05 June 2014

Pentagon Releases “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2014”

Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2014, Annual Report to Congress (Arlington, VA: Office of the Secretary of Defense, 5 June 2014).

Highlights from text:

p. i

“The October 2013 MANEUVER-5 exercise in the Philippine Sea, which included participation from all three PLA navy fleets – the North Sea Fleet, the East Sea Fleet, and the South Sea Fleet – was the largest PLA Navy open-ocean exercise seen to date. Additionally, China conducted the three-part MISSION ACTION series of joint military exercises over a six week period during September and October. These exercises combined PLA ground, navy and air forces in large-scale maneuvers along China’s southern and southeastern coasts.”

p. 2

“From 2008 to 2012, China signed about $10 billion in agreements for conventional arms sales worldwide.”

p. 4

“On December 5, 2013, a PLA Navy vessel and a U.S. Navy vessel operating in the South China Sea came into close proximity. At the time of the incident, USS COWPENS (CG 63) was operating approximately 32 nautical miles southeast of Hainan Island. In that location, the U.S. Navy vessel was conducting lawful military activities beyond the territorial sea of any coastal State, consistent with customary international law as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention. Two PLA Navy vessels approached USS COWPENS. During this interaction, one of the PLA Navy vessels altered course and crossed directly in front of the bow of USS COWPENS. This maneuver by the PLA Navy vessel forced USS COWPENS to come to full stop to avoid collision, while the PLA Navy vessel passed less than 100 yards ahead. The PLA Navy vessel’s action was inconsistent with internationally recognized rules concerning professional maritime behavior (i.e., the
Convention of International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea), to which China is a party.”

p. 5

China’s East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ)

“On November 23, 2013, China announced the establishment of an ADIZ in the East China Sea. The newly announced ADIZ overlaps with territories administered by Japan as well as parts of the previously established and long-standing ADIZs of Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan. The United States neither accepts nor recognizes China’s requirements for operating in the newly declared ADIZ. This announcement will not change how the United States conducts military operations in the region.”

p. 6

“By November 2013, the Second Artillery possessed more than 1,000 short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) in its inventory.”

p. 7

“China is fielding a limited but growing number of conventionally-armed medium-range ballistic missiles, including the CSS-5 Mod 5 (DF-21D) anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM). The CSS-5 Mod 5 gives the PLA the capability to attack large ships, including aircraft carriers, in the western Pacific Ocean. The CSS-5 Mod 5 has a range exceeding 1,500 km and is armed with a maneuverable warhead.”

“China’s naval forces include some 77 principal surface combatants, more than 60 submarines, 55 medium and large amphibious ships, and roughly 85 missile-equipped small combatants.”

“China also continues to pursue an indigenous aircraft carrier program (the LIAONING is a refurbished ship, purchased from Ukraine in 1998) and likely will build multiple aircraft carriers over the next decade. The first Chinese-built carrier will likely be operational sometime at the beginning of the next decade.”

“The PLA Navy places a high priority on the modernization of its submarine force. China continues the production of JIN-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). Three JIN-class SSBNs (Type 094) are currently operational, and up to five may enter service before China proceeds to its next generation SSBN (Type 096) over the next decade. The JIN-class SSBN will carry the …”

p. 8

“new JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) with an estimated range of 7,400 km. The JIN-class and the JL-2 will give the PLA Navy its first credible sea-based nuclear deterrent. China is likely to conduct its first nuclear deterrence patrols with the JIN-class SSBN in 2014.”

JL-2 SLBM has est. 7400km range.

PLAN has 12 SSP (Type 039A) air-independent power submarines.

China is projected to build more than a dozen LUYANG III-class (Type 052D) destroyers.

p. 9

“JIANGDAO-class corvette (FFLs) (Type 056). Nine corvettes entered service in 2013. China may build an additional 20 to 30 vessels of this class.”

