The changing balance of power in the Pacific

At its weakest, China was still a country to be conquered and colonized. Unlike India, there was a central govt for many centuries under different empires, including the Mongols and the Manchurians. The vastness of China, its relatively homogenous population and centuries of cultivated civilization, science and technology, arts and literature, social system, history and a sophisticated written language, gave it a special advantage over the Mongols and the Manchus. Both conquerors and rulers of China became absorbed by the Chinese civilization and were sinicised in the process. Instead of China becoming Mongolia or Manchuria, both states became China.

China came under the concerted attacks of the Western powers in the 19th Century. Despite its relative strength in numbers, though inferior in technology, it was no match to the technologically superior foreign forces. They applied strength in concentration of fire power and mobility to decisively defeat the Chinese by piece meal. They could mobilize and move their troops at will and at great speed and to choose their battle fields. A few British ships could hit port cities after cities, though numerically small, but superior in a localized context, and triumphed over the less mobile and scattered forces of the Chinese troops.

The European powers controlled the sea with their powerful naval power till today, with the Americans and their aircraft carriers and strike groups. The Americans were superior in nuclear weapons and delivery system. The Americans were also superior in the sea and have control of the air space as well. And they also have military bases at China’s front yard, in South Korea and Japan.

The balance of power was overwhelmingly in favour of the Americans in all areas of warfare. The Americans could even conduct a conventional land battle in Chinese soil by landing American infantry divisions there.
This American superiority and dominance over the Chinese faded overnight at a speed that has taken the Americans by surprise. The equation has changed dramatically and it is no longer feasible for the Americans to a fight land warfare in China. Neither do the Americans have control of the sea or air superiority in the seas surrounding China any more. The Americans could still be very superior in nuclear warfare with their arsenal of ICBMs and nuclear warheads. The problem is that nuclear warfare is no longer an option between the two powers and superiority in this theatre is as good as academic.

What is left of the equation? With air superiority and control of the seas thrown out of the window, American aircraft carriers can no longer be the launching pads for its fighter bombers to attack China. Neither can they ferry the troops to land in Chinese soils. The Chinese are capable of taking out the aircraft carriers should they dare to venture within their strike range.

The military bases in South Korea and Japan still offer such advantages but will be top priority targets to be knocked out in the early stages of hostility. In fact all the military bases in South Korea and Japan, including Korean and Japanese bases with be taken out of the equation the moment hostility is declared. China cannot afford any bases to be operational for the Americans to launch their attacks into Chinese territories. A thousand missiles were aimed at Taiwan when Chen Shui Bian and Lee Teng Hui attempted to break away from China. The number of missiles aiming at South Korea and Japan could be many times more to ensure nothing is left standing. South Korea and Japan better pray that there is no war between the two giants. They will be targets number One.

They cannot believe that China will let the Americans used their bases to attack her. It used to be a very safe game to play when China could not even hit a target a hundred meters from its own shores. It is a new China that has the ability to take out anything in South Korea and Japan.

Without Japan and South Korea to launch their attacks, can America really conduct a war with China from the eastern front, from the seas? In all circumstances, China has more or less neutralized and secured its eastern front. The other possible battle fronts will be Vietnam, India and Chinas’ south western corner. This could be the reasons why there were so many ongoings between the Americans and these countries. The question is whether these countries would think they could get away with a war on the side of the US. Assuming the leaders of these countries are not fools, there is no reason to turn their countries into battle zones for the two super powers.

When the Chinese are capable of hitting their enemies across all their borders, war between China and the US is increasingly more difficult. The balance of power has been leveled between the two superpowers. Both are no longer comfortable to fight a war with superior advantage. America can still claim overall superiority in many areas. But no one will emerge the winner in a war between the two superpowers.

It was a totally different ball game when the Americans could strike China from their aircraft carriers with impunity. This option is closed. Any reckless attempts could see the aircraft carriers and the whole battle group sink into the East and South China Seas like the Prince of Wales and the Repulse in the Second World War. Gone were the days when the American naval task force could sail up and down the China Seas to threaten China and the Chinese could not do anything about it.

The new balance will prevent the adventurous from embarking on their crazy adventures of assured self destruction. It is also game over for little pesky countries.


Anonymous said...

With satellites and space stations, who knows what kind of space weapons will be up there in time to come.

Space weapons are no longer the monopoly of the West. Neither is spying from the satellites from above only available to them.

Welcome to the new balance of power.

Anonymous said...

