In 1958, full orbed hot war threatened to break out after dogfights over the Taiwan straights that saw a breakthrough use of Sidewinder missiles that brought down several Red Chinese Migs. We may be contemplating that brink again, if a current report on a claimed, leaked audiotape of discussions by Chinese authorities is credible. (The audiotape is in a Chinese dialect, likely Mandarin but possibly Cantonese.)
As the first linked reports:
In the past week, in response to the instruction of the “Central Military Commission of the State Council” in Beijing on “transitioning to a war time system,” a meeting took place involving senior officers of the People Liberation Army’s Guangdong Military Region of the Southern Command and the principal officers in Guangdong Province administration and the regional Chinese Communist Party committee . . . .
The meeting focused on three areas:
1 Building a military-civilian joint mobilization command and control system
2 Establishing wartime procedures
3 Preparing for wartime command and control . . . .
[Involving, at least (from Guandong Province):]
1. 1,358 units of various types with a total of 140,000 personnel; 953 ships; 1,653 unmanned aircraft; 20 airport terminals; 6 shipyards; 14 emergency mobilization centers; grain and oil depots, hospital blood bank, etc.
2. 15,500 military experts of various disciplines.
3. 64 10,000-ton ro-ro ships, 38 aircraft, 588 trains, and 19 civil facilities such as airport docks.”
As this is reportedly a provincial meeting, such would be just one part of the overall effort.
Another video, contemplating the geostrategic situation and threats, gives wider context that should give pause, whether or not the above is true:
We may contemplate how China must perceive itself as navally hemmed in by the first island chain off its shores, with Australia looming as a continental forward base and Hawaii as key link to the USA and the Panama Canal:
This is closely parallel to the naval challenge Germany faced c 1900:
This is the context for Jutland:
Ironically, Russia is facing much the same choke point today, though the GIUK gap is a bit wider. Going back to my 2016 geostrategic framework:
After two failed world wars, Germany has no concern about Britain choking off its naval and trade access, as it has learned to be a power of peace.
Can China and Russia learn the lesson? Iran? Others?
We shall see. END