"General Frost" of the PLA division will not stop.
If the military potential of the NATO countries over the past 20 years is rapidly reduced quantitatively, very little updated qualitatively, the military potential of China over the same period is either very slightly reduced, or even increasing quantitatively, rapidly updated qualitatively. During these two decades, the PLA has reached a completely new level of development, it is not just on an uptrend, but literally "rushes to heaven" in the direct and figurative sense.
During the short war with Vietnam in early 1979, the Chinese demonstrated extreme fanaticism and cruelty with an ugly low quality of command and level of combat training, having suffered a shameful defeat. And even in the early 90s, the PLA was huge in size, but extremely archaic. All of her 8 thousand tanks made up a variety of variations on the theme of our T-54. The Air Force was based on 3 thousand J-6 fighters - a copy of the MiG-19, i.e. first generation aircraft, even 3rd generation cars were not at all. To date, the situation has changed dramatically.
Over the past 20 years, the PRC's military spending has grown more than 20 times, reaching almost $ 92 billion this year, even according to official figures (second place in the world). At the same time, according to all experts, without exception, the real costs in 1,5-3 are higher than official costs. Yes, they are smaller than American in 3-4, but here it is impossible not to take into account the incompatibility, firstly, the prices for military products (PLA acquires weapon for state-owned enterprises, the US Armed Forces for private), and secondly, for the maintenance of personnel (for the USA they increased especially in connection with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan). Each of these items of expenditure separately from the United States exceeds the entire military budget of China, but this is explained solely by the size of prices for products and the monetary allowance of personnel. Accordingly, statements by Chinese officials and some overseas "lawyers" of China that he has a very small share of military expenditures in GDP are increasingly reminiscent of foolishness. If only because China’s GDP itself is already too large and continues to grow. And military spending also continues to grow, and in 1,5-2 times faster than GDP. This rapid growth has a very concrete embodiment.
Both in Russia and abroad, many people seriously believe that the PLA is still at the level of 90-s (if not 80-s) in the sense of archaic technology and at best can copy something from us or in the West. Alas, this picture already has nothing to do with reality.
Yes, China is really studying all the weapon models that have come to it, to the last screw. However, it does not stupidly copy, but creatively develops. Moreover, the “corporate style” of the Chinese military industrial complex is becoming a synthesis of Russian, Western and proprietary technologies. Such a synthesis of products from completely different scientific and technological schools requires a very powerful own school. Especially, if very complex and high-tech samples are synthesized. And the structure of arms procurement indicates what kind of war China is preparing today.
ON THE WAY TO THE OCEAN
Europe has long been expecting no attacks from anyone and is not going to attack anyone. That is why the armed forces of European countries are so rapidly reduced, and what remains of them is reoriented to counter-guerrilla wars and peacekeeping and police operations. There is absolutely no one to attack China, since such an attack will become the most effective way of suicide (explanations are hardly needed here). In addition, there is simply no need to attack him, because even occupying part of this country is, firstly, impossible because of the population, which makes the occupation an impossible task, and secondly, this makes no practical sense - China’s natural resources are scarce , which will be discussed below. The only theoretically imaginable scenario of external aggression against China is the attack on it from the United States with the help of sea and air-based cruise missiles (SLCMs, ALCMs) and, possibly, deck aviation in order to destroy the objects of the "new economy", the military-industrial complex, military and civilian infrastructure for the maximum military and economic weakening of the PRC. To repulse this purely virtual threat (it is virtual not only because of the presence of nuclear weapons in China, but also because of too many objects to attack that exceed the real capabilities of the US Air Force and Navy) it is necessary to develop air defense and the Navy. The Ground Forces are absolutely to nothing.
Thus, from the point of view of PLA self-defense, at least for years, 10 is over-redundant. Nevertheless, its potential continues to grow at an ever-increasing pace, i.e. trends are directly opposed to NATO. Statements by Chinese officials that military construction is being carried out exclusively for peaceful defensive purposes are becoming increasingly sluggish and on duty every year. Because it is impossible to believe in them even with the maximum desire, which in Beijing cannot but be understood. Moreover, there, apparently, they see less and less sense in convincing humanity in their peaceful intentions.
