A brief Global Review of the Global Times: Quad, Taiwan and new weapon systems

A brief Global Review of the Global Times: Quad, Taiwan and new weapon systems

While the USA tries to portray the Quad as a successful project with a bright future, the Global Times claims that it is more symbolic than really a threat to China and also not an Asian NATO or even a “Eight Nation Alliance” like 1900:

“US cannot replicate ‘Eight-Nation Alliance’ against China

By Lu Xue Published: Apr 07, 2021

A naval exercise between all members of Quad and France is scheduled to conclude on Wednesday. Times of India on Monday said the drill was to “eye on China” and underline “the growing strategic congruence in ensuring a secure and stable Indo-Pacific in face of China’s belligerence in the region.”

Besides France, some other European powers, such as Germany and the UK, have also expressed their intentions in engaging in the Indo-Pacific region. The US-led Quad is attempting to expand into “Quad plus.” European countries may be the ones the group wants to woo. 

These European countries’ moves, such as conducting exercises with Quad, or sending warships to the Indo-Pacific region, are mainly to emphasize their presence in the region, Sun Chenghao, an assistant research fellow at the Institute of American Studies of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told Global Times on Wednesday. The Indo-Pacific region, as the geopolitical hotspot in the world, attracts global attention. Against this backdrop, countries who regard themselves as global players will not miss the opportunity to assert their presence.

Collin Koh Swee Lean, a Research Fellow at the Singapore-based S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies’ (RSIS) Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, said the exercises between Quad members and France might be “designed to persuade other non-Quad nations to join similar arrangements,” cited by South China Morning Post on Sunday. He suggested Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia could be on the list of potential “Quad-plus” partners.

Sun said this notion sounds exaggerated. As a country outside the region, France lacks mighty appeal to ASEAN members. Moreover, Paris has always advocated independent diplomacy and is reluctant to become a pawn of the US, helping the latter to persuade other countries to join a US-led club.

But what is clear is that the US is trying to rally other countries to join its anti-China chariot. Such attempts will be full of difficulties. Countries from Southeast Asia and Europe have their own calculations. Their priority is to guarantee their security and ensure their economic interests, instead of joining whatever group against any country. Countries from the two regions heavily rest on China in terms of economy. 

(…) Deutsche Welle Chinese on Tuesday tweeted that US, Japan, India, Australia and France – not eight yet – on its report about Quad-plus-France exercise, clearly an analogy to the “Eight-Nation Alliance,” which refers to troops from the US, UK, Germany, France, Russia, Japan, Italy and Austro-Hungary that invaded Beijing in 1900. Just as a netizen mocked, the problem is the US cannot rally with other seven countries against China now. 

It appears that Quad members are collaborating with more partners. But the fact is moves such as Quad-plus-France drill are only symbolic, without much influence on regional affairs. China is no longer what it was 120 years ago. No matter how hard the US strengthens its alliance system, it will fail to create a new “Eight-Nation Alliance.”

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202104/1220486.shtml

And China feels not only strong against the Quad in the Indo-Pacific, but also strong against Taiwan and wants to demonstrate that it could cut off the island from foreign support and make it surrender before the USA could arrive and help:

“PLA carrier, warplanes surround Taiwan in drills, in show of capability to cut off foreign intervention

By Liu Xuanzun Published: Apr 06, 2021

A Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft carrier task group was training in the east of Taiwan island as at least 10 PLA warplanes appeared in the west of the island in a routine exercise on Monday, indicating that the island is surrounded from the east with an aircraft carrier task group and by land-based PLA forces on the west.  

Chinese mainland analysts said on Tuesday that this tactic can isolate the island’s forces from foreign intervention and break Taiwan secessionists’ illusion that US or Japanese forces could come to their aid if circumstances arise.

More PLA forces, including a second aircraft carrier and amphibious assault ships, could participate in similar exercises in the future, they predicted.

Some 10 PLA aircraft, namely four J-16 and four J-10 fighter jets, a Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft and a KJ-500 early warning aircraft, entered Taiwan’s self-proclaimed southwest air defense identification zone on Monday, the island’s defense authorities said in a tweet post, with the illustration attached showing that the Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft flew to the southeast side of the island. Also on Monday, PLA Navy spokesperson Senior Captain Gao Xiucheng announced that the Liaoning aircraft carrier task group was conducting exercises near the island of Taiwan as part of annually scheduled regular training.

The carrier task group passed through waters between Okinawa Island and Miyako Island and sailed south toward the Pacific Ocean on Saturday, Japan’s Ministry of Defense Joint Staff said in a press release on Sunday, indicating that the Liaoning was likely training in waters east of Taiwan island.

This means that the island was surrounded by land-based PLA forces including warplanes from the west, and an aircraft carrier task group on the east, analysts said.

