Friday, February 15, 2013

The China Dream

Prominent Chinese military officers are speaking of an east Asia from which the U.S. has been forced out.  And they're hoping to see that reality within 20-years.

Senior Colonel Liu Mingfu, at the People's Liberation Army's National Defence University, told Fairfax Media this week that American strategic influence would be confined ''east of the Pacific midline'' as it is displaced by Chinese power throughout East Asia, including Australia.

Colonel Liu's interpretation of one facet of what the new Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, calls ''a new type of great power relationship'' adds to the uncertainty and anxiety surrounding China's strategic ambitions.

On January 31 James Fanell, intelligence chief for the US Pacific Fleet, which commands six aircraft carrier groups, told a San Diego conference that China's ''expansion into blue waters is largely about countering the Pacific Fleet''.

''And I can tell you, as the Fleet Intelligence Officer, the PLA Navy is going to sea to learn how to do naval warfare,'' said Captain Fanell. ''Make no mistake, the PLA Navy is focused on war at sea and about sinking an opposing fleet.''

"It's the most dangerous strategic crisis that the US has faced, that the world has faced, since the end of the Cold War,'' said Hugh White, former deputy secretary of the Department of Defence, saying China and Japan were drifting closer to a war that could draw in the US.

Colonel Liu, who has warned Australia not to support the Japanese ''wolf'' or American ''tiger'' in a military showdown, does not hold the rank of general or act as an official spokesman.

But his views have been taken more seriously since his fiercely nationalistic book, The China Dream, was allowed back onto the shelves after Mr Xi's elevation in November, when Mr Xi began talking about his own nationalistic ''China Dream''.

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