China Prepares for War

China Prepares for War


China is rapidly and diligently gearing up for war in the very near future.

In March, China’s leader Xi repeatedly called for war readiness, backed up his call for combat with a 7.2% increase in defense spending, adding to a budget that has already doubled in recent years. Having already consolidated his own powers in an effort to streamline his control over the nation, Xi has informed his top military leaders to “Dare to fight.”

He has also prepared the civilian population for imminent conflict, establishing new air-raid shelters in key locations. Official Chinese documents discuss integrating the whole of society into the war effort. Wang Shumei and Liu Hongshun, researchers at the Military Legal Research Institute of the Academy of Military Sciences emphasize that “National defense education for all should be educated and participated by all. Strengthening and improving national defense education should be taken as the common responsibility of the whole party, army and society…”

2027 appears to be the date Xi has in mind. As quoted in American Military News, he stated that “Our armed forces, with a focus on the goals for the centenary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 2027, should work to carry out military operations, boost combat preparedness and enhance military capabilities.”

Grant Newsham, writing for Asia Times writes that last October’s Communist Party Congress put China on a path to war. “The groundwork has been laid and the dirty work done. It’s not as if previous Chinese leaders had been nice guys, but Xi is the first to combine the capability to go to war with the messianic desire to do so – if he can’t get what he wants via intimidation. He sees himself as a man of destiny who will restore China to its rightful place in the world…Capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have developed to the point that the Communist Party leadership (and Xi in particular) believe China can conduct a short, sharp war (or maybe even a long, sharp war) near its borders and succeed.”

Some U.S. Military officials have taken note.  In January, the head of the USAF Air Mobility Command Michael Minihan circulated a memo stating: “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025. [Chinese President Xi Jinping] secured his third term and set his war council in October 2022. Taiwan’s presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a reason. United States’ presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a distracted America. Xi’s team, reason, and opportunity are all aligned for 2025.”

Marty Reep, wrting in the Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs has a similar conclusion. “ China has made it clear that it is working to become the world’s preeminent superpower.4Over the past few decades, China has been building up its armed forces, … In December 2020, China changed its maritime laws and put the Coast Guard under direct control of the People’s Liberation Navy (PLAN)—the first time ever for the PLAN. Two months later, in February 2021, China updated its maritime law and a gave its Coast Guard the authority to fire on foreign vessels.”

Newsweek analysis notes that Russian sources also believe Beijing is set for combat. “Ikolai Vavilov, an expert on China, [states that] ‘Since coming to power, comrade Xi has been getting ready for war,” …He gave an order to prepare an army that is capable of winning war.”

While Beijing does all it can to prepare for war, the current White House continues to downplay military preparedness. It continues to propose budgets that, accounting for inflation, actually cut the Pentagon’s purchasing ability.  As China continues to add to what is already the world’s largest navy, America’s fleet is shrinking. Perhaps most fundamentally, the U.S. industrial base continues to be woefully unprepared to respond to a crisis in which a rapid buildup of military supplies would be required.

Frank Vernuccio serves as editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis of Policy and Government

Print Friendly, PDF & Email