“The exercise showed that the PLA is capable of surrounding the island of Taiwan, isolating its troops and leaving them nowhere to run and no chance to win if circumstances arise. Attacking from all directions makes the enemy difficult to defend since they have no idea where the main forces could come from,” Shi Hong, executive chief editor of the Chinese mainland magazine Shipborne Weapons, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Another purpose is to control and seal off foreign intervention when necessary, since the US and Japan could send reinforcements from the east, Shi said, noting that by deploying a carrier task group there, supported by land-based aviation forces and the Rocket Force, the PLA could let these foreign forces fail to meet up with Taiwan secessionists.

The regular exercises by warplanes and warships are deterrents and warnings against Taiwan secessionists and foreign forces that are attempting to interfere in China’s internal affairs by sending the wrong signals to Taiwan secessionists, Shi said.

Taiwan secessionists are rampant due to their illusion that countries like the US and Japan will support them if a situation arises, and the PLA is showing that it can not only crack down Taiwan secessionists, but also let foreign interfering forces suffer consequences, Shi said, noting that by cutting off foreign forces, Taiwan secessionists would also lose their psychological support.

Similar exercises will be conducted on a regular basis in the future, the PLA Navy spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.

For future exercises, the PLA could also send the Shandong, China’s second aircraft carrier, and the Type 075 amphibious assault ships, together with other destroyers and frigates, Shi said.”

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202104/1220377.shtml

China also declares that no foreign power should try to play the Taiwan card and asks if the reports of the Indian elite newspaper Times of India just want to gain attention in the public by provoking China or if parts of the Indian elite are behind these reports. However China makes clear that support for seperatists in Taiwan would mean Chinese support for seperatists in India:

India’s head is swollen by ego to think it has a ‘Taiwan card’ to play

By Ai Jun Published: Apr 06, 2021

The Times of India (TOI) took a senseless step to test China’s bottom line on the Taiwan question, calling the island “a vibrant nation” on Sunday. In an editorial entitled, “Taiwan message: New Delhi-Taipei cooperation is both mutually beneficial and a pointed signal to China,” the TOI claimed “with the troop disengagement process in eastern Ladakh stalled, Beijing clearly doesn’t respect ‘One India.’ There is no reason then for India to be overly sensitive about China’s territorial claims.”

Editors of the piece seem to be in urgent need to brush up on both history and common sense. The Taiwan question was a result of China’s civil war and is China’s internal affairs. Border disputes are unsettled controversies among different countries. The two things are apples and oranges. 

“The TOI has gone way out of line by publicly stating that the island of Taiwan is a country,” Liu Zongyi, secretary-general of the Research Center for China-South Asia Cooperation at Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, told the Global Times on Tuesday. Liu noted what’s concerning is that this editorial may represent the voice of New Delhi. 

So far, New Delhi does not have the nerve to break the one-China principle. But Liu said it has been playing tricks behind the scenes. This includes co-hosting forums to spread its concealed motives through dual-track communications. Take the Raisina Dialogue, a multilateral conference hosted by the India-based think tank Observer Research Foundation in partnership with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. In 2016, Taiwan representative Tien Chung-Kwang was introduced as the “ambassador of embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to India” in the conference booklet. 

Observers believe when Indian media outlets get increasingly arrogant over the issue, it is not simply because of the so-called freedom of press. To some extent, they are backed by the government to make breakthroughs step by step, Liu suggested.  

After witnessing the US and some of its allies keep raising their voices on the Taiwan question, New Delhi, spoiled by Washington, which keeps cozying up to India, yet merely wants to make the South Asian nation a pawn, starts to have a swollen head to believe it also has a “Taiwan card” to play. It may fantasize it could make China compromise on border disputes by clamoring about the Taiwan question. 

But if India really tends to fish in troubled waters over the issue, China has enough tools to shatter its illusions. The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, including respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of each other, is the cornerstone of China-India diplomatic relations. Supporting Taiwan secession is equivalent to violating the principle of the establishment of bilateral ties. In that case, New Delhi should beware of Beijing’s reciprocal countermoves. “One of the measures could be not recognizing Sikkim as a part of India,” Liu told Global Times. If India supports secessionist forces in China, the latter could as well support separatist forces in northeast India in an-eye-for-an-eye manner. 

The one thing India should concern the most is definitely not Taiwan, but its own disastrous epidemic.“

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202104/1220346.shtml

As the preperations for a war and annexation of Taiwan continue, even on a regular base in the future, China is also showing its next weapon systems as unmanned swarm drone carriers and new stealth fighters:

China conducts test flight for airborne unmanned swarm carrier

By  Liu Xuanzun

Published: Apr 07, 2021 07:01 PM


A Chinese company recently conducted a test flight for its newly developed airborne swarm carrier, which is an unmanned aerial mother ship that can carry multiple smaller drones and release them in the air for missions like reconnaissance and attack. 

