From The Economist - June 29 - 2019


CHINA


Military reform



Army dreamers


Xi Jinping wants China's armed forces to be "world-class" by 2050. He has done more to achieve this than any of his predecessors




Over the past decade, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has been lavished with money and arms. China's military spending rose by 83% in real terms between 2009 and 2018, by far the largest growth spurt in any big country. The splurge has enabled China to deploy precision missiles and anti-satellite weapons that challenge American supremacy in the western Pacific. China's leader, Xi Jinping, says his "Chinese dream" includes a "dream of a strong armed forces". That, he says, involves "modernising" the PLA by 2035 and making it "world-class"—in other words, America-beating—by mid-century. He has been making a lot of progress.


Organizational reforms may be less eyecatching than missiles that fly at Mach 5, unmanned cargo planes and electromagnetically powered superguns (all of which China has tested in the past year). Yet Mr Xi has realised that there is little point in grafting fancy weapons onto an old-fashioned force. During the cold war the PLS evolved to repel the Soviet Union and America in big land wars on Chinese soil. Massed infantry would grind down the enemy in attritional battles. In the 1990s Chinese leaders, alarmed by American prowess in the Gulf war of 1991, decided to focus on enhancing the PLA’s ability to fight "local wars under high-technology conditions". They were thinking of short, sharp conflicts on China's periphery, such as over Taiwan, in which air and naval power would be as important as ground forces. Mr Xi decided that winning such wars required changing the armed forces' structure. He has done more in the past three years to reform the PLA than any leader since Deng Xiaoping.


Mr Xi's principal aim is to increase "jointness". This term, borrowed from Western military jargon, refers to the ability of different services—army, navy and air force—to co-operate on the battlefield quickly and seamlessly. Jointness is especially important for fighting wars that break out abroad. It can be difficult for commanders at national headquarters to choreograph soldiers, sailors and pilots from a great distance. The different services must be able to work together without instruction from on high.


China's model is the United States, which—under the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986—drastically reformed its own armed forces in order to achieve this goal. The Pentagon carved up the globe into "combat commands". No longer would services squabble among themselves. All soldiers, sailors astd pilots in a given area, such as the Persian Gulf or the Pacific, would take orders from a single officer.


Mr Xi has followed suit. Before his reforms, army and navy commanders in the country's seven military regions would report to their respective service headquarters, with little or no co-ordination. In February 2016 Mr Xi replaced the regions with five "theatres", each under a single commander (see map). The eastern one based in Nanjing would prepare for war with Taiwan and Japan, for instance. The sprawling western theatre, in Chengdu, would handle India. The southern one in Guangzhou would manage the South China Sea.


As well as these geographic commands, two others were formed in 2015, each aimed at an American vulnerability. American forces depend on communications via satellites, computer networks and other high-tech channels. So Mr xi created a new Strategic Support Force to target these systems. It directs space, cyber, electronic and psychological warfare. In 2018 it conducted exercises against five pla units in what the Pentagon called a "complex electronic warfare environment". American military power in Asia also depends on a network of bases and aircraft carriers. Mr Xi took aim at these by establishing a new service called the PLA Rocket Force—an upgrade of what was previously known less rousingly as the Second Artillery Corps.


He has also been trimming the armed forces' bloated ranks, though they remain over 2m-strong. Since 2015 the PLA has shed  300,000 men, most of them from the land forces, which have lost one-third of their commissioned officers and shrunk from 70% of the PLA’s total strength to less than half (though happily the army has kept its dance troupes, which it had been told it would lose). By contrast, the marines are tripling in size. Navy and air-force officers have gained more powerful posts, including leadership of two theatre commands. This reflects the PLA’s tilt towards the seas—and the skies above them.


It is hard to tell whether the new PLA is more proficient on the battlefield. China has not fought a war in four decades. The last Chinese soldiers with experience of a large-scale conflict—a war with Vietnam in 1979—will retire shortly.


But there is evidence that the PLA is getting better at jointness. Some of China's growing number of forays beyond its borders, notably bomber flights around Taiwan and over the South China Sea, indicate increasing co-ordination between air and naval forces. "We see a lot of joint exercises to work out kinks in the system and get the services used to working with each other," says Phillip Saunders of the National Defence University in Washington, DC. Chinese war games were once highly scripted affairs. Now officers are assessed on the realism of their training, says Meia Nouwens of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. Before Mr Xi's reforms the "blue team", which simulates an adversary, would always ritually lose large-scale annual exercises known as "Stride" in Inner Mongolia. Now they usually win.


But China's troops may still be ill-prepared for complex warfare. In America promotions depend on officers' ability to work with other services. Their Chinese counterparts often spend their entire careers in one service, in one region and even doing the same job. Political culture is another problem. "The structures that China is trying to emulate are based on openness, on delegation of authority and collaboration," notes Admiral Scott Swift of MIT, who retired last year as commander of America's Pacific Fleet. He says modern warfare requires decentralized decision-making because cyber and electronic warfare can sever communications between commanders and units. "Militaries that are founded on democratic principles are going to be much more adept at adapting to that environment," Admiral Swift suggests.


