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La modernización del Ejército Popular de Liberación (EPL), iniciada por Deng Xiaoping hace casi 40 años, ha emprendido una carrera espectacular desde la llegada al poder de Xi Jinping, en noviembre del 2012. La creciente rivalidad entre China y EEUU ha llevado Pekín a proyectar su fuerza más allá de su entorno, con un portaaviones operativo y dos en construcción, una primera base militar fuera de su territorio -en Yibuti-, un gran despliegue de instalaciones en las disputadas aguas del mar del Sur de China y una abrumadora capacidad de cíberpoder.

El actual proceso de reforma del EPL es el más importante desde su fundación en 1927.…  Seguir leyendo »

The head of China’s navy, Adm. Wu Shengli, recently asked his American counterpart, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, to allow Chinese officers assigned to its new aircraft carrier to board an American carrier to learn about maintenance and operational procedures. United States policy makers are considering the request. It is a bad idea.

Although military-exchange programs are widely believed to reduce the chances of misunderstandings that lead to armed conflict, Washington must view them through the lens of American security interests. This proposal would be less an exchange than a transfer of knowledge and perhaps even of technology.

The Chinese stand to gain far more in this deal than the United States.…  Seguir leyendo »

On March 14, China completed the transition of its new leader, Xi Jinping, with his assumption of the presidency. His main power comes as the leader of the Communist Party and as chairman of its Central Military Commission. While trying to project his image as a “man of the people,” his various speeches on “the China Dream” have a definite military overtone, even though he professes to continue the peaceful development policies of his predecessor. He has launched a well-planned campaign to enhance the military force of the People’s Liberation Army in order to give China the capability to “fight and win wars.”…  Seguir leyendo »

The recent visit to Beijing by the U.S. secretary of defense, Leon Panetta — which coincided with State Department statements that the U.S.-Japan security treaty would apply to the disputed Senkaku Islands — highlights the growing tension with China over America’s military presence in Asia, Chinese efforts to counteract it, and the dangerous misperceptions that can arise if defense strategy gets in the way of diplomacy.

The U.S. military strategy underpinning the Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia is known in Pentagon circles as “Air-Sea Battle.” It depends upon the long-range capabilities of the U.S. Navy and Air Force to overcome the mines, submarines, anti-ship missiles and other advanced technology designed to keep the U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

AMERICA’S fiscal woes are placing the country on a path of growing strategic risk in Asia.

With Democrats eager to protect social spending and Republicans anxious to avoid tax hikes, and both saying the national debt must be brought under control, we can expect sustained efforts to slash the defense budget. Over the next 10 years, cuts in planned spending could total half a trillion dollars. Even as the Pentagon saves money by pulling back from Afghanistan and Iraq, there will be fewer dollars with which to buy weapons or develop new ones.

Unfortunately, those constraints are being imposed just as America faces a growing strategic challenge.…  Seguir leyendo »

The military relationship between the United States and China is one of the world’s most important. And yet, clouded by some misunderstanding and suspicion, it remains among the most challenging. There are issues on which we disagree and are tempted to confront each other. But there are crucial areas where our interests coincide, on which we must work together.

So we need to make the relationship better, by seeking strategic trust.

How do we do that?

First, we’ve got to keep talking. Dialogue is critical.

A good bit of misunderstanding between our militaries can be cleared up by reaching out to each other.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tema: Los nuevos datos sobre los gastos militares de China, publicados en un trasfondo de incidentes y especulaciones sobre las hipotéticas intenciones de Pekín, deben ser contextualizados.

Resumen: Este análisis, primero, discute si el incremento de defensa de 2011 anuncia o no un aumento del poder o de la “amenaza” por parte de China. En segundo lugar, expone la actuación de Pekín en diferentes situaciones de tensión o crisis en las que directa o indirectamente se ha visto involucrado en los últimos dos años. En tercer lugar, reflexiona sobre cómo habría que seguir entendiendo la insistencia china en acabar con el embargo de armas que aún le impone Occidente.…  Seguir leyendo »

El anuncio de China de que su primer portaaviones estará listo para zarpar a fin de este mes logró que la atención se volviera a centrar en las ambiciones navales del país. Lo mismo es válido para el comunicado del ministro de Defensa paquistaní de que su país recientemente le pidió a China que empezara a construir una base naval en su puerto de Gwadar, que tiene una ubicación estratégica en el Mar Arábigo.

Ambas revelaciones subrayan la preferencia de China por el subterfugio estratégico.

Después de comprar el portaaviones Varyag de la era soviética, de 67.500 toneladas -que era poco más que un casco cuando colapsó la Unión Soviética-, China en repetidas oportunidades negó tener alguna intención de repararlo para un despliegue naval.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Simon Tisdall (THE GUARDIAN, 12/06/07):

Even as the US struggles to stop relations with Russia plunging into deep freeze, a distinct chill has descended over its dealings with Beijing following a new Pentagon report on China's military build-up. Richard Nixon knew better than to antagonise both superpower rivals at once. No such wisdom troubles George Bush.

Noting China's "rapid rise as a regional political and economic power with global aspirations", the Pentagon complained of uncertainty surrounding its expanding military might and how it may be used. Beijing's short-term focus was "military contingencies in the Taiwan Strait", it said. But it was also planning to project military power further afield in the Asia-Pacific region, in preparation for possible conflicts over resources or territory.…  Seguir leyendo »