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Global Times: The UK and Japan 2+2 Meeting Expressed Concern about China Seas

The Chinese government backed newspaper Global Times recently reported that the Foreign Ministers and Defense Ministers of Great Britain and Japan met online. They issued a joint announcement after the meeting expressing “serious concerns” about the situation in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. The ministers also said they are against any intent to change the status quo. They reemphasized the importance of maintaining freedom both of navigation and of flying over the South China Sea, and urged all parties to exercise restraint. Britain, as an outsider, has been raising its voice on the issue of the East and South China seas. Last December, the British Navy announced that it would send the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier to the South China Sea. The Chinese Ministry of Defense spokesperson said that countries from far far away coming to the South China Sea to show military muscle is the true militarization of the South China Sea and that the Chinese military will take necessary measures to resolutely defend China’s sovereignty.

Source: Global Times, February 4, 2021

Military: China’s Airplanes Practiced Missile Attack on U.S. Carrier

According to intelligence from the U.S. and its allies, Chinese bombers and fighter jets carried out a simulated missile attack on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the South China Sea.

They conducted the exercise in Taiwan’s air defense airspace on January 23, after China sent 13 warplanes into Taiwan’s southwestern air defense zone and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command dispatched the USS Theodore Roosevelt battle group into the South China Sea.

A U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said the Chinese aircraft did not come within 250 nautical miles of U.S. Navy ships.

Another person familiar with the matter said the Chinese planes had been staying about 250 nautical miles from the USS Roosevelt battle group. Dialogue between the pilots of the Chinese H-6 bombers showed that the planes were conducting a mock locking down and releasing anti-ship missile against the U.S. aircraft carrier.

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Military: The PLA Equipped Soldiers in Tibet with Self-Destruct Helmets

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) equipped its soldiers stationed in Tibet with new helmets that have a self-destruct button. The button would trigger an embedded bomb to go off, killing the soldier.

The state-run media China Observer reported on Dec. 27, 2020, “At a battalion or brigade level command center, a commander uses a navigation system to monitor the soldier who is far away. The commander can activate the self-destruct function on the soldier’s helmet if he is unable to contact him.”

The report stated that soldiers can also press the button themselves. “If a soldier is seriously wounded and doesn’t want to be captured, he can activate the self-destruct function himself. This can maintain his dignity, as well as prevent the enemy from obtaining this system.”

The new helmet is part of an “individual soldier digital combat system” given to troops in the Tibet theater command. They face Indian troops at the border, where there were recent skirmishes over disputed territory in the Ladakh region.

The system includes an antenna and bomb, night-vision multifunctional glasses, and a digital control terminal that can be worn on the arm.

After being equipped with the system, soldiers at the frontline can communicate with the battalion commander at the command center via radio. Meanwhile, the commander can see the frontline via video footage captured by the soldier’s camera-equipped jacket. The footage can help the commander to make decisions such as ordering the soldier to fire artillery targeting Indian soldiers.

Soldiers in special forces units, the squad infantry, as well as the artillery, aviation, and armor divisions will be equipped with this system.

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Source: The Epoch Times, January 11, 2021

Military: China Tested the Biden Administration’s Position on Taiwan

On January 23, China sent 13 warplanes into Taiwan’s southwestern air defense zone. China’s planes included eight nuclear-capable bombers, four fighter jets and an anti-submarine patrol aircraft. In response, Taiwan’s air force warned away the Chinese aircraft and deployed missiles to monitor them.

After the incident and on the same day, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command dispatched an aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt into the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas” in the waterway.

Also on the same day, the U.S. State Department released a statement confirming its support for Taiwan. The statement asserted,

“The United States notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC attempts to intimidate its neighbors, including Taiwan. We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives.

We will stand with friends and allies to advance our shared prosperity, security, and values in the Indo-Pacific region — and that includes deepening our ties with democratic Taiwan. The United States will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues, consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people on Taiwan. The United States maintains its longstanding commitments as outlined in the Three Communiqués, the Taiwan Relations Act, and the Six Assurances. We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability. Our commitment to Taiwan is rock-solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region.”