This is both a political and a military perspective analysis par excellence.It should be read by all clear minded Asian countries so that they can be alerted to the danger of dancing to the tune of the evil American wild eagle. But no matter what, the despicable white Americans will always continuously try to create choas and trouble to destabilise and break up China. If not through the phoney accusation of China's undervalue Yuan, unfair trade or China saving too much, it will be as stupid as it can be that the present Chinese government is not legitimate because it is not base on westertn democracy.

Regarding the matter of the currency and the Yuan is the Evil Empire - US now telling the truth to the world that all the time US has been cheating the whole world with the fiduciary issues of its toilet paper currencies.

Its next evil method of trying to break up China is to wreak havoc on China from within by supporting internal terrorist groups like the Tibetan and Uighur separatists. US has for decades been training and supporting the Tibetan and Uighur bandits with arms and financial support both covertly and openly.China should insist that US stops it terrorist activities against China by stopping its nefarious support for the Tibetan bandits and their demon leader Dalai Lama and the Uighur separatists.

Further US and the West plan long term to sow suspicion and dissension between China's Asian neighbours and China. India refuses to negotiate with China for the rightful return of Chinese lands to China that British India illegally took from China in 1913-1914 . India wants to inherit the mantle of British imperialism. Japan refuses to give back to China Liu Chiu Dao ( Okinawa ) and Diao Yu Dao which she took from China illegally in 1875 and 1910 respectively. US is stirring trouble in the South China by encouraging silly littoral states like Vietnam, the Philippines and even Malaysia to lay false claim to some of the Chinese islands and surrounding seas. It must be known that there wasn't a Vietnam state until recently and there wasn't a Malaysia until 1965. Since ancient times the South China Sea and its islands and islets have historically been Chinese sovereign territories and have been universally recognised as such even by US and the West. But all of a sudden after oil was rumoured to be found under the sea bed of the South China Sea in the 1970s US then instigated its minions Vietnam and Philippine to unashamely lay false claim to some of the Chinese islands and their surrounding seas.

US must stop all its evil nefarious activities against China or face the consequence of its own destruction. If US chooses China as its enemy it will definitely meet its own nemeses.


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

In an AP article in the Today paper, it quoted the Americans saying, '...the US needs to make it clear to countries such as China that efforts to use computer based attacks to steal high tech American data will be punished...US intelligence officials accused China and Russia of systematically stealing sensitive US economic info...'

For decades, the Americans have been spying over China and Russia using satellites and unmanned aircraft flying over China. And still doing it daily. American aircrafts still fying recce missions in the East China Seas.

It it a matter of time when such tough talks will come from China that such spying missions will be punished.

Anonymous said...

"For decades, the Americans have been spying over China and Russia using satellites and unmanned aircraft flying over China. And still doing it daily. American aircrafts still fying recce missions in the East China Seas." Unquote.

The Russian and Chinese should down or net some of these US espionage planes and or equipments to prove to the World that Americans have been up to no good all the time. The World will give a fair judgement.

Anonymous said...

European countries today are much better than USA in terms of hostility. USA will still dream to be the only single superpower in the world to advance its agenda. The world economic order is changing followed by military order. India and Vietnam are played by the USA to irritate China. How could USA see a rising and powerful China or any other country?

Anonymous said...

Cold war is created by USA themselves. Vietnam war was created by USA. Iraq war was created by USA... There are many more big or small wars that were created by USA. So, is USA a peace loving country? No, it is a cowboy country that legalizes fire arms in the name of liberty.

The said...

/// The Russian and Chinese should down or net some of these US espionage planes and or equipments to prove to the World that Americans have been up to no good all the time.
November 09, 2011 11:07 PM ///

Well, they did. In 1960, during the height of the Cold War, the Russians managed to down a U2 over its airspace. At first, the US denied the plane's purpose and mission, until the Russian produced the captured pilot. The U2 flies almost at the edge of space and was supposed to be beyond anti-aircraft, yet the Russians managed to shoot it down.

More recently, a few years back, a Chinese fighter pilot managed to ram a US jet over the South China Sea and forced it to land on Hainan Island's airfield. China refused to return the plane intact. Instead it was broken up into pieces and returned to the US. I guess all the secrets and hi-tech gizmos are scrutinized and reverse-engineered.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The Chinese too have shot down a few American spy planes over China. It is still a case of the Americans can do anything to others, but others cannot do it to them. Might is right.

The Americans are so innocent, that all their intelligence agents are paid to drink kopi and have a glamorous life doing nothing.

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