“The PLAAF is the largest air force in Asia and the third-largest air force in the world, with approximately 330,000 personnel and more than 2,800 total aircraft, not including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Of these PLAAF aircraft, approximately 1,900 are combat aircraft (includes fighters, bombers, fighter-attack and attack aircraft), 600 of which are modern.”

“If China does procure the Su-35, these aircraft could enter service in 2016 or 2018.”

“it is unclear if the J-31 is being developed for the PLAAF or the PLA Navy Air Force, or as an export platform to compete with the U.S. F-35.”

“China has developed the H-6K variant with new turbofan engines for extended range. It is believed to be capable of carrying six LACMs.  Modernizing the H-6 into a cruise missile carrier has given the PLA Air Force a long-range stand-off offensive capability with precision-guided munitions.”

p. 11

“The Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, designed to host these new launch vehicles, is expected to be complete in time for the first LM-7 launch in late-2014.”

p. 18

“In 2012, China imported approximately 60 percent of its oil; conservative estimates project that China will import almost two-thirds of its oil by 2015 and three-quarters by 2030. China looks primarily to the Persian Gulf, Africa, and Russia/Central Asia to satisfy its growing demand, with imported oil accounting for approximately 11 percent of China’s total energy consumption.”

“In 2012, approximately 84 percent of China’s oil imports transited the South China Sea and Strait of Malacca.”

p. 19

“Given China’s growing energy demand, new pipelines will only slightly alleviate China’s maritime dependency on either the Strait of Malacca or the Strait of Hormuz. Despite China’s efforts, the sheer volume of oil and liquefied natural gas that is imported to China from the Middle East and Africa will make strategic SLOCs increasingly important to China.”

“In 2012, China imported 21.3 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas, or 51 percent of all of its natural gas imports, from Turkmenistan to China by pipeline via Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. This pipeline is designed to carry 40 bcm per year with plans to expand it to 60 bcm. Another natural gas pipeline designed to deliver 12 bcm per year of Burmese-produced gas was completed in 2013 and is estimated to commence operations in 2014. This pipeline parallels the crude oil pipeline across Burma. China is in the late stages of negotiations with Russia for two pipelines that could supply China with up to 68 bcm of gas per year. In 2012, China imported about 25 percent of its gas supply.”

p. 28

“China’s new generation of mobile missiles, with payloads consisting of Multiple Independently Targeted Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs) and penetration aids, are intended to ensure the viability of China’s strategic deterrent in the face of continued advances in U.S. and, to a lesser extent, Russian strategic ISR, precision strike, and missile defense capabilities. The PLA has deployed new command, control, and communications capabilities to its nuclear forces. These capabilities improve the Second Artillery’s ability to command and control multiple units in the field. Through the use of improved communications links, China’s ICBM units now have better access to battlefield information and uninterrupted communications connecting all command echelons, and unit commanders are able to issue orders to multiple subordinates at once, instead of serially, via voice commands.”

“China will likely continue to invest considerable resources to maintain a limited, survivable, nuclear force (sometimes described as “sufficient and effective”) to ensure the PLA can deliver a damaging retaliatory nuclear strike.”

p. 31

“U.S. bases on Okinawa are in range of a growing number of Chinese MRBMs, and Guam could potentially be reached by air-launched cruise missiles.”

“Chinese missiles have also become far more accurate and are now better suited to strike regional air bases, logistics facilities, and other ground-based infrastructure, which Chinese military analysts have concluded are vulnerabilities in modern warfare. China is fielding an array of conventionally armed ballistic missiles, ground- and air-launched land-attack cruise missiles, special operations forces, and cyber warfare capabilities to hold such targets at risk throughout the region.”