Two universal amphibious assault ship Type 071 are already in the ranks of the Chinese Navy.
On the approach - DVKD and aircraft carriers.
On the approach - DVKD and aircraft carriers.
China is actually building up the potential of its Navy, moving from a mosquito fleet to the ocean (although the mosquito remains the largest in the world). By the number of multi-purpose submarines (atomic and diesel), it has already bypassed both the USA and Russia. In the near future, the construction of submarines with an air-independent power plant will be launched. This year, the first Chinese aircraft carrier will enter service, and it will certainly not be the only one completed. Ahead is the construction of destroyers comparable in terms of performance characteristics with American URO destroyers of the Arleigh Burke type and similar Japanese Kongo / Atago equipped with the Aegis system. The latest Project 022 missile boats are the most powerful in the world in terms of performance characteristics. Already commissioned are two universal amphibious assault ships Type 071, the construction of the series continues. It is planned to build a DVKD. It is supposed to adopt an anti-ship ballistic missile based on the DF-21 BRDS with a firing range of up to 1,5 thousand km. In general, the Chinese Navy now occupies the second place in combat potential not only in the Asia-Pacific Region, but also in the world as a whole, and this potential is only growing, several shipbuilding programs are being implemented at the same time (from boats to aircraft carriers and SSBNs). And it is clear that the goal here is not only coastal defense and not only landing in Taiwan, but projection of forces in the waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, not only to the south and southwest, but also to the northeast.
The combat potential of the PRC's air force is growing at no less rapid pace. Last year, the last J-6 was withdrawn from combat (although they remain in reserve). Today, out of approximately 2 thousand combat aircraft that are in service of the PLA Air Force and Naval Aviation, at least a quarter are 4-generation vehicles (Su-27 / J-11, Su-30 / J-12, J-10). Thus, even in terms of the number of modern fighters, China almost caught up with Russia, which has 700 fighter jets of 4 generation (of which more than 100 are in reserve), bypassing any other country (except for the US, of course). At the same time, the production of the J-10 and J-11В light fighter (an unlicensed version of the Su-27) is just under way. Therefore coming
2-3 of the Year China is guaranteed to surpass us in modern fighters. Moreover, the physical age of Chinese cars is much lower than that of our and American aircraft. In addition, China is working on deck options J-11 (known as J-15) and J-10. And at the beginning of this year, the first flight of the J-20 became a global sensation. Yes, it is not yet a full-fledged 5 fighter, but our T-50 appeared only last year. China still has problems with aircraft engines and radar stations, but the rapid technological progress of this country shows that the lag in these areas will be overcome in the very near future. So far, China is far behind in the field of strike aviation, but even here the problem will be solved. Firstly, there is information about the development of the J-11 (J-17) impact version, similar to the Su-34. Secondly, in terms of the number of tactical and operational-tactical missile systems, China leads the world by a wide margin, the score here is at least thousands - this compensates for the lag in aircraft. Thirdly, in China in recent years, a number of UAV drums (WJ-600, CH-3, Ilong) have been created, in this area it has surpassed Russia and, apparently, has bypassed even the United States.
China has greatly strengthened ground defense with the help of the C-300PMU1 and PMU2 (in total - 7 regiments comprising the 26 divisions) purchased from us and created on its base (of course, without a license) the HQ-9. And anti-satellite weapons in China have experienced even earlier than in the United States.
But, of course, the development of the PLA Ground Forces is most interesting for us.
Fighter J-10. At least a quarter of the Chinese Air Force make up the fourth-generation vehicles.
NETCENTRISM IN CONNECTION WITH THE MASS ARMY
Tanks are regularly "buried", at least since the days of the Arab-Israeli war 1973. But they did not "die" at all, remaining the main striking force of the Ground Forces. Both wars of the XXI century - 2003 in Iraq and 2008 in Georgia - once again confirmed that the classic land war “army against army” is won only with the help of tanks.
