“China’s military exercises are an intel bonanza — for all sides”

“China’s massing of ships, aircraft and missiles near Taiwan is giving the U.S. a never-before-seen glimpse of how Beijing might launch a military campaign against the island. But China is also learning plenty of lessons that could eventually prove more important in how it plans for any future strike against the island of 23 million people.

For all of China’s military might, the People’s Liberation Army has limited real-world experience outside of highly-choreographed domestic military exercises and hasn’t fired a shot in anger since border scraps with Vietnam that ended in the 1980s.

That makes these quickly assembled exercises around Taiwan a critical test for Beijing. China has brought dozens of aircraft, 13 ships, missile batteries and their crews to bear in the last days, signaling an ability to deploy quickly, even if it’s close to home. Its ability to sustain those operations over time, if that’s what Beijing decides, will be a critical test for the military, and closely watched.

The dozens of warplanes flying daily over the median line in the Taiwan Strait and warships prowling the waters off the coast represent a significant and ominous change to the status quo, and one that could have enormous consequences for the defense of Taiwan in the future, experts and officials said.”

Comment: Yup. Nothing better than to catch’em showing off. When they are really full of themselves, they drop their pants to show you what they have. pl

China’s military exercises are an intel bonanza — for all sides – POLITICO

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11 Responses to “China’s military exercises are an intel bonanza — for all sides”

  1. cobo says:

    Rank amateur here, but if I were to take a shot at I/O it might look something like this: No, no, no dude, you got it all wrong. Look, I got this friend. Well, a friend of a friend, you know. Here’s how it’s going down. China thinks they’ve made their point over ROC. They don’t want to go too far, because, you know, business. But what they don’t know is that while they’re standing down, you know, it’s all over and they said what needed to be said, like, right? Well, they’re going to be attacked, hard, nuked, everything. Like, they’re gone – litl bro NK going down too. Russia is actually down with this, with us. They know you want the eastern part of their land. Be cool man, it’s going down hard.

  2. Muthaucker says:

    You assume the woke US military had a plan to COLLECT the intel. That’s doubtful, at best.

  3. Jake says:

    What if these exercises are not meant as a preparation for war, least of all an invasion? What if the Chinese are only making the best of it, grabbing the opportunity delivered to them by Mrs. Pelosi, confirming, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this ‘median’ drawn by an American general in the fifties only exists in the imagination of certain western parties? In my mind, this development signals that Taiwan is not the target. But US naval ships which insist on sailing these waters between Taiwan and the mainland to provoke a conflict may find Chinese forces on its path. Thus, war with the US is more likely than war with Taiwan, if that would be the case. If need should be, side by side with Russia. And Taiwan would not be available to assist the US, preferring to be neutral, possibly hoping for a ‘slug fest’ which will leave the Taiwanese in a position to broker a deal, and benefit from it. Taiwan using the US as proxies. That would be real innovation!

    Like with Ukraine, NATO could watch certain developments, draw conclusions, enter the data in their models, only to be confronted with a far different kind of war than their models predict. But I readily admit that I’m ‘reaching’. Mainly because I sincerely doubt that Beijing has any plans to invade Taiwan. Drawing a ‘ring’ around the island looks far more like they are preparing a blockade, ‘protecting’ the island, in case it develops into an ‘aircraft carrier’ for US forces, on a par with Japan. Eerily similar to what Russia says it wants to prevent in Ukraine, to avoid being left with no warning when NATO attacks. And historically comparable to the ‘Cuban missile crisis’ if you will. Both Russia and China do not trust NATO at all, and for very good reasons, since they are not ‘men-of-honor’. But they accept conflicts with neighbors as a given. Like any ‘Industrial Capitalist’ nation would do, they trust that the desire to trade will eventually triumph over petty conflicts and feuds within the ‘family’. That is what their policies reveal. And if they can’t avoid going to war, they come prepared, are in it to win, and they don’t fight on impulse. They don’t do NATO-wars, feeding into the ‘Financial Capitalist’ urge to generate profits for indebted or connected businesses, banks and ‘investors’.

