From: Vienna, Austria
Yep. China now has some Naval air capability. It’s not hard to understand. A very large nation, finally getting itself organized, doing military bicep curls in a very chaotic world political situation.
Bad juju for Taiwan, but China is still developing its forces on a regional level. They’re not thinking in terms of Mahan-style global power projection. They have no interests beyond their littoral consolidations and protection of their energy and resource supply routes in the China Sea, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean regions.
What they want is a Greater China co-prosperity sphere with access to the resources in the Asian provinces of Siberia, and free access to Mideast oil. So long as the Middle Kingdom is percolating along, China don’t give a rat’s patoot what the rest of us do.
We could do ‘em, but what would be the point? They are not looking to bounce anybody. And don’t really give a crap about anybody else. We might/could protect Taiwan for a while, and that wouldn’t be a bad thing. But that burbling pot is already is already flowing one soup into another. I can foresee a major Taiwanese impact on the mainland, much like Hong Kong, but more fundamental. Taiwan has always wanted to go back to the mainland, and they are damn near there already.
One must consider Chinese military hardware developments in light of Chinese political objectives. And yes, they are much more consistent, internalized, long-term planners than we could ever imagine. But one must consider China’s political and social/economic objectives, in order to put their military developments in a proper perspective.
JWE, I see the potential implications of China flexing their naval air muscles a bit more dangerous than
The difference between China and the US might soon be one of staying power only.
Agreed, China will not match US CVN fleets in capability within 50 years at least, but they don´t
need to to pose a threat to the current US/Western power projection capabilities, and bring the
global raw material race to a new level.
The last 10 years have shown Chinas interest in several regions more distant than Chinese littorial, Japan,
Taiwan and the IO.
They started heavy economical investments worldwide, with a focus on raw materials in the ressource rich
regions of Western Africa, the Middle East and Southern America. That the long term interest is to keep
those investements and develop the ability to protect or expand them by diplomatic and military means is
Even 2 CVs with modern hardware will enable them to bring their power projection abilities to a new dimension.
They won´t be on eye level with the US in terms of capability and staying power, but in the conflicts for ressources
short to mid term they do not need to.
It is enough that they will be able to place naval air surpassing any small countries airforce next to the
African coast to bring the global situation concerning important raw materials to a new level.
So, while short term I see it in a similar way as you, and China got local interests more pressing to them than
the global game, it can be very well viewed as a threat to Western interests in the mid future.
The recent global developements, the latest and current being the revived Falkland conflict, which is also fuelled
by the search for and aquisition of raw materials, already hint what - as the Argentinan President stated as well -
the wars of the 21st Century will be about. Not neccesarily US vs. China, but maybe China against small countries
in ressource rich regions which are currently out of reach and only accessible for the US and the NATO.
I think we currently see the initial phases of such a developement, China reacting to the economic threat
posed to them by ressource grabbing of the Western global players.
It will be interesting times ahead, to say at least.