As was shown in the first part of the article (see “National Defense” No. XXUMX), of all the main classes of armaments, it is NATO tanks that reduce most quickly and update the last. More precisely, it does not update at all, all the main production programs of tanks were closed in the West at the beginning of 7, the closure of the American project of the Future Combat System means that no more promising tanks will be in NATO anymore. For the “aggressive imperialist bloc” is not going to conduct deep offensive operations, for which the tanks, in the first place, are intended.
As for China, over the past 20 years, the number of tanks, which are variations on the T-54 theme
(Tour 59 / 69 / 79 / 80), reduced from about 8,5 thousand to about 4,5-5,5 thousand. But there were new-generation tanks - Tour 88 (about 500), Tour 96 (2,5-3 thousand) and Tour 99 ( approximately 500), with the production of the Tour 96 and the Tour 99 continuing. Thus, the number of PLA tank fleet even increased with a radical qualitative improvement. Due to the fact that in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation the number of tanks in regular units and at storage bases has been reduced to 2,1 thousand, China has now come out on top in the world in terms of MBT. And it also ranks first in the world in their production, “stamping” from 100 to 500 machines a year. At the same time, the Tour 96 and the Tour 99 in their combat capabilities, in general, are not inferior to our T-72 / 80 / 90. A specialist can find some parts for which our tanks are better than Chinese ones, but he will find other details for which the Chinese are ahead. The 99 Tour was the first tank in the world to carry laser weapons (for blinding surveillance devices and their operators). Moreover, in China, a fundamentally new tank is being developed, which, apparently, will have a crew of 2 people and an uninhabited tower. It is assumed that it can be in addition to the main gun armed with two rapid-fire 6-barrel guns to attack various targets, including ATGM. It is possible that the tank will also carry on board a small-sized robot vehicle for conducting reconnaissance. It is quite difficult to assume that such a rapid buildup of a tank fleet at the expense of the latest machines is being carried out for defensive purposes.
Of course, it’s not only tanks that create “peaceful purposes” in China. For example, a unique family of amphibious vehicles based on the BMB ZBD-05 was created here. These are KSHM, light tank, SAU ZTD-05, etc. These machines do not have analogs in the world, the American EFV should have become such, but, as was said above, it was canceled. Calling the amphibious armor as a defensive weapon has never occurred to anyone.
In the area of the MLRS, China did not lag far behind the leading countries of the world even in the 70-80-ies. And now there has been an obvious breakthrough. Although China did not forget to copy our "Smerch"
(A-100 and PHL-03), he independently created the WS-2 MLRS with a range of 200 km. Its WS-2D modification has been developed, shooting at 400 km. Each installation carries from 6 to 9 missiles, incl. to 3 special self-guided drones. Thus, this system significantly surpasses in its performance characteristics both the Smerch and the American MLRS, combining the qualities of the MLRS and operational-tactical missile systems (PTRK) and providing the possibility of causing a massive fire attack of the second echelons of the enemy troops from their rear. The total number of MLRS at the PLA is up to 2,5 thousand, and not only does not decrease, but even increases.
By the number of PLA tanks today - the first army in the world.
Until recently, the Achilles' heel of the PLA Ground Forces was army aviation. Now it is not just developing in all directions (in particular, the WZ-10 attack helicopter went into the series), but the transformation from the means of support to the main strike force of the Ground Forces has been declared. Such a transformation is possible only within the framework of offensive military doctrine.
In this regard, the principal point should be emphasized. The concept of network-centric war, which was developed in Western countries (primarily in the USA), is considered as an alternative to the traditional mass army. Since the network-centricity improves the efficiency of the use of weapons and equipment, it is believed that this can significantly reduce their number. At the same time, the fact that network-centricity increases the effectiveness of the use of combat potential, but not the potential itself, often falls out of sight. That is, for example, if there are 50 projectiles in a tank ammunition, it cannot in any way hit more 50 targets.
