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Subject: Points of View
displacedjim    7/4/2004 11:00:24 AM
I think I should publicly "lighten up" on ElCid by acknowledging that he does a remarkable job of putting together a picture of the Chinese military considering he's limited basically to open source, unclassified data. I am not a China expert, I merely play one on StrategyPage, but I come from the advantage of having access to many classified assessments of China. Of course, as I've said, DoD intel is limited in not having the resources to mine open source as much as we wish we could. We each make whatever assessments we can based on what we think the data available to us is showing. Regarding the PLA ballistic missile threat, we aren't exactly on the same page, but we're in the same book. I just figure ElCid has skipped ahead a chapter or two, while he figures I need a speed-reading course. It looks to me like we're on the same missile capabilities "time-line," only we're several years apart. Displacedjim
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elcid    that was polite    7/4/2004 6:19:30 PM
This is the second time this year a pro said this sort of thing to me. The last time was an ONI analyst assigned to me, talking about air independent propulsion instead of missiles. "There is no doubt China has great interest and is working on it. But it has no AIP and it won't have it in the medium term." Ironically, two weeks later, at a ceremony honoring the 75th anniversary of Wuhan shipyard, PRC disclosed and displayed an AIP submarine (A Ming). The analyst wrote back to say how they were all abuzz, and saying "we had no idea." I had told him my Chinese language sources were certain, an I decided to stick with my evaluation. This is not to say the same thing will happen to Jim. I would really prefer to be wrong on this. But it is an old feeling in my life, and I am not wrong nearly as often as I would like to be. It appears PRC has about six different kinds of non nuclear warheads. [At least DF-15 G model has]. These include Fuel Air Explosives, EMP warheads, and dedicated anti-shipping rounds.
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cateyes    I am quite curious about elcid's claim   7/5/2004 2:39:54 PM
that he traveled to China 36 years ago, wearing an US uniform. That is 1968 and absolutely he couldn't go to China. Maybe Hongkong or Taiwan. Am I right?
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gf0012-aust    RE:I am quite curious about elcid's claim   7/5/2004 6:09:35 PM
You'll have to ask Cid that one. Be prepared for a speech though ... ;)
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doggtag    RE:I am quite curious about elcid's claim   7/5/2004 6:18:38 PM
...maybe "Embassy duty"...?.
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elcid    RE:I am quite curious about elcid's claim   7/5/2004 7:15:24 PM
You are all quite correct. Times were very different. I had a friend on active duty who got a magazine from Communist China (I am probably the last to use that term). It got him in no end of trouble. But it was quite interesting. A picture book, they took pictures from places like Time Magazine and gave them captions. The pictures seemed to illustrate what the captian said - enough one wondered "what does it really show?" I myself bought PRC printed copies of Mao and Lin - things like the Military Writings and the Selected Works. There is a reason I can quote chapter and verse! Being on to Sun Tzu, I could catch Mao's plagerism. In those days being in a US uniform was enough to make you a formal criminal in PRC. They took pictures of sailors in Hong Kong hoping one day to match them up with you in China. We were warned not to cross the border - which surprisingly is easy to do - commerse has few limits in Hong Kong. [If you will be quiet and use night vision gear, I can show you a column of slave girls entering Hong Kong every night, under guard. Hong Kong police say the drug business is impossible to control. And illegal triangle trades - where something is smuggled into or out of Hong Kong from PRC is the main way real profit is exported by anyone exporting real profits from China does it.] I also managed to get to Taiwan several times - but as we all know "Taiwan is a part of China" - even in US official parlance - so that alone makes one able to say one has "been traveling to China." But there are other aspects of this subject. Suffice it to say that in South China (the part I am familiar with) official theories are not very popular. I have been singing in underground churches and large gatherings for decades. I even met a junior Vice President who was visiting undercover, trying to understand why 30,000 people would contribute 400,000 remimbi to build a church in two days? [This encounter made it into the South China Morning Post the next day. The guy turned out later to be the designated heir and successor.] What I can say is this: there are millions of Christians in China. If you are NOT officially approved, people will come to hear you. Being in uniform, or just being Caucasian, just confirms for them in a practical way that you are not a CCP agent. So they come. And no one ever saw you either. Just ask them.
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cateyes    RE:I am quite curious about elcid's claim   7/5/2004 9:57:28 PM
Interesting story. Around that time, I was in kindergarden busy with digging bunkers to prepare the nuclear war with Russia. I always keep an eye on military issues since then. LOL.
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