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JOE BUFF’S PUBLIC LECTURE
“Will China Rule the Waves?”
An Updated View for the Greater Submarine Community
Nautilus Chapter, Naval Submarine League

by Joseph Buff, [IMAGE]2006
Presented at USSVI Clubhouse, Groton CT 19 May 2006

Photo Courtesy: Walter P. Noonan
[IMAGE] What to make of PRC actions/aspirations re huge sub fleet?

Fathoming China-as-possible-threat requires some grasp of its:

a. History -- both ancient and modern

b. Sociology, Anthropology, and National Psychology

c. Politics/Economics of Beijing’s hybrid communist system

d. Military Experiences, and Potential

Opening “Teasers”

SSNs and SSBNs are expeditionary, & for power-projection

This goes for PLAN as much as for USN

PLAN now seeking to acquire aircraft carriers

Russia as partner opens whole new horizons for PRC in

Hardware and training availability

Inland border security

Submarine basing options

PLAN surface squadrons already circumnavigated Earth

Beware of the games countries play

We are being manipulated

Mao vs. Kissinger/Nixon

The old triangulation game: US/PRC/USSR

Mao’s unadulterated global superpower ambitions

Mao as destructive opportunist, not ideological communist

Those books in Mao’s library: Cultural Revolution trophies

Mr. Hu’s unstately visit

Seen by Beijing as a U.S. botch-up

Snit now over refueling stop

Defense spending voodoo economics

Many items left off of PRC’s official budget

Labor costs comparison a very distorting factor

Artificial versus real yuan/dollar exchange rates?

Taiwan’s Mr. Chen “wags the dog” over diesels

Internal Taipei politics

Beware a “reverse Red October”

Kuomintang riddled by communist moles

“One Country, Two Systems”

Taiwan democratic legislature seems to want this, not war.

Why PRC folks really aren’t like us, and don’t like us

Two societal pillars: Bureaucracy and conservatism

Confuscius helped this gel in 2500 BC

Millenia of emperors and warlords: “regime changes”

Local Cadres under Mao – intrusive bottom-up control

Aloof, arrogant leaders in Beijing – rigid top-down control

World view: West/Japanese invasion & exploitation

Opium Wars and Boxer Rebellion not forgotten

Burning desire for revenge, and to “show us up”

Point not lost imperialism enabled by Sea Power

Taiwan belonged to China, not Japan, pre-1895

They quote our own Civil War at us now

Chinese people(s) very patriotic/nationalistic

PRC Belgrade embassy bombed, EP-3 near/on Hainan

Seen as connected American plot

“Man or woman in street” glad about our 9/11

Freedom of speech, thought, and religion???

Falon Gong banned, members beaten/killed

“One Religion, Two Popes” tensions with Vatican

Internet heavily monitored -- U.S. corporate complicity

Domestic newspapers and movies aggressively censored

Foreign journalists detained on slim pretexts: underreported?

“New Capitalism” hypocrisy & “Shift to Democracy” nonsense

Chinese wear masks to survive; new disasters a constant worry

Who says we won’t fight more big wars?

Counterterror is “in addition to,” not “instead of”!

Russia beefing up their submarine fleet

Borey-class SSBN, with navalized Topol-M

Severodvinsk-class SSN coming soon

Sales to PLAN coming too???

Kilo-IVs (w. AIP?) aplenty already

PLAN declared goal: Outnumber our subs 3-1 or more

Will Congress fund 2 Virginias in 2009 after all?

PRC has about 20 subs under construction right now

PLAN advantage of easy concentration/massing

Claim they want 100,000 naval commandoes (ala SEALs)

The reckoning will come in mid/late 2020s

New “Greater East-Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere”?

Need for “Lebensraum” as population explodes?

Greed and fear are strong motivators

PRC citizens of all ages are well “blooded”

Japanese invasion/occupation in the 1930s

Communist/Nationalist Civil War in late ‘40s

Korean War against U.S., many border skirmishes

Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution bloodbaths

Tianenmen Square massacre: 10,000 dead?

Ongoing violent repression in restive rural areas today

Result: Chinese obedient, proud, and anti-American

Possible trigger points expanding to PRC/U.S. war

Direct invasion of Taiwan?

“One Country, Two Systems” suggests war there a red herring

Taiwan superb defensive country, very few landing beaches

Recent joint Russian/Chinese amphibious exercise – why???

Island hopping worked once before, for us

Beijing knows they couldn’t stop at Taiwan if invading anyway

Disputed security interests?

Malacca Strait -- SLOC major artery: terrorists, pirates

Spratleys and other islands in South China Sea

(Naval skirmishes have occurred there already)

An “accident” during tensions?

Remember IranAir shootdown during Tanker War

A ship collision while monitoring other guy’s exercises

Another EP-3 type of incident

U.S. drawn in to third-party dispute that escalates?

China versus Japan – watch this one carefully

China versus Vietnam

China helps Iran too much

China & North Korea brew-up

Pretexts and provocations can always be manufactured

Regardless, our cross-Pacific logistic tail would be very vulnerable

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Joe Buff, President
Dutchess County, New York

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