In China, a fundamentally different policy is being pursued, which is formulated as a combination of “mechanization” and “informatization”, i.e. The development of the traditional mass army continues with the development of qualitative and quantitative capabilities for the conduct of the classic large-scale war, while the principles and methods of network-centric warfare are to be widely introduced into the mass traditional army. Thus, if Western countries increase efficiency by reducing potential, China increases both its potential and its effectiveness. This combination will automatically make the PLA the strongest army in the world in a very short-term perspective.
NATURAL NEEDS FOR EXPANDING SPACE
Thus, if NATO reduces its offensive potential, the PLA is rapidly increasing it, and for all classes of equipment. And not only as a whole, but also, at a faster pace, in advanced areas. First of all, the latest technology (especially tanks) enters the Shenyang and Beijing military districts, the first of which is focused on our Far East, the second - on Transbaikalia. Secondly, the equipment goes to the Jingnan IN (inner district, which is a reserve for the rest of the districts and a testing ground for developing new weapons and methods of using them) and in Lanzhou IN (focused on Central Asia and Western Siberia). Even the “Antitaiwan” Nanjing IN is spoiled with much less attention than the “anti-Russian” districts. And the two southern military districts of the PLA receive equipment on the residual principle, and there are no tank units in them at all.
And the nature of combat training fully fits into the big picture. In the last 5 years, the PLA regularly conducts large-scale maneuvers of the Ground Forces and the Air Force, where offensive operations with depths of 1,5-2 thousand km are worked out with the help of several formations or even formations. In the scenario of these teachings, in no way can we see either the rehearsal of the landing party on Taiwan, or a reflection of the American landing force, or the suppression of internal unrest.
Consequently, if there are no real signs of preparation for aggression in the actions of NATO, then in the actions of China there are all signs of such preparation. Moreover, to the above main features, you can add a number of additional
Thus, in the past few years, massive construction of underground shelters with a total capacity of several million people has been launched in the largest cities of China. The Chinese leadership gives this construction a defiantly absurd explanation: the shelters are designed to protect against earthquakes! Since any person who is even slightly familiar with seismology or the basics of civil defense knows perfectly well that during an earthquake, an underground shelter can only become an exclusively mass grave, such an explanation cannot be considered anything other than a direct call to Washington and Moscow - Beijing is not afraid of a nuclear strike and preparing for it in advance.
At the same time, strategic reserves of oil with a volume of 180 mln. Tons (approximately 40% of annual consumption) were created in China; by 2020, these reserves are expected to reach 800 mln. Tons (by that time, apparently, this will be the annual consumption). Usually such stocks are created for war. It is believed that China is afraid of cutting off communications from Africa and the Middle East by the US Navy, from where most of the oil comes to China. Formally, it is really possible. But now, China is actively building oil pipelines from Russia and from Central Asia, which the Americans certainly will not be able to cut. Why then such gigantic reserves?
Attack helicopter WZ-10.
There is another very interesting point. China declares its readiness to save the euro (that is, in fact, the entire project of the European Union) by buying back the debt obligations of the most problematic countries of the EU - Greece, Portugal, Spain. At the same time, it puts forward one very important condition - the lifting of the European embargo on arms exports to China by Europe. Is Beijing still a little weapon? Why should he now also be European?
Finally, one cannot fail to note that the integral part of the Chinese military doctrine is the concept of “strategic boundaries and living space”, which directly justifies waging aggressive wars. The concept is based on the view that population growth and limited resources cause natural needs to expand the space to ensure the further economic activity of the state and increase its “natural sphere of existence”. It is assumed that the territorial and spatial boundaries indicate only the limits in which the state with the help of real power can "effectively protect its interests." “Strategic boundaries of living space” should move as the “integrated power of the state” grows.
DO YOU WANT A WAR IN CHINA?
