“Sea denial” in case of conflict would seem to be China’s military strategy in case of conflict to inflict both significant costs and erode enemy forces by targeting the weakness of the enemy in battle.
The Chinese forces are able to attack from both the air, main land China, but also from the surface of the sea and below.
Submarines play a key role in the Chinese defence systems, if attacked a hard job for anti-submarine warfare if enemy’s would take China on board in battle.
Those submarines are both conventional and nuclear and if the US would contemplate to attack China, both US forces at sea including aircraft carriers would sustain likely much losses.
Like the US made it pointless for any country to attack US homeland with missiles from both the sea and the air, China made it pointless for any country to do similar.
Advanced weapons systems on both submarines and land based missile and air forces would meet China’s aim to deny the waters near the Chinese coast to any combat forces if so required.
Whilst the antisubmarine warfare capabilities (AWS) of the United States are not that ideal anymore after the Cold War with the Soviet Union stopped, the U.S. has remained a qualitative unmatched technology on their existing submarines.
The problem for the US is that their numbers on superior submarines are down which is not likely to improve dramatically as due to US the budget deficit.
With the U.S. Navy having problems in the AWS domain, it has placed a renewed focus on ASW training and detection in the Pacific.
At present there are US submarines in both Hawaii, Guam and California with a base to be planned in both Singapore and Australia.
If U.S. submarines containing nuclear cruise missiles would strike against targets in mainland China this would provoke an immediate escalation into a 3rd world war, affecting both homeland China and the Us as well.
US submarines as due existing technology may sustain the Chinese A2/AD defence force. Most likely the US will increase it’s acquisition of well advanced submarines, including unmanned equipment and the application of fixed sensors in the seas near China to detect and destroy Chinese submarines in time of war. Hence now US coöperation being sought in both the Philippines and Vietnam to use equivalent equipment at the junction between the Chinese Sea and the Western Pacific to the early detection and destruction of Chinese submarines, again at times of war.
The incidents at the Chinese Sea lately played the US in it’s favour to get the coöperation being required from both those countries and Australia.
Whilst the US does not admit, their increased activities in the Pacific are of a potential first strike nature, with the Chinese only now increasing both their defence and target range if any country would contemplate to compromise their borders and security at a large-scale.
If the Chinese would build a first strike capability in and above the seas close to the US the US would see this as a provocation, like Cuba in the past inflicted provocation to the US with Soviet missiles being able to attack the US.
The difference is that the Soviets inflicted this at the time and the US is inflicting this now in the Pacific, trying even to build up relations with controversial states like Burma at the border of China. Hillary Clinton will visit Burma tomorrow the 30th of November 2011 to assess the situation with a view to turn the leaders to a place more favourable to public opinion, but crimes and torture and human trafficking have never been (properly) addressed.
The reasoning for the US is to secure vital Sea Lanes in the Pacific, both for the purpose of trade and military access if so required. Apart from this the containment policy towards China aims to affect both China’s trade ability as a faster growing economic power than the US, and apart from this to “tighten” the perceived “Tiger in its cage”.
Chinese wisdom will dictate its leaders to respond slow, but perhaps with more leadership than the US demonstrates at this point in time.
China has different trading partners and till so far demonstrated to play win-win in business dealings, providing the US even with excessive loans to help their war’s in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Their advised stance in matters is not to move within the changes as created by the US now, within an US context of lack of economic growth and perhaps reduced long-term sustainability, as the US like Europe “played with money” not even existing, paying towards program’s of various nature whilst the deficits increased – the last causing chaos on international markets, including recession at home.
“The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war. We do not now expect a war. This generation of Americans has already had enough — more than enough — of war and hate and oppression. We shall be prepared if others wish it. We shall be alert to try to stop it. But we shall also do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success.”
This is what President John F Kennedy said in 1963, not too long before he was assassinated by the representatives of Pentagon and CIA hardliners. Hardliners who wanted to pursue the Vietnam war at all cost.
How just is current US policy in the Pacific region if it does take part in the “silent” preparation for war, with such forces being increasingly concentrated, – and relatively so close to China, whilst North Korea could trigger potentially this conflict among the 2 super powers.
The last 2 powers which failed to contain North Korea as a more profound threat than either China or the US could be to each other, as reason still dominates the last direction of those 2 countries with the highest nuclear and other potential of total destruction.
North Korea could trigger however a conflict where even for the 2 major super powers on earth there might be a point of no return with any small error of calculation.
Paul Alexander Wolf