Beijing’s jingoistic rhetoric shows no signs of abating
Paul Joseph Watson
December 5, 2013
Amidst tensions with the United States over the disputed Senkaku Islands, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is bragging that its aircraft carrier combat task force, led by the inaugural Liaoning warship, is now close to rivaling the U.S. Navy.
The article features on the China Military Online website, which is described as “the only authoritative media of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army,” acting with the “official authorization of the related departments of the state and the PLA.”
The report heralds the prowess of the Liaoning, along with its accompanying battleships, the “Shenyang” and “Shijiazhuang” missile destroyers as well as the “Yantai” and “Weifang” guided missile frigates.
The “combat effectiveness” of the fleet, once additional warships are added, will transform its firepower to a level, “very close to a U.S. aircraft carrier battle group in its heyday,” states the report. Beijing plans to rival “the usual practice adopted by the U.S. Navy” by supplementing the combat force with a further two destroyers, an assault nuclear submarine and one supply ship.
“Given the consideration of the smaller tonnage and bomb load of the warships of the PLAN than those of the U.S. warships, the combat effectiveness of this taskforce is probably close to the current carrier strike group (CSG) of the U.S. (1-2 cruisers, 2-3 destroyers and other supporting warships),” states the report.
Some will see no coincidence in the timing of the report given the current stand-off between China and the U.S. over the disputed Senkaku Islands. It dovetails with a separate announcement that Beijing, “has begun mass producing and delivering its J-15 carrier-based multirole fighter jet.”
Following China’s announcement that it would impose an “air defense zone” over the region, backed by not so subtle hints that offending aircraft which refused to identify could be intercepted and even shot down, Washington called Beijing’s bluff by flying two unannounced B-52 bombers through the area just days later.
However, the Obama administration has since indicated it may accept the legitimacy of the air defense zone for now so long as China back pedals on its demand that all aircraft check in first.
The PLA’s public heralding of its warships arrives in the aftermath of a separate report to emerge out of Chinese state media which asserted that military experts were discussing how to turn the moon into a Star Wars-style “death star” from which the PLA could launch missiles against any target on Earth.
Last month, Chinese state-run media also released a map showing the locations of major U.S. cities and how they would be impacted by a nuclear attack launched from the PLA’s strategic submarine force.
China increasingly jingoistic rhetoric has been backed by aggressive military moves in recent months, first by sending warships to the coast of Syria to in September to “observe” the actions of U.S. and Russian vessels in the region and then by sailing a surveillance ship through Hawaiian waters for the very first time in an unprecedented move which was described as a provocative retaliation to the America’s naval presence in the East China Sea.