The quality of the PLA in the real battle was not tested with the above-mentioned war with Vietnam 1979. However, in the war with psychology, the Chinese soldiers were fine, they almost did not surrender, they attacked the Vietnamese machine guns regularly. Over the years since 32, the PLA has changed in terms of its internal composition, now it is dominated by educated urban youths, and not, in the best case, the initial education of the peasant boys. The fact is that in China, the army is a draft, while there is a huge surplus of draft resources. Talking about the fact that the PLA makes up only 0,2% of the population is the same kind of foolishness as statements about the “small” military expenditures of the PRC: China in peacetime simply does not need it anymore, even these 0,2% give the largest army in the world. Therefore, the Chinese can afford the luxury of calling the best (however, the uncalled-out undergo military training in reserve, which is about 20 times the size of a regular army). It is difficult to say whether citizens will retain the same stamina in battle. Against this is the fact that they represent a generation of “little emperors,” the only children in the family, therefore very spoiled. On the other hand, as the study of the Chinese Internet shows, it is among urban educated young people that the level of chauvinism and aggression towards foreigners is very high, and they have always “offended” China and continue to do so now. However, there is not the slightest doubt that the urban Chinese will fight, at least, much better than the Europeans and hardly any worse than the Americans.
Naturally, in China there can be no political problems that NATO has. At least because the PRC is one totalitarian country, not 28 democratic. In this case, one should especially bear in mind the very significant influence of the generals on domestic and foreign policy. Even in the USSR, not to mention modern Russia, there was nothing of the kind. It is very significant that the main leading post in China is not considered to be the post of chairman of the PRC, or even the post of general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPC, but the post of chairman of the Central Military Council. Only by occupying it, a person becomes the real leader of the country.
Now the most fundamental question is why should China commit aggression against Russia?
Strategic-level offensive operations dominate the PLA exercise scenarios.
It would be possible to devote at least one more article to discuss the internal problems of China. In an extremely compressed version, the situation is as follows. With the further growth of the PRC economy and the well-being of its population (which is twice as much as the population of the United States and the EU together) in the very foreseeable future, China will not have enough resources not only for their country (they have not been enough for a long time), but for the whole Earth. Here we must especially emphasize that the economy of the PRC is, first of all, the economy of production, and not the economy of the services sector, as in the West. Therefore, it needs much more raw materials and the growth rate of its consumption is much higher than in the West. In addition, continued economic growth at the same rate can lead to a real ecological catastrophe, which will affect not only China, but the whole world. However, a slowdown in growth will inevitably lead to a sharp exacerbation of social problems — a significant increase in unemployment (which is already very high) and a drop in the living standards of the population (despite the fact that a significant part of the PRC population still lives in extreme poverty and believes that it receives too little from the triumphal Chinese reforms). The most serious problem is the huge gap in income and social security between town and country and between developed coastal and backward inner regions. Without further extensive growth, these gaps cannot be reduced, and their growth can lead to severe social upheavals.
At the heart of all these problems lies the extreme overpopulation of the country, aggravated by the fact that almost the entire population of China lives in half of its territory, where the burden on the environment and infrastructure is prohibitive. The “one family - one child” policy conducted from the end of 70 is forced. However, firstly, it is performed, in fact, only in cities, which additionally increases the gap in the standard of living, and secondly, it creates two more acute social problems - the aging of the population in conditions of a very weak development of the pension system and the “shortage of brides” (a significant numerical excess of boys and boys over girls and girls in the younger age groups). As a result, a situation arises when, on the one hand, the “one family - one child” policy should not only be continued, but tightened, on the other hand, it should be immediately repealed. In general, the interweaving of Chinese problems is such that the solution of some aggravates others.
In China, this has already been understood and is becoming more and more open that China faces a choice between a social catastrophe, which turns into a civil war, and external expansion in order to seize resources and territories. The third is not given, such is the objective reality, it has nothing to do with the ideology or the type of socio-economic system. The fact that China, if he does not want to get a civil war, needs to prepare for a war of aggression, was very clearly written in the book China Unhappy! Two years ago, expressing, in the opinion of most experts, the opinion of the PLA leadership.
Why the West will not capture raw materials, and China will be? Is this a double standard?