    • Bill Roche says:

      Jake sometimes you get my attention. This AM for example. Lets unwrap your comments
      1. American vessels insist on sailing the Taiwan Straits in order to provoke war. Or, they do it to show China that those waters are int’l … this includes the US. The alternative w/b to yield navigation of the straits to China. Would you prefer that? If so would China be provoking war?
      2. Men of NATO are not men of honor. Some men are honorable some not. You know that.
      3. Ahhh, the Taiwan Aircraft Carrier argument emerges. Is every former vassal state to “Mother Russia”, from Finland to Hungary, just another US aircraft carrier. If so why? Why do they choose to look west to Europe and not east. You never answered that one.
      4. Finally you revert back to your distinqtion b/t Industrial Capitalism (Good!) and Financial Capitalism (Bad!). You never explained the difference and you never explained how one gets to industrial capitalism w/o finance. You say financial capitalism feeds connected business, banks, and investors. Jake, are there any non connected etcs.
      Your arguments are like the sirens call to Odysseus. They seem sensible but taken apart raise questions about your purpose. You have referenced your blog several times. Who are you?

      • Jake says:

        Bill, I’m only referring to my Dutch language blog when I feel that is sensible. I’m a retired private citizen who has been around the world a couple of times, privileged to visit various countries without having an official function representing any kind of government.

        When I list NATO as not being ‘men-of-honor’, In the context of this contribution, I clearly do not refer to individuals, but to an organization which has considerable difficulty to keep a promise, live up to accords and treaties, and has lawyers looking for loopholes so they can torture, experiment with bio weapons, and kidnap people, steal and kill using drones without declaring war.

        To understand the difference between Industrial Capitalism (producing stuff), and Financial Capitalism (living of rent, and controlling the people who print the money and set the rules), I refer you to the economist Michael Hudson.

        The ‘aircraft carrier’ argument is valid whenever it is used. When the US acts to prevent missiles in Cuba, or China wants to preclude something similar in Taiwan, or Russia argues that putting offensive weapons on its doorstep is crossing its red lines.

        Ships sailing in international waters are seldom a reason for conflict. But Navy vessels doing so, a long way from home, without being invited, is not considered a friendly act. This runs the risk of a confrontation when certain limits as laid down in international law are interpreted differently by one party from the other. We already had such a conflict in the Black Sea before this recent war broke out, with the Brits provoking the Russians. Something similar in the waters mentioned may go ‘boom’. Explain to your children that it was necessary for the US Navy to patrol these waters.

        • Fred says:


          The key word is ” international waters”. We don’t need China’s permission to sail them. They don’t need ours.

  4. frankie p says:

    The Military of China had previously only driven the car around the parking lot at the dealership; now they have test driven it on the highway. Important lessons were learned. The Chinese were milking intel from the forces of the ROC (Taiwan) as well. Which radars were activated? When? Where are there vulnerabilities? In addition, they have learned important things about their own capabilities and potential weaknesses.

    The think that I find most interesting is that nobody is talking about the fact that the status quo is changed forever. The military drills ended on Sunday. We should fully expect these kinds of drills to become an annual event. Why wouldn’t the Chinese continue to build on the training they have just completed? Where is the deterrent? Is it in statements by clowns like Blinken, Kirby, etc? Is it the outrage of Tsai Ying-wen? There is NO deterrent to China conducting this kind of training at will. Add to that the fact that the center line of the Taiwan Strait is no longer a barrier. The pressure on Taiwan will come slowly but surely. The game is up. As economic, geopolitical, and military realities become clearer, the Taiwanese will come around to the idea that it might be better to consider a negotiated settlement with China, perhaps a Federation, preserving as much personal freedom for citizens as possible.

  5. jim ticehurst says:

    My Impressions are….The United States Became “Americanese” in The 1960s..
    The “Dragon”…With Stealth…Disguised Itself..As Multi Racial American..
    Politicians..And Various other Imports and Exports..With Poison Pills..

  6. jim ticehurst says:

    I Read the Interesting Debate Between BILL..and JAKE Above..and what Jake Says about Capitalism is Not Complete…Its Seems That Many Communist Nations..USE
    BOTH Types of Capitalism…Including Russia..Etc..Yet They Are Using Thier GAINS..
    and PROFITS…Bankrolled By US Capitalist Mostly ..To..Control World Economys and Markets and Resources..

    That Brings Me To Jakes Arguments..and “Navy” Ships BAD..And Causing Problems
    If It Provokes China..or Other Belligerents.. Well..Thats BS..

    World Harbors Are Full of CCP..Military Operated…Cargo Ships..Fishing Ships..Spy Ships..Covert and Overt Operators..And Smugglers..Besides The “Capitalist” Deal
    Makers That Go Ashore To Bribe Officals..And Buy The WorldsStrategic Resources..
    Thats the REAL…”Clear Danger…What part of that is Good for the Dutch..Jake..?

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