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The Bully is Back
by James Dunnigan
September 27, 2010

Despite the global recession, China's defense budget continues to climb (7.5 percent in the next year.) China is buying more modern aircraft and warships (especially nuclear subs), as well as a wide range of modern military equipment. The U.S. believes that China is building up a force of cruise-missile equipped aircraft, missile equipped submarines and ballistic missiles that can hit moving ships, to interrupt American efforts to reinforce allies in East Asia (Taiwan, Philippines, South Korea, Japan.) China's neighbors are increasingly nervous because Chinese Navy ships are showing up in distant waters more often, and China is becoming louder and more insistent about settling, in China's favor, old territorial disputes. What the neighbors remember is how, for thousands of years, China was the regional superpower, treating all other nations as inferiors. For the last two centuries, the intrusion of more powerful Western nations, the Westernization of Japan and economic and political decline inside China, removed China as the neighborhood bully. But now, the bully is back and the little kids are not happy. Much to China's dismay, the neighbors are looking to America as an ally against China.

India is not happy with growing Chinese espionage efforts against Indian military, government and commercial organizations. China is also acting more aggressively over old border disputes (in India's northwest and northeast.) China insists this is not the case, but Chinese diplomatic and military moves say otherwise.

Taiwan now believes as many as 1,600 Chinese ballistic missiles are pointed at it. So the Taiwanese are moving forward with building anti-missile defenses over the next five years. The main weapon here is the U.S. Patriot anti-aircraft missile system, but using the anti-missile version of it.

China is sending over a thousand troops, along with aircraft and other equipment, to participate in counter-terror exercises this month in Kazakhstan (Central Asia.) Over 5,000 troops are participating, coming from Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

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