“In a near-term conflict, PLA Navy operations would likely begin in the offshore and coastal areas with attacks by coastal defense cruise missiles, maritime strike aircraft, and smaller combatants and extend as far as the second island chain and Strait of Malacca using large surface ships and submarines. As the PLA Navy gains experience and acquires larger numbers of more capable platforms, including those with long-range air defense, it will expand the depth of these operations further into the western Pacific. The PLA Navy may also develop a new capability for ship-based land-attack using cruise missiles. China views long-range anti-ship cruise missiles as a key weapon in this type of operation and is developing multiple advanced types and the platforms to employ them for this purpose. These platforms include conventional and nuclear-powered attack submarines (KILO SS, SONG SS, YUAN SSP, SHANG SSN), surface combatants (LUYANG III DDG [Type 052D], LUZHOU DDG [Type 051C], LUYANG I/II DDG [Type 052B/C], SOVREMENNY II-class DDG, JIANGKAI II FFG [Type 054A], JIANGDAO FFL [Type 056]), and maritime strike aircraft (FB-7A, H-6G and the Su-30MK2).”

“China would face several shortcomings in a near-term conflict, however. First, the PLA’s…”

p. 32

“deep-water anti-submarine warfare capability seems to lag behind its air and surface warfare capabilities. Second, it is not clear whether China has the capability to collect accurate targeting information and pass it to launch platforms in time for successful strikes against targets at sea beyond the first island chain.”

p. 33

“China’s A2/AD capabilities will be bolstered by the development of fifth-generation fighter aircraft, which is not likely to be fielded before 2018.”

“According to a 2013 report by the Defense Science Board, China’s move into unmanned systems is “alarming” and combines unlimited resources with technological awareness that might allow China to match or even outpace U.S. spending on unmanned systems in the future. During September 2013, a probable Chinese UAV was noted for the first time conducting reconnaissance over the East China Sea. This past year, China unveiled details of four UAVs under development, three of which are designed to carry weapons: the Xianglong (Soaring Dragon); Yilong (Pterodactyl); Sky Saber; and Lijian, China’s first stealthy flying wing UAV, for which China announced its first maiden flight on November 21, 2013.”

p. 34

“In 2013, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the U.S. Government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military. These intrusions were focused on exfiltrating information. China is using its computer network exploitation (CNE) capability to support intelligence collection against the U.S. diplomatic, economic, and defense industrial base sectors that support U.S. national defense programs. The information targeted could potentially be used to benefit China’s defense industry, high-technology industries, …”

p. 35

“policymakers’ interest in U.S. leadership thinking on key China issues, and military planners’ understanding of U.S. defense networks, logistics, and related military capabilities that could be exploited during a crisis. The accesses and skills required for these intrusions are similar to those necessary to conduct computer network attacks.”

p. 36

“China continues to field an ASBM based on a variant of the CSS-5 (DF-21) MRBM that it began deploying in 2010.”

“The PLA Navy continues the development and deployment of ship-, submarine-, and aircraft-deployed ASCMs – a mix of Russian-and Chinese-built missiles – which extend China’s strike range. Additionally, China may develop the capability to arm the new LUYANG Class-III DDG with LACMs, giving the PLA Navy its first land attack capability. In late October, Japan observed Chinese H-6 bombers and Y-8 reconnaissance aircraft flying over the Miyako Strait to the western Pacific Ocean. The PLA Navy Air Force continues to make incremental improvements in its air power projection capabilities.”

p. 37

“The United States considers military activities in foreign EEZs to be lawful and notes that similar PLA Navy activity in foreign EEZs undercuts China’s decades-old position that such activities in China’s EEZ are unlawful.”

p. 38

“China is engaged in series production of the LUYANG III-class DDG, the JIANGKAI II-class FFG, and the JIANGDAO-class FFL. China might begin construction on a new Type 081-class amphibious assault ship within the next five years. China will probably build multiple aircraft carriers over the next 15 years.”

