Pat's Sanitarium
Pat's Sanitarium
A retreat for the well-being of my mind from the insanity of the life that is mine.
Friday, July 29, 2005

On China 


Mood: Tired
Reading: Water ice in crater at Martian north pole (pics included!)
Currently listening to: My co-workers ranting :p
Quote of the day: "China! There lies a sleeping giant. Let him sleep on. When he awakes he will shake the world.'" - Napoleon Bonaparte

An interesting quote from a surprising source, non? ;)

Wanted to post up something last night but various work related issues (some of which are not directly attributed to NSS) caught up with me last night and... well, lets just say i got to bed at 6:30am. *sigh*

In the meantime though, now that my workload for the week has been taken care off i figured that i'd just do a quick post to provide some sources of data on the Chinese military (and China in general as well) to a certain someone who requested it for his assignment - hell, i figured that some of you out there might find it interesting reading! :)

To save myself time i'll just bullet point the main issues:

- Typical Soviet structure is still maintained of seperate arms (Army, Navy, Air Force, Space Forces, etc.) with the army being divided into seven Soviet style military districts (refer to later links for geographical boundaries and forces). In addition they maintain a large core of airborne/air assault capable units as well as Marines under the Navy. Much of this basic information is available in the links i will provide. In addition, there is also the People's Armed Police (PAP) as well as the Reserve forces.

- Currently undergoing a huge overhaul. The main focus of which is to streamline their forces (as per their new strategic doctrinal shift away from their 'People's War' doctrine of old). This involves slashing troop numbers and focusing on renovating the force into a more voluntary, full time and professional force with greater strategic mobility, equipment and training. This is currently underway with troop numbers to be slashed by 200,000 in the coming 1-2 years (from a force of approx. 2 million at the moment) as well as the purchase of newer Russian equipment and technology transfers. Nowhere is this reorganisation more evident than in the recent establishment of their RRUs (Rapid Response Units) of Marine, Airborne and Class A Army units to allow for greater strategic mobility around, but more importantly outside, China's borders - a start to combat their so called 'short arms and slow legs' capabilities of yore. Much still remains to be done though.

- Likewise, the PLAAF's and PLAN's capabalities are expanding at an astounding rate with high-end vessels, submarines and aircraft being purchased from Russia. In addition to this, their strategic nuclear capabilities have been further upgraded with technology transfers with Russia and they have just recently successfully tested and fielded a SSBN submarine and missile capable of striking the US. Mention of course must also be made of their tactical missiles as well - in particular their large stocks of Russian 'Sunburn' anti-ship variable path cruise missiles which are aimed as a deterrant to US intervention in Taiwan.

- As part of the reorganisation, the PLA's previous private sector activities (as part of their financial self-sufficiency strategy) have been actively curtailed in order to refocus the armed forced back onto their primary responsibilities of defending the nation.

- Chinese military spending is officially understated. It is well recognised that there are/should be large quantities of undeclared sums.

- China is attempting to build up a local defence industry on par with its western counterparts. Such industries are now in the process of being privatized while relations between China and Russia are now good enough that China takes up 30% of all Russian Arms exports. In addition, despite the ongoing technology sanctions (which have, in the last week, been beefed up once again) by the US and Europe, large-scale low-action industrial esionage activities by China as well as technical agreements with Russia have garnered them significant advancements in many areas. It should also be noted that they have close technological development ties with Israel (or, rather, not anymore since the US cracked down on Israel).

- Periphery factors will (and have) largely impacted upon this military. Most importantly is the strength and political clout of China's economy - which i won't get into because stats are readily available - however it is interesting to note that with its average 8-9% growth p.a. China has been attributed with a 2% growth to the global economy yearly, which makes for a big stick! The other major thing to watch out for is the seeming socio-cultural revolution that seems to be underway. With a communist government governing over an increasingly capitalist economy the coming years will be ones to watch with interest. It should, for instance, be interesting to see the effects of globalization, rapid modernization, communication and education on the social fabric of China, particularly in regards to the traditional outlook of the export of democracy from increasing western-based influences (eg. consumer goods and ideals) and ideas (eg. from the increasingly large numbers of overseas students). A vibrant economy, in a (still yet) well controlled society, with increasingly nationalistic pride (which, i may point out with interest and a little discretion, were in many ways the hallmarks of fascism) tends to always herald significant social changes in the future.


Right, gotta end this quick so here are the links i tend to use the most:

Chinese Defense Today

Great site (with a really gorgeous layout) with plenty of information on their order of battle, current news, pics, equipment and information on all arms of the Chinese military. Very thorough! Also, its updated VERY frequently - which is always a plus!

