Tag Archives: Mission Action 2013

U.S. Navy intelligence chief: China training for a quick war against Japan

The United States Naval Institute (USNI) reports, Feb. 18, 2014, that the chief of intelligence of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLEET) says China’s People’s Liberation Army is training for an attack on Japanese holdings in the East China Sea.

Chinese marines assault a beach during the Mission Action 2013 exercise. Xinhua Photo

Chinese marines assault a beach during the Mission Action 2013 exercise. Xinhua Photo

At the West 2014 conference on Feb. 13 in San Diego, California, Capt. James Fannell, deputy chief of staff intelligence and information operations for PACFLEET, said the PLA is training to take the Senkaku Islands, as part of China’s Mission Action 2013 exercise — a massive exercise between all branches of the PLA:

“We witnessed the massive amphibious and cross military region enterprise — Mission Action 2013. [We] concluded that the PLA has been given the new task to be able to conduct a short sharp war to destroy Japanese forces in the East China Sea following with what can only be expected a seizure of the Senkakus or even a southern Ryukyu [islands] — as some of their academics say.”

In the last year, China has increased its provocative military actions in the South China Sea around the so-called Nine Dash Line — China’s expansive claim into the region in conflict with several other international claims.

PLAN training planPLA Navy’s training plan

“As a senior U.S. government official recently stated, there is growing concern that China’s pattern of behavior in the South China Sea reflects an incremental effort by China to assert control of the area contained in the so-called 9-dash line despite the objections of its neighbors, and despite the lack of any explanation or apparent basis under international law.” Fannell said.

He then detailed a series of what he called aggressive actions taken by China against its neighbors over the past year. Some of those actions, including combat drills in the south Philippine Sea were described as China’s “protection of maritime rights.”

Fannell explained that “protection of maritime rights is a Chinese euphemism for coercive seizure of coastal rights of China’s neighbors.” “The next week (the week after the combat drill in the south Philippine Sea) in the East China Sea, Japan said that a Chinese warship locked its fire-controlled radar onto a Japanese warship. China denied it for a month, but then admitted that it occurred, but said that it was not in danger since the range between the two ships was too close for a weapons system,” he said. “Seriously, you just can’t make this stuff up.”

Fannell also called out quasi-military actions by the newly created Chinese Coast Guard which unified five mostly civil maritime services.

Chinese Coast Guard vessel

Chinese Coast Guard vessel

Tensions in the South and East China Seas have deteriorated with the Chinese Coast Guard playing the role of antagonist, harassing China’s neighbors while PLA Navy ships, their protectors, (make) port calls throughout the region promising friendship and cooperation.”

Fannell points out China has allocated $1.6 million on improvements to disputed South China Sea outposts, developing ports, air fields, water purification and surveillance systems. “Meanwhile, China describes efforts by other nations to improve the navigability of their outposts as egregious provocations and responded with threats.”

But Fannell’s assessment of China’s provocation is in contrast to the Obama administration’s efforts to forge closer military-to-military ties with the PLA.

As an example, on the same panel at the West 2014 conference, the U.S. Navy’s head of operations, plans and strategy, Rear Adm. James Foggo described a successful meeting between U.S. Navy officials and the head of the PLA Navy (PLAN), Adm. Wu Shengli. The U.S. delegation toured PLAN ships and submarines. Shortly after, the Chinese declared the controversial Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over a large swath over the East China Sea in November.

The Obama administraton is also continuing to work out plans for the Chinese navy to participate in the Rim of the Pacific 2014 (RIMPAC) exercise later this year.

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~StMA

President Xi Jinping prepares China for war with military exercise of 40,000 soldiers

PLATaiwan’s Want China Times ( ) reports, Dec. 29, 2013, that according to a commentary published on Dec. 28 on the website of China’s official Xinhua news agency, to prepare China for war, Chinese president Xi Jinping personally approved a large-scale military exercise in October — dubbed “Mission Action 2013” — which involved 40,000 soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

In the words of Want China Times:

The long-winded 7,500-word piece said Xi, who also heads the Communist Party and is chairman of the Central Military Commission, has repeatedly emphasized the goal of building a strong army since ascending to power at the 18th National Congress last November — a goal which has become more important since that time due to major changes in China’s international strategic situation and its national security situation. These include rising tensions with Japan over the Diaoyutai islands (Diaoyu to China, Senkaku to Japan) in the East China Sea, strained relations with the unpredictable North Korea, concerns over the increased US military presence in the Asia Pacific, and a slate of violent incidents at home involving ethnic minorities which have been labeled “terrorist” attacks.

During a visit to Guangzhou, the capital of southern Guangdong province, to witness a naval exercise last December, Xi told his troops of his dream of rejuvenating the “great Chinese nation,” which he said cannot be achieved without a powerful army with Chinese characteristics.

The commentary said it was important to develop the country’s military through proper propaganda and education, the clarification of ideas and implementing strategies in every aspect of army building in a realistic and pragmatic manner. The PLA must persevere to modernize as well as expand and strengthen its military strategies to deepen preparations for potential conflict to ensure that the troops are ready if called upon not only to fight, but to win, the article added.

Noting that the pivotal third plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee last month is incorporating national security and military reforms into China’s overall reform strategy, the commentary said that the fundamental goal of the reforms is to increase the efficiency and battle-readiness of the military. Major goals of the reforms include fully bringing China’s military into the information age, revamping the command system for joint combat, and reforming the leadership structure.

Other reform goals include optimizing the size and structure of the army, adjusting and improving the proportion between various troops, and reducing non-combat institutions and personnel.

The commentary highlighted a number of Xi’s visits to various PLA military zones across the country over the past year, saying that it illustrates his affection and care for the troops. In particular, Xi visited the Beijing Military Region on Aug. 1 this year to celebrate the founding of the PLA, and two months later [in October] personally oversaw “Mission Action 2013,” the large-scale joint military exercise in which 40,000 troops maneuvered over 30,000 kilometers by road, rail, sea and air to test the logistic capabilities of the PLA in real war situations.

To demonstrate that he is serious about reforming China’s military, Xi has also included high-ranking PLA officers in his ongoing anti-corruption sweep, increased supervision of PLA activities and cut down on excess and extravagance within the army, the article said.

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