This approach could revolutionize future warfare, and when the mother ship, now limited in size, becomes larger, it has the potential of turning into a strategic platform from a tactical one, analysts said on Wednesday.

Developed by Chinese company Zhongtian Feilong, the unmanned swarm carrier system successfully went through a test flight at an airport on March 20, the company announced in a statement released last week.

During the test, a mother ship, which seems to be a fixed wing, vertical takeoff and landing-capable drone, carried nine smaller drones, which were folded under the belly of the mother ship, according to the company statement and a video clip attached to it.

The mother ship opened the aircraft bay after arriving at a designated mission point and dropped the smaller drones in order, while also ensuring the speed, direction, attitude and distance of dropping could match the requirement so the smaller drones could form a swarm, the statement said.

This system is characterized by its long range, strong anti-jamming capability, multiple types of payloads, accurate guidance links and low logistics support requirements, the company said, noting that it is flexible, safe, highly efficient, independent and easy to operate even under complicated environments for different types of combat missions like reconnaissance, early warning, jamming, attack and evaluation.

It was not revealed if the mother ship can retrieve the smaller drones in the air.

Military affairs experts reached by the Global Times on Wednesday said that the system is a new concept in swarm warfare, and it is like an airborne aircraft carrier. 

Using drones to launch smaller drones could revolutionize future warfare if the technology becomes mature, because this approach can rapidly increase the number of active aircraft in a mission area, making themselves difficult to defend against and can also expand reconnaissance and early warning area, an expert who asked to remain anonymous said.

Different types of smaller drones can be carried by a mother ship at the same time, as they serve different purposes, just like a maritime aircraft carrier with fighter jets and early warning aircraft. But drones, unmanned and inexpensive, are expendable as long as mission objectives can be accomplished, another expert said.

Other countries are also experimenting with similar technologies, including the US that used an XQ-58A drone to launch an ALTIUS-600, an even smaller unmanned aircraft, on March 26, US media outlet Defense News reported on Monday.

Most of these systems are still experimental in nature and limited in size, analysts said, noting that if the mother ship becomes bigger and carries more drones with stronger capabilities and gains longer endurance, it could in the future play strategic roles from the current tactical roles.” 

“Chinese warplane firm lays out plans for new stealth fighter & next-gen aircraft

By  Liu Xuanzun  Published: Mar 29, 2021

A model of an FC-31 fighter jet is displayed. Photo: Yang Sheng/GT

A model of an FC-31 fighter jet is displayed. Photo: Yang Sheng/GT

A top Chinese warplane-producing company recently announced plans to make technological breakthroughs to ensure the successful development of a new, fourth-generation stealth fighter jet, and conduct test production and research on its next-generation aircraft in 2021.

China is widely expected to develop an aircraft carrier-ready stealth fighter jet, as the US is racing China in next-generation warplane development.

Dubbed a cradle of Chinese fighter jets, the Shenyang Aircraft Co. Ltd. under the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) released a statement last week on its WeChat public account and revealed its work plans for 2021.

The company aims to make breakthroughs in its fourth-generation fighter jet program by boosting related technologies, including additive manufacturing, control over surface electromagnetic defects, and automated fiber placement, so that the aircraft can be successfully developed, the statement said.

A fourth-generation fighter jet, in the Chinese context, is a stealth fighter jet comparable to the likes of J-20, F-22 and Su-57.

While the statement did not specify the name of the aircraft, it attached photos of the FC-31, the only known fourth-generation fighter jet being made by the Shenyang-based company.

Wang Ya’nan, chief editor of Beijing-based Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times on Monday that it makes sense to speculate the statement is referring to an improved version of the FC-31, as the current versions are only prototypes.

The Chinese Navy needs a more advanced fighter jet on its aircraft carriers in the future, and the FC-31, when customized for that purpose, would be a good choice, Wang predicted.

The company announced that it is also exploring next-generation aircraft including research on technologies like thermal adaptation and integration of structure and function.

A technological system for the next-generation aircraft will be gradually formed as the company conducts test production and research, the statement said.

US Air Combat Command head General Mark Kelly said last month that the US is developing a next-generation fighter jet, but its progress could trail China’s, US media outlet Defense News reported on February 26.

Experts said that the US is stirring up an arms race over new warplanes, but the concept of the next-generation fighter jet has still not been determined around the world.

China’s next-generation fighter jet is expected to come into being by 2035, media reported in early 2020, citing Wang Haifeng, a chief architect at the AVIC Chengdu Aircraft Research and Design Institute.”

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1219767.shtml

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