Mr Xi is an authoritarian who strives for centralised control. His predecessor, Hu I Jintao, did not have a tight grip on the PLA, says Mr Saunders. That is because Mr Hu's own predecessor, Jiang Zemin, had appointed the two vice-chairmen of the Central Military Commission, a powerful body that oversees the armed forces. They stayed throughout Mr Hu's tenure, frustrating any efforts to reform the PLA and curb its endemic corruption and ill-discipline.


Mr Xi is determined not to suffer the same fate. His anti-corruption purges have ensnared more than 13,000 officers (three serving generals were demoted in June, according to the South China Morning Post, a newspaper in Hong Kong). Mr Xi slimmed down the military commission from 11 to seven members, kicking off the service chiefs and adding an anti-graft officer. The body was also given control of the paramilitary People's Armed Police, which in turn absorbed the coast guard.


Predictably, the restructuring has generated resentment. Senior officers are irked at losing privileges. Demobilized soldiers sometimes take their grievances to the streets—one reason why Mr Xi founded a ministry of veterans' affairs in 2016. But, says Ms Nouwens, younger ranks benefit from merit-based promotion, take pride in the growing prominence of the PLA in Chinese film and television, and admire Mr Xi's "great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation". They will have an opportunity to show off on October 1st when a huge military parade will be staged in Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of Communist rule. It will be the first such show in the capital since Mr Xi launched his reforms. Expect a world-class performance. ■


SO  CHINA  ADMITS  IT  HAS  A  LONG   WAY  TO GO IN MILITARY MIGHT, AND IT COULD TAKE TILL 2050  TO  REACH  THAT  STATAS  AND ARE  ON PAR  WITH  THE  USA  AND  RUSSIA.


WHAT  I  CAN  TELL YOU IS  THAT  BIBLE  PROPHECY  GIVES NO SPECIFIC PROPHECY  CONCERNING  CHINA.  


SHE  MAYBE  PART  OF  THE  EASTERN  POWER  OF  THE  6TH  TRUMPET  IN  THE  BOOK  OF  REVELATION,  CHAPTER 9—- THE  MEN  OF  THE EAST  OF  THE  GREAT  RIVER  EUPHRATES.


THIS  PROPHECY  IS  AS  IT  WAS  ONCE  BEFORE  IN  NOT LONG AGO  PAST  TIME,  WHEN THE  ARMY  COMING  FROM  RUSSIA  TO  DESTROY  THE  GERMAN  WAR  MACHINE.    


IT  WAS  RUSSIA  COMING  FROM  THE  EAST  TO  PAYBACK  TO  GERMANY  FOR THE  20 TO 30  MILLION  LIVES  LOST  UNDER  ADOLF  HITLER'S WAR MACHINE.


HOW  THEY  WANTED  SWEET  REVENGE!


NEXT  TIME  THE  EUROPE  HOLY  ROMAN  EMPIRE,  WILL  BE  SMASHED  BY  THE  KINGS  OF  THE  EAST—- RUSSIA  FOR  SURE,  GOOD  LIKELIHOOD  CHINA  ALSO,  POSSIBLY  NORTH  AND  SOUTH  KOREA,  MAYBE  WITH  THEM  SHALL  ALSO  BE  INDIA  AND  PAKISTAN.


BUT  ARMIES  FROM  THE  EAST  OF  THE EUPHRATES  WILL  COME  IN  RETALIATION  FOR  WHAT  THE  LAST  HOLY  ROMAN  EMPIRE  WILL  DO  TO  TRY  AND  CONQUER  THE  BIG  NATIONS  OF  THE  EAST.


WE HAVE NOTHING  TO  BE  SCARED  ABOUT  CHINA,  OR  RUSSIA—- WE  OF  THE  WESTERN  WORLD  WILL  HAVE  NO  BATTLE  WITH  THOSE  COUNTRIES.


O  BUT  WE  SHALL  BE  DESTROYED  BY  OF  ALL  PEOPLE  “OUR  LOVERS”—— ONES  YOU  WOULD  NOT  THINK  WOULD  DO  SUCH  A  THING.  BUT  PROPHECY  SAYS  THAT  IS  EXACTLY  WHAT  IS  TO  HAPPEN.  NOT  RUSSIA,  NOT  CHINA,  NOT  THE  NATIONS  FROM  THE  EAST,  THAT  WE  MIGHT  THINK  WE  NEED  TO  WATCH  THEM TO ATTACK US;  BUT  OUR  DESTRUCTIVE   SMASH  TO  THE  GROUND  WILL  BE  BY  OUR   LOVER  NATIONS——THE  LAST  HOLY  ROMAN  EMPIRE.


ALL  BIBLE  PROPHECY  IS  EXPOUNDED  FOR  YOU  UNDER  “PROPHECY”  ON  THIS  WEBSITE.


Keith Hunt