1. China needs raw materials, because, as mentioned above, its economy is the economy of production, not of services, and the population is twice as large as in the West.
2. The West buys raw materials for its currency, which, as a last resort, can be printed, China - for someone else's (Western).
3. For China, the raw materials will soon simply not be enough. He will not be able to purchase the required, he will have to take away existing in already divided markets. Or the prices for raw materials will be such that war will happen anyway.
4. For Western countries it is cheaper to buy raw materials than to capture. Operations to capture and, most importantly, to retain the captured in terms of reducing military potential, the growth of expenditures on the maintenance of personnel, psychological demobilization and democratic system of governance are so expensive in the direct and figurative sense that they become inappropriate. China, on the other hand, resolves this issue much easier, especially since it needs not only resources, but also territories. The degree of sensitivity to losses in the Chinese is completely incomparable with the western. The occupation functions in the occupied territories will be carried out by the peasants, of whom in China now there is 674,1 million. At the same time they will live in these territories. Now there is less than 0,07 ha of arable land per farmer in China; a family can have no more than two children. In the occupied territories, these restrictions can be removed. If each family receives an automatic machine, the occupation functions in relation to the local population will be carried out very effectively.
EXPANSION DIRECTION - NORTH
As for the direction of expansion, it is impossible not to see that Eastern Siberia and the Far East of Russia possess a huge territory and natural resources with a very small, and rapidly declining population. The situation is similar in Kazakhstan. In Indochina (another potential direction of Chinese expansion) the situation in all respects is exactly the opposite (there is little territory and resources with a high density of indigenous people). By capturing these countries, China only to a small extent solves the problem of lack of resources, and the problem of overpopulation and lack of arable land is even more aggravated, and the new population will be disloyal to Beijing (especially this will apply to Vietnam, which has a very rich experience of successful warfare, like classical and partisan, including against China).
The Eastern Military District of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will not be able to withstand the Chinese offensive.
A well-known refutation of the danger of Chinese expansion is considered to be that half of China’s territory is practically not developed (94% of the PRC population lives on 46% of its territory), therefore external expansion is meaningless. In addition, it is often said that the climatic conditions in Siberia and the Far East (primarily, low temperatures in winter) are unacceptable for the Chinese. In this regard, it can be noted that Tibet, which occupies almost a third of the territory of China, is one of the most unfavorable places on Earth to live in (in this respect, it can be compared, perhaps, with Antarctica). It is located at an average altitude of 4 thousand meters above sea level. Due to the lack of oxygen for the vast majority of people, any long-term stay there is not possible. In addition, in the conditions of extreme high mountains no serious economic activity is possible. Thus, China will never be able to “master” Tibet in terms of its mass settlement and economic development. The climatic conditions in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR), which is occupied by the Gobi and Takla Makan deserts, are better only in terms of the presence of sufficient oxygen. Against the background of XUAR, not to mention Tibet, the climate of Transbaikalia and Amur Region and the conditions for farming are incomparably better, and in Primorye they are extremely comfortable by any measure. Even Yakutia is preferable to Tibet, since strong frosts are better for half a year than lack of oxygen all the time (especially since a large part of Tibet is also in the permafrost zone). It can be noted that today, Chinese migrants in the cities of Yakutia control most of the trade, all year round.
In this regard, a number of comments. In some domestic works, the refutation of the thesis about the Chinese threat refers to the fact that China, even at the moment of Russia's maximum weakness (immediately after the collapse of the USSR), did not take any action aimed at its further weakening. Meanwhile, it is not very clear about what exactly possible actions we are talking about. Yes, the PRC did not commit military aggression against Russia, but on this occasion it can be noted that at the beginning of the 90-s. Twentieth century. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation were much stronger than at present, and the PLA - much weaker than at present. Thus, China did not have real opportunities for committing aggression, and did not show “goodwill” at all. At the same time, he took full advantage of the weakness of Russia by forming an extremely profitable and unprofitable for Russia character of economic relations and created the basis for demographic expansion.
