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China gained its first aircraft carrier, carried out 18 space launches in 2012, expanded anti-space capabilities

The conclusions of the Pentagon's annual publicly available intelligence report on China -- "2013 Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China" [PDF] -- are that China's claims of technological backwardness are far from reality.

According to U.S. Department of Defense experts, China's military can hack into its rivals, potentially crippling their power, their water, and their communications.  It has developed new technology to shoot down enemy satellites -- or simply hack them.  And it has developed sophisticated anti-ship cruise missiles.  And in 2012, it launched its first ever aircraft carrier, which gives it a mobile platform for air dominance.

Together this arsenal culminates into a sophisticated area-denial and anti-access strategy.  Comments David F. Helvey, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, to reporters, "The issue here is not one particular weapons system.  It's the integration and overlapping nature of these weapons systems into a regime that can potentially impede or restrict free military operations in the Western Pacific. So that's something that we monitor and are concerned about."

In terms of hacking, the U.S. continues to accuse the Chinese military of an actively hostile stance.  Comments Asst. Sect. Helvey, "In 2012, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the US government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military.  [This information]  could potentially be used to benefit China's defence industry, high technology industries... and military planners."

China hackers
State-sponsored Chinese hackers have allegedly cyber-attacked a deluge of U.S. targets.
[Image Source: Asia Society]

The U.S. is concerned about China's growing sea dominance and its "increased assertiveness" regarding maritime territory conflicts with Japan over island territory in the East China Sea.

Also troubling is China's secrecy.  In recent years China developed stealth aircraft and aircraft carrier technology seemingly out of the blue.  Reportedly, China stole parts of these technologies via hacking or junk parts purchased from crash sites in the Middle East.

Comments Asst. Sect. Helvey, "What concerns me is the extent to which China’s military modernization occurs in the absence of the kind of openness and transparency that others are certainly asking of China.  And so it's that uncertainty, I think, that's of greater concern."

China aircraft carrier
China launched its first aircraft carrier in 2012. [Image Source: Xinhua]

While the U.S.'s days as a space superpower appear to be waning, China is flexing its muscle in search for space supremacy.  In 2012 it had 18 successful launches.  U.S. intelligence says that these launches dramatically improved China's surveillance capabilities, communication capabilities, and navigation capabilities.  Currently China's global position system (GPS) rival BeiDou only operates in Asia, but the company is constructing a global replacement dubbed COMPASS or BeiDou-2, which is expected to be complete by 2020.

Asst. Sect. Helvey adds, "At the same time, China continues to invest in a multidimensional program to deny others access to and use of space."

There are some signs of improving Sino-American relations; the nations tentatively agreed to conduct joint military exercises in 2014.  And last September the two nations conducted joint anti-piracy exercises.

Sources: DOD [1], [2; PDF]

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RE: Prowless??
By Ammohunt on 5/7/2013 1:19:00 PM , Rating: 2
...both would fall into a massive depression and it would bring the rest of the world down

Have you looked around you? that's going on now! optimists can spin the truth about the economy anyway they want.

No chance of war with China is more along the lines of there is nothing in it for the US other than meeting our obligations to protect Japan,Taiwan and other allies in the region against any Chi-Com aggression. If China thinks they can police the world like the US does i say go for it but be warned Chinese culture is not remotely like American culture when it comes to helping other nations.

RE: Prowless??
By retrospooty on 5/7/13, Rating: 0
RE: Prowless??
By boeush on 5/7/2013 4:08:42 PM , Rating: 5
Record corporate profits are masking the ongoing erosion through inflation, wage stagnation, and rising levels of private debt, in real earning power amid the consumer class -- which is the backbone for 70%+ of what's left of the economy.

The modern "unemployment rate" is a rigged statistic -- like much of what the government officially reports these days -- in that it counts neither the underemployed, nor those who have given up searching for work, nor those who have left the work force for permanent "disability" welfare. The statistic of actual macroeconomic relevance is the overall employment rate of the population, which has not recovered in the slightest since the worst point of the most-recent crash:

In fact, it's down to levels unseen since the early 1980's, as you can verify for yourself here (just select 1948 from the dropdown where it says 2003, and click 'Go'):

And indeed, it would still be going down, if it weren't for the mind-blowing, utterly unsustainable expansion of federal debt that's holding up the house of cards for the time being (not to mention, blithe forgiveness of the monstrous frauds and crimes perpetrated by the too-big-to-prosecute in the real estate and derivatives markets)... Our debt levels are nearly at their historic peaks reached back during World War II:

Except this time, the rest of the world isn't bombed out with us the only nation left standing, ready to reap the economic windfall from helping in rebuilding efforts and exploiting on the world trade stage the comparative advantages of a relatively intact population and infrastructure. This time around, we're a fading empire laden to the gills with debt, continuing to bleed out what vestiges of wealth and power we still hold, while swaggering our last hurrah on the world stage -- just as the British Empire had once done, and just as so many other empires before them.

Ought to be heartening to realize that's the real state we're in, with the baby boomer retirement tsunami starting to crest on the horizon.

But even putting that ticking demographic bomb aside, the problem with living large on borrowed money and fraudulent balance sheets, is that eventually you have to pay up, with interest -- or watch your entire monetary system implode. And sooner or later, your lenders wise up, stop funding your unsustainable and corrupt lifestyle, and start demanding their money back. Then you're suddenly up shit creek, with gun-toting goons hot on your tail...

RE: Prowless??
By Ammohunt on 5/7/2013 4:20:54 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks, i didn't have the energy today.

RE: Prowless??
By retrospooty on 5/7/13, Rating: 0
RE: Prowless??
By boeush on 5/7/2013 9:24:22 PM , Rating: 4
Relax, just breath... Life will go on and we will be fine.
That's the wrong attitude when you're living in a house with a rotten termite-riddled foundation. The day will come when you step down off your bed and fall through the floor, with the rest of the house coming down on top of you in a heap.

Instead of playing Pollyanna, try to imagine that the current run in the stock markets is merely yet another bubble in a long series of bubbles: all that money being pumped into the too-big-to-jail by the Federal Reserve, is trying to find a productive outlet, failing, and finally getting funneled into speculation.

The Fed can't keep doing this indefinitely. Interest rates can't drop below 0, and the Fed's balance sheet cannot keep on ballooning. They will be forced to start unwinding within the next year or two, or risk being destroyed by their levels of leverage when the markets correct.

They have no ammunition left to respond to any global shocks that might occur before then. And once they start unwinding and interest rates shoot back up, we'll have full-on stagflation.

We are fiscally trapped in a deep grave that we've dug for ourselves, and are still digging with gusto. All because we refused to let the bankrupt go bankrupt, the felons go to jail, and budgets be balanced. We've bailed everyone out instead with borrowed money, and in our facile eagerness to avoid the political pain of taking our collective fiscal medicine, we've guaranteed a catastrophic denouement. What you observe now is the 'euphoria' that precedes the next collapse. It may end tomorrow, or it may go on for another couple of years (as the markets can remain irrational far longer than anyone can remain solvent.) But the inevitable is now only a matter of time, and a function of simple arithmetic.


RE: Prowless??
By retrospooty on 5/8/2013 1:17:34 PM , Rating: 2
"The Fed can't keep doing this indefinitely"

This part, I agree with. We absolutely have to get the budget balanced or there will be big trouble ahead at some point. As far as your sky falling scenario, I think you are being WAY overly dramatic... But, feel free to do your own doomsday prepping. It's at least funny to watch ;)

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