By Patrick Lozada
Image credit: @edwick.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has published a strategy document outlining the strength of the PLA and its strategy going into the future. The document is viewed by many observers as China’s official, firm response to the Obama administration’s ‘Pivot to Asia’; it is also a rare public accounting of the strength of the PLA, and sheds light on some key areas of potential escalation (East China Sea, Japan) as well as de-escalation (India).
Read the full official translation, or just skip to the good stuff: the silly, garbled party-speak that riddles any official document.
Here are a few highlights:
1. Chinese military commanders phrase geopolitical conflicts like your little sister telling on you:
Some country has strengthened its Asia-Pacific military alliances, expanded its military presence in the region, and frequently makes the situation there tenser. On the issues concerning China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, some neighboring countries are taking actions that complicate or exacerbate the situation, and Japan is making trouble over the issue of the Diaoyu Islands. (Section I)
Some people get it. Unlike some other people. *cough America*
2. They’re bad at naming military operations. Here are a few of the ones they mention:
Peace Mission 2012, Peace-11, Maritime Cooperation, Blue Strike 2012, Hand-In-Hand 2007, Friendship Operation-2009, Sharp Knife-2011, Divine Eagle-2012, Peace Angel, and Cooperation Spirit-2012
Their next operation is purported to be a joint exercise called “Cuddle Puppy-2013”
3. They’re bad at acronyms:
Formulating the concept of comprehensive security and effectively conducting military operations other than war (MOOTW). [what?] (I)
The PLA Army (PLAA) is composed of mobile operational units, border and coastal defense units, guard and garrison units, and is primarily responsible for military operations on land. [To be clear, PLAA stands for People’s Liberation Army Army] (Section II)
4. They love video games.
Based on different scenarios, they organize live force-on-force exercises, online confrontational exercises and computer-simulation confrontational exercises. The PLAAF creates complex battlefield environments based on its training bases, organizes confrontational exercises on “Red-Blue” war systems under informationized conditions, either between MAC air forces or between a combined “Blue Team” and MAC air force (“Red Team”). (Section III)
5. They make military crackdowns sound fun!
In accordance with relevant laws and regulations, the armed forces of China participate in social order maintenance (Section IV)
6. They’ve got a great sense of humor?
China’s armed forces observe the country’s Constitution and other relevant laws (Section I)