Comments by a PLA general that armed conflict over China’s maritime territorial disputes would be a good chance to test the military’s prowess were “radical”, mistaken and did not reflect official policy, analysts and other military figures say.
Liu Yazhou , political commissar at the People’s Liberation Army National Defence University, said in a magazine interview that by “seizing opportunities” the military could be turned into a modern power on par with the United States.
“An army that fails to achieve victory is nothing,” Liu was quoted as saying by the Guofang Cankao, or Defence Reference Magazine. “Those borders where our army has won victories are more peaceful and stable, but those where we were too timid have more disputes.”
Liu said in the interview that China had not engaged in mechanised warfare since its brief war with Vietnam in 1979, while the US army had commanded several complex campaigns in recent decades. Liu said that under the leadership of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping , the PLA had fought the US army in Korea in the 1950s, a border conflict with India in 1962, a battle with the former Soviet Union over sovereignty of Zhenbao Island (Damansky Island) in 1969 and the conflict with Vietnam in 1979.
Liu said the PLA now had “a strategic opportunity” to boost its military capability to defend Chinese sovereignty in the East and South China seas, where China is involved in territorial disputes with Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines and other Asian countries.
In case you were wondering, no, the United States is not looking toward any regular season conflict with China. Under Obama we’re acting like it’s the off season. Or like our franchise is disbanding.