To refute the thesis of the Chinese threat, it is also often used the assertion that China is so busy solving internal problems that it is “not up to expansion”. At the same time, the idea that expansion is not a “whim” of China is completely ignored, but it is necessary to solve its internal problems.
A very popular controversial reception of the “attorneys” of China is the statement that “inflating the myth” about the Chinese threat is unacceptable, since the conflict between Russia and China is beneficial to the United States. In this regard, it can be noted that, in relation to the relations of these three most powerful countries of the world, the conflict between the other two is objectively beneficial for any of them. In particular, China benefits from a conflict between Russia and the United States. It is very significant that Russia, at the level of official statements or at the level of scientific work, has never been viewed by the leadership and experts of the PRC as a potential ally against the United States. However, the most fundamental point in this aspect is that the cause of the Chinese threat to Russia is not the interests of the United States, but the objective development trends of China itself, on which the United States does not have any significant influence. That is, the Chinese threat to Russia takes place completely regardless of whether the Russian-Chinese conflict is beneficial for the United States or not, based on circumstances of a non-political, and socio-economic nature.
COUNTRY WITH REDUCED PAIN THRESHOLD
After the military reform in Russia in the main strategic areas, we have the following situation. The forces of the new Southern VO are, on the whole, adequate to the situation in their theater, for Georgia has been crushed and not restored, and it is still difficult to imagine a war with Turkey (either as a NATO member or as a separate entity) (although this is not possible in the future) . Central VO has no access to borders with potential adversaries and is, in fact, a reserve one. The Western IN is formally very much inferior to the NATO forces, but due to the real state of the alliance described in the previous part of the article, they can be considered minimally sufficient (especially if it suddenly comes to a war with NATO, we will need to add a very powerful Belarusian army to our Armed Forces) . And only in the east is the situation unacceptable. The forces of the Eastern Military District (both the Ground Forces and the Air Force) are today incomparable with the forces of the Shenyang and Beijing VO PLA. At the same time, the possibilities of strengthening the groupings of the parties are also not comparable. The length of communications going from the north to the depth of China is much less than that of Transsib, the resistance from the enemy's impact is much higher, and the total throughput is higher by orders of magnitude. It is very symptomatic that at the beginning of the world financial crisis in Russia, the government pumped maximum money into the banking system, and one of the main victims of the cuts was the construction of roads (which had not flourished before). But the government of the People's Republic of China has invested huge amounts of money in infrastructure during this period, in particular, the network of high-speed railways and highways has significantly expanded. And at the above-mentioned exercises, the PLA is constantly working out the transfer of large contingents of troops over long distances by rail and road.
Therefore, the fundamental question arises - to what extent is nuclear deterrence effective in relation to China, since, given the current balance of conventional forces, there is nothing more for us to hope for? Of course, it is impossible to give an unequivocal answer to this question. One can only make a number of considerations.
1. Nuclear weapons should be the last argument when other arguments are exhausted. Unfortunately, we have driven ourselves into a situation where this argument became the first and only argument (at least in relation to China), which is extremely dangerous.
2. China also has nuclear weapons, and the size of its nuclear arsenal is not known even approximately. The figures in Russian and Western sources of several hundred warheads and several dozen medium-range ballistic missiles (BRSD) and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), obviously, have no relation to life, the production of weapons in such quantities simply does not make sense. Even if one abstracts from the thousands of charges in 40 and in at least 1000 ICBMs and MRBRs in some Russian publications, there is no doubt that the number of charges in the PRC is comparable to the reduced arsenals of the Russian Federation and the USA, the number of MRSDs and ICBMs clearly exceeds 100.
3. Russia has no MRBR (under an agreement with the United States from 1987), China confidently ranks first in the world in the number of missiles of this class. The Russian Federation is compelled to use the same SNF to contain both China and the United States, while with regard to China, the range of our ICBMs and SLBMs is excessive.
Russia's actions to reduce the likelihood of Chinese aggression should, among other things, include strengthening air defense.
