China: High and Blind


April 17, 2007: China's intense interest in recent American naval exercises off Guam (which appeared to be a rehearsal for a defense of Taiwan), has put the spotlight on how China could hope to deal with such American support for Taiwan. There are many signs of how such Chinese countermeasures might work. The recent Chinese anti-satellite system test shows they can knock down U.S. spy satellites. China is also working on micro (under half a ton) satellites. If they can build an anti-satellite satellite weighing less than half a ton, they can launch several with one booster. That would give them a chance to knock down enough American satellites to temporarily "blind" the U.S. Navy. At that point, Chinese anti-ship missiles and submarines would be more potent against American carriers. This is the sort of thinking China is encouraging in its military. It's also ancient Chinese strategic thinking. That is, don't go after superior enemy head on, but, rather, come at him sideways. Then again, ancient Chinese military thinkers preached winning without fighting. That worked better when it was Chinese versus Chinese. Foreigners tend to be more inscrutable.

April 14, 2007: Japan has asked for an extension to its agreement to remove World War II chemical weapons its forces left behind in 1945. At the time, Japan has some two million tons of chemical weapons stored in 40 Chinese locations. Most of this has been destroyed, but some of it was harder to deal with. Also, some of the chemical weapons cannot be found. So Japan wants to extend the deadline, for removal, to 2012. Reminders of World War II, like this, continue to maintain negative public attitudes towards Japan.


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