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Japan’s 2024 Defense White Paper Reveals Significant Reduction in Number of Chinese Missiles and Aircrafts

The Japanese Ministry of Defense recently released its 2024 Defense White Paper, revealing a significant reduction in the number of intermediate-range missiles possessed by the Chinese Rocket Force. The 2024 Defense White Paper reported 212 intermediate-range missiles, down from 278 in the 2023 report. The decline since 2021 has been even greater.

In 2023, there were a total of 70 DF-21 series missiles; by 2024, only 24 DF-21A/E missiles remained, with all DF-21B/C/D series missiles, including the so-called “carrier killer” DF-21D, disappearing.

China’s DF-26 missile count has reached to 140, an increase of 30 from 2023. Additionally, the number of nuclear warheads has increased to 410, up from 350 in both 2022 and 2023.

The number of J-20 aircraft has increased from 140 in 2023 to 200 in 2024. The number of J-16 aircraft has grown from 262 in 2023 to 292 in 2024. The J-10 fighter jets remain at 588 units as 2023. The number of carrier-based J-15 aircraft remains 60, insufficient to fully equip its two aircraft carriers.

Source: Epoch Times, July 12, 2024

Central Military Commission Tells PLA to Tighten Budget

Due to the sliding economy, Beijing has been asking local governments to keep tight budgets. Now it has also asked the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to do the same.

China’s Central Military Commission recently issued a document titled “Measures on Building the Military with Hard Work and in Thrifty Way, to Improve the Military’s Quality and Efficiency.” The document states that “building the military with hard work and in a thrifty way is the fine tradition of the communist party and military,” and “must not be abandoned at any time or under any circumstances.” It urged the military to “firmly establish the mindset of living with a tight budget, meticulously calculate and manage all endeavors with thrift.” According to the website of China’s Ministry of Veterans Affairs, the document emphasizes the need to “adopt concepts such as resource constraints, cost-effectiveness, integration of support, performance management, and systematic governance, to enhance the operational efficiency of military systems and the utilization efficiency of defense resources.”

Source: China’s Ministry of Veterans Affairs website, June 20, 2024

China Establishes $48 Billion Phase III National Semiconductor Fund

China has established a “Phase III National Semiconductor Fund” with a registered capital of 344 billion yuan ($48 billion) as part of efforts to build a national team for the semiconductor industry. The Ministry of Finance is the largest shareholder of the fund, with a 17.44% stake.

According to media reports, the National Integrated Circuit Industry Phase III Investment Fund Co., Ltd. was officially established on May 24th, with Zhang Xin as the legal representative. The company’s business scope includes private equity fund management, venture capital fund management services, equity investment, investment management, and asset management activities.

The fund’s other shareholders include state-owned policy banks, state-owned enterprises, and major commercial banks. The National Semiconductor Phase I and II Funds were established in 2014 and 2019 with registered capital of 98.72 billion yuan and 204.15 billion yuan, respectively.

Analysts suggest that, while the previous two funding phases focused on semiconductor equipment and materials, Phase III may prioritize investment in high-value products like High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) and advanced DRAM chips.

The establishment of national semiconductor funds reflects China’s long-term strategic plan to boost its semiconductor industry through substantial financial support, aiming to achieve self-sufficiency in critical technologies. The Chinese government appears committed to strengthening China’s semiconductor capabilities and reducing reliance on foreign suppliers.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), May 27

PLA Social Media Photo Reveals Taiwan Invasion Training Tactic

A photo posted on Weibo  by the Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) began circulating on the Internet around March 23rd. The photo showed the reunion of the 12 PLA model units of after a 60-year hiatus. A sharp-eyed netizen found that, in one corner of the photo, there was a sign for a “Juguang Taekwondo Gym (莒光跆拳道館).” It was a training site set at the “Gaolinshan Tactical Training Base” of the 72nd Group Army of the PLA in Jurong, Jiangsu Province. This site completely simulates Taiwan’s “Shangtian Juguang Taekwondo Gym” at No. 18, Section 4, Yangxin Road, Yangmei, Taoyuan. It reveals that the PLA has been conducting exercises with its elite forces to launch a surprise attack on Taiwan, occupying key areas in the Yangmei area for urban warfare and blocking the northward advancement of the Hukou armored division.

The Shangtian Juguang Taekwondo Gym is located at the intersection of County Road 115 and Township Road 81, controlling the bridge over the Shizi River. Less than 700 meters to the west, within the range of a machine gun, is the intersection of Provincial Highway 31 and County Road 115, with Provincial Highway 31 being a vital road built along the high-speed rail that connects Taoyuan and Hsinchu. It is also the critical route for tanks and armored vehicles heading north.

About 4 kilometers east of the gym, across the Yangmei urban area, there is an abandoned mountaintop camp. Retired General Li Zhengjie explained that occupying this high point would cut off National Highway 1, which is 1 kilometer further east. Following this pattern, the PLA’s intention seems to be to set up defense lines along County Road 114 and County Road 115, cutting off all traffic arteries from Yong’an Fishing Port to National Highway 3.

On the southern front is the Shizi River; by guarding the bridges across the Shizi River, the PLA could block the northward support of the Hukou armored brigade to Taoyuan Airport.

Source: Up Media (Taiwan), March 26, 2024


Chinese Attempts to Export Military Equipment Fall Through Three Times in a Row Despite Xi Jinping’s Involvement

According to a report by the South Korean media Chosun Ilbo on April 30th, Beijing has failed in three attempts at arms exports since last year, even with the intervention of its leader Xi Jinping.