However, on the next day, Beijing sent another 15 aircraft to break into Taiwan’s airspace.

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy Framework that the Trump administration declassified stated the following:

“Objective: Deter China from using military force against the United States and U.S. allies or partners, and develop the capabilities and concepts to defeat Chinese actions across the spectrum of conflict.”

One action toward this objective is: “Devise and implement a defense strategy capable of, but not limited to: (1) denying China sustained air and sea dominance inside the “first island chain” in a conflict; (2) defending the first-island-chain nations, including Taiwan; and (3) dominating all domains outside the first island-chain.”

1. New York Post, January 23, 2021.
2. State Department, January 23, 2021.
3. New York Post, January 25, 2021.


Global Times: U.S. Accused China of Having Missile Tests Despite the Pandemic

Global Times recently reported that the U.S. President’s Special Envoy for Arms Control Affairs accused China of conducting numerous missile tests in year 2020 and that there were over 250 missiles, despite the widespread Covid-19 pandemic. The total missiles used in testing exceeded China’s records in 2018 and 2019. The U.S. and its allies won’t turn a blind eye to it. Global Times requested comments from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry’s spokeswomen, Hua Chunying, responded that China firmly opposes the baseless accusations that frequently come from the United States. China is only conducting activities that sustain China’s minimum national security needs for the sole purpose of self-defense. The United States is in fact the country that has actually been conducting unrestrained military developments, which have posed a threat to regional and global peace.

Source: Global Times, January 19, 2021

Phoenix News: China May Launch Third Aircraft Carrier This Year

Phoenix New Media (NYSE: FENG), a pro-mainland news company headquartered in Hong Kong, recently reported that China’s third aircraft carrier (serial number “003”) may launch this year and the expected Navy deployment will be around 2025. Based on the photos that the Chinese magazine Military Industrial Technology released, the new carrier seems to be bigger and is equipped with an electromagnetic catapult, which opens the door for carrying tankers, anti-submarine aircraft, transport aircraft, and AEW (Air Early Warning). The 003 uses a modular architecture and took a shorter time than 002 to assemble. After the launch, it typically takes two years for equipment installation (including radar, various sensors and the catapult), static tests and sea tests. Some said the 003 aircraft carrier measures up to the U.S. Kitty Hawk class, with the displacement exceeding 80,000 tons. However, the Chinese Navy did not reveal any official details on the specifications.

Source: Phoenix News, January 18, 2021

Beijing to Give PLA Officers 40 Percent Pay Raises in 2021

The Hong Kong “South China Morning Post” quoted sources as saying that Beijing is expected to raise the salaries of its PLA officers by 40 percent this year. Among them, young officers stationed in Tibet, Xinjiang, the East China Sea, the South China Sea and other border troops will benefit the most. This is part of the military modernization reform that Xi Jinping has promoted. The purpose of this move is to attract and retain talented soldiers and to give the young soldiers confidence in the ongoing reforms.

A veteran PLA officer confirmed that veterans will also receive higher pensions based on the length of service. However, he said that both active and veteran military officers are worried about the strong influence the Central Military Commission has and the lack of transparency in the system. He also said, “The Central Military Commission issued over 10 new policies but those are only available to officers of a certain rank and can’t be disclosed to the general public.”

Source: Central News Agency, January 23, 2021

A Number of Provincial Military Commands, Municipal Garrison Commands and Beijing Garrison Commands across China Held Meetings

Recently, a number of provincial party committee secretaries participated in meetings of the Provincial Military Commands, Municipal Garrison Commands and Beijing Garrison Commands.

From January 6 to 7, the Beijing Garrison Command, the Chongqing Garrison Command, the Zhejiang Provincial Military Command, the Jiangxi Provincial Military Command, the Guizhou Provincial Military Command, and the Yunnan Provincial Military Command all held expanded meetings of party committees.

The Secretary of the provincial party committee attended the meetings. All 31 provincial administrative regions are equipped with corresponding provincial military commands.

Source: Sohu, January 9, 2021