China’s military is growing
The Chinese economy is primarily focusing on boosting funding to its military. The year 2021, the supposed year of the ox, is the year that the Chinese Communist Party is making the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) their primary vehicle for driving their national strategy and agenda.
Analysts have noticed a huge shift in propaganda coming from Beijing. The prevailing policy is now tying the CCP’s image with that of its military, and their message is they are not afraid to use their power.
On December 18, a story in the Chinese propaganda newspaper People’s Daily stated “Xi does not simply command the PLA from behind a desk”. The leader is driving at a more powerful combat capability. Indeed, the People’s Liberation Army have been whipped to a frenzy, or in their words, it has “strengthened its resistance” to “erroneous political views” and understands that “the party commands the gun”.
Forced loyalty and fanatical soldiering are required. More like bullying the local populations.
In following days Xi issued regulations to build “a strong and modernised logistics system for the military”, to establish “a new system for training military personnel” and a “set of newly revised military metrology regulations”. He also promoted four military and armed police officers to the highest rank of general.
Western readers gloss over these sorts of things, and see the ideological rhetoric for what it is. But China is serious about its communistic worldview and is incalculating beast-like tendancies in its fighting machine.
China has moved onto a war footing, so that the military needs of every part of civilian society are at top of mind.
Xi’s “military-civil fusion development strategy” puts the PLA at the centre of Chinese industry, logistics, education, science and technology. One explicit goal of the program is a policy known as “the fundamental domain resource sharing system”, which is designed to ensure military requirements are built into the civilian construction of any airport, port, road, railway or communications network.
This also trickles down into China’s offshore activities. China is looking to build a base off the shore of Queensland in Papua New Guinea. The Chinese construction of a fishing plant at Daru is expected to be designed with PLA military needs given priority. Throughout the Pacific, Chinese companies are constructing or repairing military-grade runways and long wharfs that exceed realistic commercial uses. Why? Because of Xi’s military-civil fusion strategy.
No areas of Chinese society are exempt from being swept into this fused world of military and civil life directed toward achieving the strategic goals of the CCP.
The militarisation of China is taking place before our eyes. Chinese propaganda is giving considerably more coverage to PLA exercises and activities. In December the navy aircraft carrier Shandong transited the Taiwan Strait on its way “to conduct training in relevant waters of the South China Sea”.
On 22 December 2020, Global Times reported that the Chinese air force and Russian bombers flew a “joint patrol” over the Sea of Japan and the South China Sea, apparently because “China and Russia have constant and common concerns on the strategic stability in these regions”.
On 28 December 2020, the People’s Daily reported the PLA had been equipped with the “world’s lightest heavy machine gun”, which would be “particularly useful in high-altitude and mountainous regions, or in amphibious landings”. This is a reference to recent clashes the PLA has had with India along the Himalayan line of control, and to Beijing’s relentless pressure on Taiwan.
None of these facts are hidden from the outside world, but are published in English on China’s official websites. Australia must wake up to China’s activities and seek to redress their penetration into the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
The West is largely unprepared, and with the questionable removal of Donald Trump, China may find that the USA is unwilling to do much about its aggression. If China does move on Taiwan, it will not be a surprise because China has made its militaristic intentions clear.
The Australian government needs to prepare for trouble with China. Australia should be doing everything to move into the Pacific and creating a buffer zone of friendly nations between our borders and the Chinese border.