“In the next decade, a new force of civilian maritime ships will afford China the capability to patrol its territorial claims more robustly in the East China and the South China Seas. China is continuing with the second half of a modernization and construction program for the CCG. The first half of this program, from 2004 to 2008, resulted in the addition of almost 20 ocean-going patrol ships. The second half of this program, from 2011 to 2015, includes at least 30 new ships for the CCG. Several less capable patrol ships will be decommissioned during this period. In addition, the CCG will likely build more than 100 new patrol craft and smaller units, both to increase capability and to replace old units. Overall, The CCG’s total force level is expected to increase by 25 percent. Some of these ships will have the capability to embark helicopters, a capability that only a few MLE ships currently have. The enlargement and modernization of China’s MLE forces will improve China’s ability to enforce its maritime sovereignty.”

p. 40

“Land-Attack Cruise Missiles: The PLA continues to field air- and ground-launched LACMs for stand-off, precision strikes. Air-launched cruise missiles include the YJ-63, KD-88, and the CJ-20. China recently revealed the CM-802AKG LACM.”

“Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles: The PLA Navy deploys the domestically produced ship-launched YJ-62 ASCM; the Russian SS-N-22/SUNBURN supersonic ASCM, which is fitted on China’s SOVREMENNY-class DDGs acquired from Russia; and the Russian SS-N-27B/SIZZLER supersonic ASCM on China’s Russian-built KILO SS. It has, or is acquiring, nearly a dozen ASCM variants, ranging from the 1950s-era CSS-N-2 to the modern Russian-made SS-N-22 and SS-N-27B. The pace of ASCM research, development, and production has accelerated over the past decade. In addition, the PLA Navy Air Force employs the YJ-83K ASCM on its JH-7 and H-6G aircraft. China has also developed the YJ-12 ASCM for the Navy. The new missile provides an increased threat to naval assets, due to its long range and supersonic speeds. It is capable of being launched from H-6 bombers.”

p. 41

“In April [2013], China dispatched more than 1,000 paramilitary police to Xinjiang after riots resulted in the death of 21 people. Later in June, at least 1,000 paramilitary police shut down large sections of Urumqi and conducted 24-hour patrols in military vehicles after clashes left 35 people dead. In October, paramilitary police were deployed to Biru County in the Tibet Autonomous Region to crack down on Tibetans who protested an order to fly the Chinese national flag at home.”

p. 45

“The China Academy of Sciences (CAS) also plays a key role in facilitating research that supports advancements in military modernization. The CAS Institute of Mechanics is one example, with a focus on scientific innovation and high-tech integration in aerospace technology, environmental engineering, and energy resources. Specific areas of emphasis include nano-scale and micro-scale mechanics, high temperature gas and supersonic flight technologies, and advanced manufacturing. In May 2012, the Institute announced successful acceptance testing of its new super-large JF12 hypersonic wind tunnel, reportedly the largest in the world, capable of replicating flying conditions at mach 5 to 9. ”

p. 46

“The majority of China’s missile programs, including its ballistic and cruise missile systems, is comparable to other international top-tier producers….”

“China is among the top ship-producing nations in the world….”

p. 47

“China is pursuing advanced Russian defense equipment such as the SA-X-21b (S-400) surface-to-air missile system, Su-35 fighter aircraft, and a new joint-design and production program for diesel-electric submarines based on the Russian PETERSBURG/LADA-class.”

p. 55

“Preparation for a Taiwan conflict with the possibility of U.S. involvement continues to dominate China’s military modernization program.”

p. 65

“China launched the Gaofen-1 satellite in April 2013. The Gaofen program is one of 16 programs announced by the State Council for its national scientific and technology programs. Gaofen will become the main civilian Earth observation project, combining the use of satellites, aircraft, and even stratosphere balloons, with at least 14 satellites set to launch by 2020. Gaofen-2 is expected to launch this year.”

“The Kuaizhou (“quick vessel”) imagery satellite was launched on September 25, 2013. Kuaizhou-1 was built by the Harbin Institute of Technology and is projected to be used for emergency data monitoring and imaging under the control of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ National Remote Sensing Center.”

“Additionally, China has launched two Tianhui satellites designed to conduct scientific experiments and support land resource surveys and territory mapping with a stereoscopic imaging payload.”