The PJ Tatler

Heritage's Dragon Week

Heritage Foundation is offering up research papers on these four topics in connection with Chinese President Hu’s visit :

The Heritage Foundation is producing “Dragon Week,” a week-long series of research products dedicated to understanding our security relationship with China. Each post will highlight a domain of conflict where the Chinese are advancing while the U.S. is complacent or even retrenching. The four domains are:

1. Space: In 2010, China launched a record 15 satellites, the first time since the Cold War that any state has matched the rate of American launches in a year. The Chinese Beidou navigation satellite system, a rival to the American GPS system, is steadily outpacing Europe’s moribund Galileo program. Americans must recognize that not only will the U.S. and China interact on Earth; they will increasingly do so in the heavens.

2. Air: The debut of China’s J-20 last week showed that the Chinese stealth fighter program is further along than was generally recognized. While the U.S. debates whether or not to sell F-16s to Taiwan, it is now clear that China’s air force is rapidly modernizing beyond that level. Meanwhile, we have stopped building the F-22 and have cut the F-35 program.

3. Sea: The Chinese navy has built an impressive submarine fleet. The new Jin-class ballistic-missile submarines can carry the JL-2 ICBM, enhancing the survivability and deterrence of China’s nuclear forces. Meanwhile, the continued development of anti-ship ballistic missiles raises the stakes of deployingaircraft carriers in the region.

4. Cyber: In 2003, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) announced the creation of “information warfare units.” In 2004, the PLA noted that its priority would be fighting and winning Local Wars Under Informationalized Conditions, and that information was the keystone to future wars. All of this suggests that, from China’s view, a global conflict is already underway—in the virtual world of cyberspace.

Heritage does such thoughtful work, it will be interesting to see these papers.