The China Speakers Bureau is happy to announce that Reuben F. Johnson is joining its service. Reuben Johnson is a veteran reporter on defense technology and is writing – among others – for Jane’s Weekly and The Weekly Standard.
From his profile:
He is familiar with the design of most modern Chinese weapon systems, as many of them have their genesis in Russian designs and/or are “hybrid” configurations that have resulted from China “borrowing” innovations from multiple sources and then combining them into a finalised design concept. His overall view of the Chinese defence establishment is that China has developed a capacity for designing and building weapon systems that is larger than most of the rest of the world’s defence industrial establishments combined. He has observed and written about most major Chinese weapon systems and is a regular visitor to China.
Having learned and assimilated a vast storehouse of knowledge from the Russians, Ukrainians and others on how to design/develop advanced weaponry China is not only on the verge of having achieved near self-awareness. The country will soon be building an even wider array of defence products, and will overcome their deficiencies in the few areas (i.e. propulsion technology) where they still lag behind the rest of the world.
China’s ability to build aggregate numbers of advanced weapon systems is worrying on two levels. One is the near-pathological secrecy of the Chinese defence establishment and the reluctance with which the PLA engages in any meaningful dialogue with the US and many other foreign military establishments creates an environment that is opaque at best. As such the possibilities for miscalculation or misinterpretation of specific movements by the PLA are increased geometrically.
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