Another site that i use a lot! You can find a lot of information available on China here. This is THE greatest site - its got the most thorough info on the layout, doctrine, and policies of the entire system, equipment guides, development guides, troop layout, etc. But best of all - it has reams and reams of white papers to read up on! Included is information on many other related topics such as human rights abuses, known intel ops, weapon import/export statistics, nuclear and WMD developments, drug trade, PLA enterprises, history, etc.

Federation Of American Scientists (FAS)

FAS and tend to share quite a bit of info with each other, so its pretty much just like the above except with a greater focus on the arms trade, government secrecy (US mainly), Chemical & Bio weapons controls, nuclear proliferation, and future warfare developments.

Always a fun site to keep up with technology developments! Provides many interesting links to other related sites (like the fascinating Arms Control Wonk - a favourite!). Be sure to check out all relevant China articles. Downside however is that they haven't been around for as long as the previous two sites and don't contain document databases. Still, an interesting read with many useful links.

Be sure to also check out TIME's excellent article on China's new cultural revolution as well as the BBC's series of articles referenced in Changing China for a look at the socio-cultural changes that are happening now and that may impact political policy (and therefore military policy) in the near future.

Finally, an absolute must-read would have to be the just-released DOD's Annual Report to Congress: The Military Power of the People’s Republic of China 2005 (which is, surprisingly, not as overly alarmist as their last one). Makes for a good read! ;)

Right, that should be more than enough for you to get through for now. Seeing as i didn't sleep last night its time for me to get some shuteye...

And yes, i know, i'm sad. :p

Right two more articles and i'm off.

Berlin readies giant brothel for 2006 World Cup

Full article here.

A German company is looking to cash in on an expected boom in the sex trade during next year's soccer World Cup with a 60-room brothel a walk away from Berlin's Olympic Stadium, German media reported on Friday.

Named after the virgin huntress of Greek mythology, the "Artemis" complex is due to open for business in September with whirlpool, sauna, cinema, buffet restaurant and a staff of 100 prostitutes, mass circulation daily Bild reported.

"This is no flash rip-off joint where clients are taken for a ride," a spokesman for the Artemis GmbH investment company behind the project, told the newspaper.

Prostitution is legal in Germany in designated areas. Dortmund, one of 11 other cities to host World Cup matches, has said it will install drive-in wooden "sex garages" in time for the tournament in a bid to keep the trade off the streets.

But the Artemis project does not enjoy the backing of Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit. "We have no need for that," he told Bild.

Sex garages? Kinky.

Dangerous Bird Flu Strain Found in Russia

Full article here.

Investigators have determined that a strain of bird flu virus infecting fowl in Russia is the type that can infect humans, the Agriculture Ministry said Friday.

The virus caused the deaths of hundreds of birds in a section of Siberia this month, but no human infections have been reported.

In a brief statement, the ministry identified the virus as avian flu type A H5N1.

"That raises the need for undertaking quarantine measures of the widest scope," the statement said. Ministry officials could not immediately be reached for elaboration.

Strains of bird flu have been hitting flocks throughout Asia and some fatal human cases have been reported there.

Since 2003, bird flu has killed at least 57 people in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, which reported its first three human deaths this month.

The outbreak in Russia's Novosibirsk region apparently started about two weeks ago when large numbers of chicken, geese, ducks and turkeys began dying. Officials say that all dead or infected birds were incinerated. But it is unclear whether that would effectively stop the virus from spreading.

Earlier this week, Russia's chief government epidemiologist, Gennady Onishchenko, said the virus' appearance in Russia could be due to migrating birds that rest on the Siberian region's lakes.

A recent report released by the journal Science said the finding of the H5N1 infection in migrant birds at Qinghai Lake in western China "indicates that this virus has the potential to be a global threat."


Blog Post Of The Day

KL Highlight 3 [Serina]

"Dancing with Pat on an actual dance floor with actual music and actual people around. As he twirled me round, I thought, ‘Wow how far he has come since Dec, when he’d only dance with me in a deserted car park’…and that’s when he skillfully manoeuvred me into the speaker right behind me. Lucky we were right at the back, so I could limp, dignified, behind a pillar to nurse my bruise and curse pat. He claims it was an accident..."

For those of you who are interested, Serina's (finally) posted up a whole bunch of posts dedicated to her time here in KL!

Hilarious stuff! :p


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Name: Patrick Pincon
Age: 27
Studied at: Monash
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Nationality: Malaysian/French
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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