16 September 2014

As possibility of third world war exists, China needs to be prepared

As the Ukrainian crisis deepens, international observers have become more and moreconcerned about a direct military clash between the US and Russia. Once an armed rivalryerupts, it is likely to extend to the globe. And it is not impossible that a world war couldbreak out.

The world war is a form of war that the whole world should face up to. During humanevolution, the world war has entered its third development phase.
The first phase took place between nomadic societies and farming groups. The secondphase was featured by colonial wars, with WWI and WWII as its special representatives.

Currently, the world has entered an era of new forms of global war.

Outer space, the Internet and the sea have become the battlefields of rivalry. Technology isthe key, and the number of countries involved is unprecedented.

The rivalry on the outer space and the Internet takes place with the rivalry on the sea asthe center stage. During WWII, some major powers attached significant importance to thesea.

Alfred Thayer Mahan, a US military strategist who died in 1914, coined the notion of seapower. He advocated valuing the naval forces, commercial fleet and overseas military base,which served for wars on the land.

But nowadays, we stress the importance of power in the sea. Judging from the contentionof the global sea space, the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean have seen thefiercest rivalry. It's likely that there will be a third world war to fight for sea rights.

In an era when a third world war may take place, an important topic for the Chinesemilitary is how to develop its power to maintain its national interests.

This should become the basis for its development, because since the founding of the PRC,the development of its military forces has been centered around maintaining its rights onthe land. As the rivalry on the sea grows intense, China's military development should shiftfrom maintaining the country's rights on the land to maintaining its rights on the sea.

Meanwhile, China is standing at the focal point of rivalries. This requires China to developits military power based on a global war. China is in the heartland of the Arctic Ocean, thePacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

The development of China's sea power touches the nerves of many countries. China needsto develop its military power to avoid being squeezed to a passive position.

China's overseas interests have spread all over the world. As the US has been shifting itsattention to the Asia-Pacific region, especially aiming at China, China's overseas interestshave been increasingly threatened by the US.

Without large-scale military power, securing China's overseas interests seems like anempty slogan.

The long-range or overseas combat capabilities of China's sea and air forces are quitelimited yet. If we don't view the development of sea and air forces with a farsighted view,we will face various restraints when building up the combat capabilities of sea and airforces or maintaining overseas interests. This will lead to the backwardness of China's seaand air forces.

China should not be pushed into a passive position where it is vulnerable to attacks. Wemust bear a third world war in mind when developing military forces, especially the seaand air forces.