Defense analyst Wendell Minnick got hold of an advanced copy of the upcoming book by former US Army officer Larry Wortzel, who also served as assistant Army attache at the Beijing embassy during the Tiananmen crisis in 1989. “Wortzel argues that the “PLA is turning into a modern armed force with its own unique operational doctrine.” he writes in Defense News.
Wortzel does not ignore true PLA weaknesses. He notes that although China’s ballistic missile capabilities have modernized and its entire missile force is mobile, the PLA has struggled to field a submarine-launched ballistic missile. Although the PLA Air Force has tested two different versions of a stealth fighter aircraft, J-20 and J-31, and successfully copied advanced Russian fighters, “China’s defense industries have struggled for decades to make a highly durable jet engine.”
However, these are not weaknesses that China will not overcome in time. In part, China has taken advantage of “many Americans, inside and outside of government” who “have a romantic and idealized view of China as a true ally.” China has successfully exploited these people to “steal technology, reverse-engineer military equipment, and learn about how the US military trains and operates.”
Too many US government officials have forgotten that “alliances depend on fundamentally shared values, which are missing from an army that is run by a communist party and has the fundamental mission of keeping in place a ‘people’s democratic dictatorship.’ ”
China Weekly Hangout
International relations are a regular feature at the China Weekly Hangout. On June 6 we discussed how Europe and the US dealt with China, when they are negotiating trade agreements, with negotiation expert Andrew Hupert from New York, Swiss lawyer Nathan Kaiser from Taipei and political analyst Steve Burru from Denver, Colorado. Moderated by Fons Tuinstra of the China Speakers Bureau.
On Thursday 20 June we ask what Chinese tourists want. Chinese tourist spend more than those from other countries, but getting them to your country, and letting them spend is an art in itself. We are joined by Roy Graff of ChinaContact, and you can join us too. Here is our announcement, or you can register directly at our event page.