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Chinese Military Officer Luo Yuan Discusses U.S. Intentions on China

[Editor’s Note: Huanqiu (Global Times), a division of the People’s Daily, recently invited Major-General Luo Yuan to have a live discussion on the Internet with Huanqiu’s web audience .Luo is well-known as one of China’s Military Hawks because of his provocative hypernationalism. The discussion dealt with a number of issues. Below are a few of the questions and answers that focused on the Diaoyu Islands, on how the United States was using that issue to contain China, and on the issue of Internet Security.] [1]

Huanqiu web user: On March 20 Japanese Economic News reported that the United States and Japan are going to develop a common defense plan on the Diaoyu Islands issue. If Chinese naval vessels use force in the territorial waters of the Diaoyu Islands, this program will serve as a common guide for the United States and Japan. What is the purpose of the U.S.’ action? Does it mean it is possible that China and the United States will have a direct military confrontation over the Diaoyu Islands?

Luo Yuan: I have always suspected that the United States has ulterior motives in dealing with the Diaoyu Islands issue. The first is to use the Diaoyu Islands issue as an excuse for the U.S. strategic shift to the East. The second is to divert China’s strategic attention so as to interfere with China’s peaceful rise. The third is to drive a wedge between China and Japan so that the U.S. can benefit from it. On one hand, the United States promised that Article V of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty applies to the Diaoyu Islands. On the other hand, the United States announced that it, along with Japan, will develop a “common defense plan” on the Diaoyu Islands issue. Its intention is to deter China, to instigate China and Japan to argue but not fight against each other, in order to avoid getting them involved [in a fight]. We want to tell the United States and Japan that we are not afraid of them! Any treaty between the United States and Japan that is against China will only serve as a “grindstone” to sharpen our will to fight. Of course, we need to despise the enemy strategically, but also to prepare well for the enemy tactically.

Huanqiu web user: On February 12, Strategy magazine published an article by the military expert Sean Mirsky. It explored the feasibility of the U.S. carrying out a naval blockade of China in case a war broke out. … Do you think there is any possibility that the United States will block China on the sea? Once the United States imposes a naval blockade against China, will China be able to deal with it effectively?

Luo Yuan: Whether the United States has the intention to block China is one thing. Whether or not it has the ability to block China is another matter. It may have the intention but it absolutely does not have the ability. China has a vast territory. The coastline itself is 18,000 km long. China has 7 to 8 maritime neighbors. Some are friendly toward China and some have a neutral stance. How could the United States carry out such a blockade? … To dissolve the containment of the United States, we must, first of all, improve our overall national strength and strengthen the development of the Navy and Air Force and our long-range delivery capability. Second, we must expand our diplomatic capacity and make more friends. Third, we must bypass the blockade of the United States and look for new strategic channels

Huanqiu web user: On March 12, 2013, Keith Alexander, commander of the U.S. Army Cyber Command, said that the U.S. Defense Department is setting up multi cyber security forces that will have the task of combating any cyber attack against the United States. … As we all know, the United States was the first country publicly to declare a cyber war against another country. It is also the world’s largest and most technologically advanced cyber warfare country. How do we deal with the U.S. in this regard? Should we establish a cyber warfare army?

Luo Yuan: According to the “2011 China Internet Security Situation Report” which the National Emergency Response Center released in 2011, the United States had more than 9,500 IP addresses controlling nearly 8.85 million computers in China and over 3,300 IPs controlling 3,400 websites. The United States can send blasts through its control of the IP addresses; it can send nearly 700,000 pieces of fake information to cover our main site within two hours. Evidently, at present, the most extensive cyber warfare is from the United States: The origin is from the United States; the most advanced technology is from the United States; many IP addresses are from the United States; even some computer back door viruses and logic bombs are also from the United States. The United States is also one of the few countries that has cyber war combat troops. Therefore, many of the world’s cyber attacks, one cannot help but suspect, are from the United States. The United States often blames others first. Our strategy is very simple. It is, “learn the technology from them and then use it on them.” Of course, we will not take other’s old road. We must engage in asymmetric development, “draw a tiger with the example of a cat,” and acquire the advantage through innovation.

Huanqiu web user: How can “hawks” and “doves” cooperate in order to safeguard China’s national interests effectively?

Luo Yuan: We must do a good job in top-level design and collaborate and cooperate well within the boundaries of the country’s overall objectives. Some will play a role on the positive side; some will play a negative role. Keep things transparent if appropriate; keep things confidential when necessary. Take the country’s core strategic interests as the highest consideration. Hawks must be rational hawks and doves must be swift and fierce doves. The recent statement from Chinese Ambassador Cui on the Diaoyu Islands issue is very inspiring. I often say that I do not deny that I am a hawk, but I have an eagle’s eyes and claws and, at the same time, I have a pigeons’ mind and heart.

Huanqiu, May 3, 2013