4. The ratio in the potentials of tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) between the Russian Federation and the PRC is unknown. It should be noted that China has a huge superiority in their carriers, having several thousand tactical and operational-tactical missile launchers with a range of 150-600 km against the entire 100 (for the whole of Russia!) Tactical complexes "Tochka-U", the range of which is only 120 km. In addition, China can use obsolete H-5, Q-5, J-6 aircraft as carriers of free-fall nuclear bombs, of which they can break 2-3 thousand in the PLA Air Force reserve. an account of quantity (the loss of even half of the aircraft will not be a problem for China). In addition, it must be borne in mind that when exchanging blows by TNW, both our and Chinese charges will explode on our territory.
5. For the United States, not to mention Europe, the explosion in their territory of even one nuclear charge of any power is absolutely unacceptable. China will certainly survive the blow of even a few dozen nuclear charges in the border zone.
6. Certainly an unacceptable damage to China will be a massive nuclear strike on the cities of the south-east of the country. However, Beijing deliberately will give an answer to such a blow in the form of a nuclear strike on the cities of the European part of the Russian Federation, which it does not need to seize.
Thus, the effectiveness of the nuclear deterrence factor against China relates primarily to the field of psychology. The PRC leadership may assume that Russia simply does not dare to deliver a massive blow to China for fear of a response. Especially if Beijing helps Moscow save face. In this regard, it is necessary to pay attention to the words from the above-mentioned book “China is not happy!”: “We should first or, above all, ensure the interests of China. It is necessary to ensure that China will sit on the place of the eldest and be able to lead our entire world. ... What are the goals of China in the future? China, of course, must manage the great resources and space in the world; I here do not require their accession to the territory of our state; I mean leadership and management. ”
Thus, having seized the territory, Beijing may not require its legal accession to China. He will have enough actual control over her. Accordingly, the opposite side in this case, as it were, did not lose, because on the map the border will remain in the same place.
Actually, the whole question of the possibility of Chinese expansion is largely psychological. Of course, China would prefer to take territories and resources without war, through economic and demographic expansion. But it is clear that this is possible only if military aggression becomes the only alternative to “peaceful” expansion. That is why Beijing talks about its “peaceful intentions” less and less and more openly demonstrates the growth of military power.
Apparently, the attempt of our officials and most experts to hush up the fact that there is a threat, despite the obvious facts, and to go to the maximum concessions of the PRC in the political and economic spheres is explained by the fear of “pissing off” China. In this case, here one can see unreasonable attribution to the leadership of China of the motives of irrational aggression, the ability to commit aggression on the grounds of insult. In fact, until now, the leadership of the PRC in all cases has demonstrated an exceptionally high degree of pragmatism. That is why there are many more reasons to suppose that if the question of the Chinese threat and the measures for its countering begins to be discussed in Russia not only at the level of individual authors, but at the official level and at least some countermeasures will also be implemented, it will not increase, and reduce the threat of aggression, because the leadership of the People's Republic of China will understand that “the game is not worth the candle” and you need to look for other areas of expansion. This is possible only if the price of aggression against Russia for China becomes so high that it will not be justified under any circumstances (even in the event of a threat of an internal catastrophe in China).
In order to achieve this result, it is absolutely necessary to strengthen the defense. First, ligaments of SNF and air defense. Perhaps we need a way out of the INF Treaty, which, under current conditions, simply binds our hands. Secondly, it is necessary to seriously strengthen the ordinary forces in the Eastern Military District. Nuclear weapons really should be the last argument, not the first and only one. In addition, it is necessary to create international alliances with mutual obligations to protect each other. As the 2008 war in South Ossetia showed, NATO is safe for us as an adversary, but also useless as an ally (this was demonstrated by its behavior towards Georgia). The most important allies for us should be Kazakhstan (in this case, the CSTO has nothing to do with it), Mongolia, India and Vietnam.
Thus, further silence about the "Chinese" problem contributes to its aggravation and reduces the possibility of parrying. A similar situation in relation to a matter so serious for the country's security seems unacceptable.