- The Fiscal Year 2000 National Defense Authorization Act
directs the secretary of defense to submit a report "on the current
and future military strategy of the People's Republic of China." According
to an article published in Aviation Week and Space Technology, "China
Seen Building Conventional Might" by Robert Wall, a senior defense
official involved in writing the report is now charging the White House
with deliberately altering the conclusions of the report.
- "The National Security Council staff and State Department
have intervened with the details to soften the tone of the report to preserve
good relations with China," charged the unnamed defense official.
- Is the new defense report flawed? According to the June
2000 U.S. military report, "Beijing remains firmly committed to expanding
its political and economic presence in such areas as Europe, the Middle
East, Latin America, and Africa; however, China has no ambitions to establish
a military presence in these regions."
- The fact is Chinese military troops are already present
on the ground in Africa. Chinese soldiers are in the Sudan, guarding an
oil pipeline and training the brutal Sudanese forces in the art of war
against an unarmed population. Amnesty International reports that to build
the pipeline, armed guards from China participated in displacing the indigenous
- The oil pipeline, part of the Chinese government-owned
China National Petroleum Company, is also the scene of the greatest human
slaughter since the killing fields in Cambodia. Estimates are that over
two million have died. Amnesty reports that Chinese troops have assisted
in ethnic cleansing and rape in the southern Sudan.
- The Sudan is not the only recent global move by the Chinese
military ignored by the Pentagon report. The fact is that Chinese troops
are on the ground in Cuba, manning a signals intelligence post just a few
miles from Miami, monitoring U.S. military and civilian communications
for the People's Liberation Army. The new report by the Pentagon also contains
curious contradictions in its conclusions.
- "Since the 7 May 1999 bombing of China's embassy
in Belgrade," notes the Pentagon report, "China's leaders reportedly
have been discussing ways to offset U.S. power, to include accelerating
military modernization, pursuing strategic cooperation with Russia, and
increasing China's proliferation activities abroad. However, none of these
options is likely to improve fundamentally Beijing's position."
- Clearly, the Clinton administration perceives recent
Chinese nuclear modernization not a fundamental improvement for the People's
Liberation Army. This view is not shared inside Beijing, since the Chinese
Second Artillery Corps has deployed nearly 500 modern nuclear tipped missiles
in the past 24 months. The Chinese Army's successful effort to upgrade
its nuclear weapons using stolen U.S. technology and U.S.-made supercomputers
is missing altogether from the evaluation.
- Since 1993, China has gone from a 1940s level of nuclear
science to state-of-the-art nuclear weapons designs. In 1993, China had
to perform expensive live tests of nuclear weapons in order to field designs
for combat. Today, the People's Liberation Army is equipped with advanced
computer simulations models, using the latest U.S. high-speed computers
and stolen nuclear codes.
- During the Cold War, Europe faced a similar situation
to China today. Europe faced a much larger and superior opponent in the
Warsaw Pact forces. Over 50,000 Soviet tanks were poised to make a lighting
strike deep into Germany and France on a moment's notice. In response,
the much smaller NATO forces decided to adopt a nuclear warfare fighting
- China and Russia have both adopted the formerly NATO
tactic of using tactical nuclear weapons in theatre combat to offset a
superior opponent. Red China's great nuclear leap forward is just beginning
to yield results in the form of lightweight, inexpensive, nuclear warheads
for Chinese missiles and a new special series of deadly neutron bombs.
- China is reported to have exported a plutonium bomb design
to Pakistan and assisted the North Korean nuclear weapons efforts. China
today is the only nation to field the neutron bomb. Chinese Generals have
openly threatened to destroy Los Angeles if the U.S. came to Taiwan's rescue.
The Chinese Army is more than open about its doctrine shift toward nuclear
combat. In a 1999 report prepared by the Chinese Central Military Command,
threats of a Chinese nuclear war against America are spelled out loud and
- "So far we have built up the capability for the
second and third nuclear strikes and are fairly confident in fighting a
nuclear war," answers the Chinese military report. "Unlike Iraq
and Yugoslavia, China is not only a big country, but also possesses a nuclear
arsenal that has long been incorporated into state warfare systems and
played a real role in our national defense. The PCC has decided to pass
through formal channels this message to the top leaders of the U.S."
- The newly released report prepared by the Pentagon concludes
that China "will have limited capability to conduct integrated operations
against Taiwan." Two conclusions reportedly deleted from the Pentagon
evaluation by the Clinton White House were an increase in arms sales to
Taiwan and a badly needed major increase of U.S. military forces in the
- The Pentagon report so artfully skewed by the Clinton
White House spin machine fails to note there is ample room for direct conflict
with the Chinese military -- over Taiwan, the Spratly Islands, Indonesia,
Korea or the continued sale of nuclear weapons to the Middle East. The
muted report issued by the Pentagon not only softens the tone of Chinese
hegemony, but also clearly fails to mention whole segments of recent Chinese
global military moves.
- In 1990, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein knew his military
was no match against the technically superior U.S. armed forces. Much like
China today, the Iraq government knew it could win a victory against its
local opponent but feared to do so because such a move might draw an American
response. Saddam launched his attack on Kuwait only after the Bush administration
conveyed that America had no interest in his border conflict with Kuwait.
- Miscalculation led to the Gulf War. One of the main causes
of war is miscalculation. The simple misunderstanding of another nation
and their intentions, often leads directly to combat. When one side perceives
an easy victory and the other side does little to change that perception,
then war is a grave possibility.
- The Pentagon report does nothing to change Beijing's
perception of a victory over Taiwan. The Chinese Army today makes no excuses,
noting they will win only if they are also willing to accept huge losses.
A pure hardware analysis such as the one conducted by the Pentagon is far
too simplistic to convey the true nature of the People's Liberation Army.
The report is flawed in a typical Western style, failing to document both
Chinese intentions and new doctrine of fighting.
- Charles Smith is a national security and defense reporter
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