Center for Strategic and Budgetary Evaluation (CSBA), an independent, nonprofit group of experts, based in Washington, DC, specializing in US defense policy, force planning and budget, just released a report “identifying weaknesses in China’s military might. In the report, there are assumptions about geographical weaknesses that Beijing is very difficult to address. (Data and views in the post are of CSBA experts, do not show opinion of Tien Phong).
China’s geostrategic weaknesses have long been viewed by the West as limiting their ambitions. China is surrounded by great powers and medium powers. China is bordered by Russia to the north, India to the southwest. Running north-south along the east coast, China faces Korea, Japan, Taiwan Island and the Philippines. Seoul, Tokyo and Manila are official treaty allies of the US while Taipei maintains close military ties with the US and remains stubbornly opposed to Beijing’s unification plans. With the exception of the Philippines, China was directly fighting against countries that were managing lands contiguous with their territorial sea at some point in the twentieth century. China shares a land border, about 22,000 kilometers wide, with 14 neighboring countries. Among them, India, North Korea, Russia and Pakistan are in the top ten in the world. Russia, India, Pakistan and North Korea possess nuclear weapons.
Over the past century, China has been involved in major wars, border clashes, or wars with Japan (1937-1945), Korea (1950-53), and India (1962). , Russia (1969) and Taiwan (1954, 1958 and 1995-96). The Second Sino-Japanese War placed a heavy burden on Chinese cities and rural areas, the Korean War exposed China to American military might, and border clashes. Sino-Soviets drew both sides to the brink of a major conventional war involving nuclear weapons.
Since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing has had territorial and maritime disputes with almost every nation along its periphery. While most of the land disputes have been resolved, China’s borders with India and Bhutan and many of its maritime claims remain in a fierce dispute. Several countries bordering China in Northeast, Southeast, South and Central Asia are volatile or unpredictable, including North Korea, Myanmar, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Moreover, doubts and feuds originating from the past cover China’s relations with many of its neighbors. China’s past domination of the region, in part reflected in a tribute system that places China at the heart of regional politics, has also instilled a deep vigilance towards China.
At the same time, China does not share enough cultural and ethnic ties to close the trust gap. While Japan and Korea have absorbed the elements of Chinese civilization in the past, they see themselves as polities that do not belong to China. Russia and India are even more culturally distant from China than their East Asian neighbors. In short, China is living in an environment, both in power and ideal, more resistant than cooperating with its goals.
In terms of the defense of the homeland, China’s sea and inland waters have suffered from foreign aggression and subversion throughout history. The waters surrounding mainland China provide many access routes for the amphibious forces to attack the typical low-lying coastal areas of China while the desert terrain in the north is ideal for activities. attack on land. The Chinese experience in the 19th and 20th centuries depicted this fact. In the “forgotten century”, Western powers and Japan attacked the Qing empire by sea and by land. The British and later Japan’s command of the seas allowed them to exert their power inland without punishment while Tsarist Russia usurped much of China’s northern border. During the early years of the People’s Republic of China, the KMT forces organized raids and sabotage operations along the southeastern coast while the Tibetan guerrillas received the Central Intelligence Service. The US (CIA) assists in harassment activities from bases in Nepal.
At the height of the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis, the US military considered tactical nuclear attacks on Chinese military positions near Xiamen, a coastal metropolis. During the 1969 Sino-Soviet border clash, the Soviet Union deployed 34 divisions, including those with tactical nuclear weapons, near the Chinese border.