Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Capabilities Open Options

This article notes that improved Chinese relations with Russia since 1985 allowed China to transition their military posture from absorbing a Russian invasion from the north to projecting power around their periphery. Since the collapse of the USSR, the power balance has shifted much more to China. The continued shift from that event could have more effects on Chinese military posture.

The Chinese are looking south to the seas without the threat of Russia looming over Chinese territorial integrity:

Appointing a naval officer to command a theater in unprecedented in PLA history, further confirming the shift of China’s military posture from continental defense to maritime security. Moreover, ADM Yuan’s position as commander of the Southern Theater Command indicates the relative importance of South China Sea in the eyes of the PLA, particularly as a suitable bastion for its growing SSBN force and as an ideal operational space for its expanding surface fleet.

But how much more does China need at sea other than a SSBN bastion?

At some point, with the balance of forces shifting more to China and with Chinese economic interests encompassing the interior of Asia, China may shift their increasingly offensive military posture to offense on land to the resource-rich and once Chinese north that is weakly held by Russia rather than at sea defended by America and our constellation of allies.

But until that change in posture, the Chinese can closely observe their potential land foe, eh?