The report stated that China originally planned to export the “S26T” (also known as the 039 “Yuan-class”) diesel submarine worth $300 million to Thailand. However, the contract was canceled in October last year because Beijing’s attempt to import German-made engines was blocked by the EU’s embargo on China. Subsequently, Beijing proposed to install domestically-made diesel engines of the same class, but Thailand rejected the proposal.

After Argentina began to introduce light fighter jets into its military, Xi Jinping proposed to then-President Alberto A. Fernández a delivery of 34 Chinese JF-17 fighters, offering low prices and financial support. After Javier Gerardo Milei was elected president of Argentina in November last year, however, Argentina decided instead to purchase 24 second-hand F-16 fighter jets from Denmark for $300 million.

In addition, in a competition for short-range ballistic missile orders in the Middle East earlier this year, the “Fire Dragon 300” rocket artillery produced by China North Industries Corporation (a.k.a. Norinco) was defeated by the Korean Tactical Surface-to-Surface Missile System (KTSSM).

Source: Epoch Times, April 30, 2024

China Establishes New Information Support Force, Dissolving Strategic Support Force

On April 19th, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) dissolved the Strategic Support Force and established a new Chinese People’s Liberation Army Information Support Force. At the inauguration ceremony, CCP leader Xi Jinping stated that the Information Support Force is a brand new strategic military branch, emphasizing that it must resolutely follow the Party’s command.

According to state media reports, the inauguration ceremony began at 4pm. Xi Jinping awarded the military flag to the Information Support Force’s commander Bi Yi and to political commissar Li Wei. Xi extended congratulations from the CCP Central Committee and the CMC. Former commander Ju Qiansheng of the Strategic Support Force did not transfer to become commander of the new Information Support Force; his next move will be closely watched.

Xi Jinping instructed the new force to implement “military thought for the new era,” adhering to strategy of “building the military through politics, reform, science and technology, personnel, and rule of law.” He said that the force must focus on combat readiness, pursue system integration and full-domain support, and build a powerful modern Information Support Force.

Xi stressed absolute obedience to the Party’s command and comprehensive implementation of the Party’s absolute leadership over the military to ensure absolute loyalty, purity and reliability. He said that the force must “powerfully support operations through information dominance and joint victory.”

Li Wei vowed on behalf of the force to resolutely implement Xi’s instructions, obey the CCP Central Committee, CMC and Xi’s command, focus on combat preparedness, and loyally fulfill duties.

After the ceremony, Xi met with the Information Support Force’s leadership team.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), April 19, 2024

BBC Chinese: New U.S. Land-Based Missile System Deployed in Philippines

BBC Chinese Edition reported on April 19th that the U.S. Army’s new land-based missile launch system, the Typhon Weapon System, was recently deployed in the northern Philippines. This is the first time this new land-based missile system has appeared in the “First Island Chain.” Medium-range missiles have a range of more than 2,000 kilometers. This means the Typhon System is able to reach China’s southeastern coastal areas, the South China Sea, and the Taiwan Strait.

Experts view this development as a warning to China and a message about the United States’ military capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region. In response to the U.S. move, Beijing immediately released a high-profile counter-signal, announcing military dialogue with Cuban military leaders.

The Typhon System has mobile combat capabilities and can be mounted on heavy transport aircraft for quick deployment. The Tomahawk missiles launched by the Typhon system have medium-range strike capabilities. This means it is capable of long-distance deep strikes against high-value targets such as command and control centers, ammunition depots, and airports. The Typhon System has a longer range than the U.S.’s Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).

The war in Ukraine has shown how difficult it is to attack a mobile system such as the Typhon. The system can also launch the RIM-174B Standard Extended Range Active Missile, which is able to attack both land and sea targets. This latest deployment appears to serve as a verification that the United States can quickly deploy the system to overseas military theaters.

Source: BBC Chinese, April 19, 2024

China Unveils J-15D, a Carrier-Based Electronic Warfare Aircraft

China’s state media CCTV recently named and reported on the J-15D electronic warfare aircraft. The new aircraft is based on the Chinese J-15 carrier-based fighter jet. The J-15D is still in testing, and it is expected to appear on the deck of China’s Fujian aircraft carrier in the near future. It is unclear if mass production is planned.

Prior to the unveiling of the J-15D, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army only had one very expensive electronic warfare aircraft, the J-16D. As there is no carrier-based version of the J-16, China’s aircraft carriers lacked an electronic warfare aircraft.

According to footage from CCTV and China Global Television Network, the carrier-based J-15D is equipped with a weapons system similar to the J-16D. Promoted as a fighter jet combined with an electronic warfare aircraft concept, the heavy-duty twin-engine J-15D can carry more air-to-air and air-to-sea/ground munitions than the J-35, serving more of a multipurpose role.

The CCTV report quoted Tencent as stating that the main reason why the Chinese navy chose the J-15 as the base for developing this new electronic warfare aircraft was that the J-15 has mature aircraft carrier capabilities, suitable for integrating electronic warfare capabilities with aircraft carriers.

As the J-15D relies on its own power, it may struggle when taking off from the ski-jump decks of the Liaoning and Shandong carriers. For this reason, analysts suggest that the Fujian carrier, which has an electromagnetic launch system, will be a more suitable host for the J-15D.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), March 31, 2024