supplemented by new Chengdu J-10 multi-role fighters and a new version of the co-produced Sukhoi Su-27/Shenyang J-11 with Chinese components and weapons. Before 2010, over 700 Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) could effectively deny the Taiwan Strait to Taiwan’s Air Force. It can be estimated that by 2010 the PLA Navy could have 50 to 60 nuclear and new conventional attack submarines, which in cooperation with three new classes of air defense destroyers, will be better able to impose a naval blockade on Taiwan. To present a credible threat of invasion, there is also concern that the PLA could be assembling a second Airborne Army, the first of which has just started receiving a new family of air-droppable armor vehicles. LST-size amphibious assault ships have recently been doubled in number, while there reports of PLA interest in buying or co-producing the large Russian Zubr assault hovercraft, and both Marine and Army Amphibious units have been upgraded with new tanks and armored personnel carriers (APCs).