China risks economic turmoil amid population crisis says expert
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Beijing’s military might is growing fast and defence analysts have estimated the world’s most populous country is launching the equivalent of the Royal Navy in ship tonnage every four years. Now Britain’s new Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, has said the UK must plot a future path that mixes cooperation, competition and occasional confrontation to counter China. The UK Government’s recent Integrated Review of defence said Britain must “tilt” to the Indo-Pacific region in its long-term strategy.
Defence correspondent Dominic Nicholls writing in the Daily Telegraph said: “The West’s relationship with China is one of cooperation, competition and occasional confrontation, all at the same time.
“That mix makes for difficult politics and an even harder problem-set for the development of military power.
“Since 2014, China has launched more submarines, warships, principal amphibious vessels and auxiliaries than the total number of ships currently serving in the navies of the UK, Germany, India, Spain and Taiwan, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
“In terms of tonnage, China is launching the equivalent of the entire Royal Navy every four years.”
Speaking about China’s long-term expansionist aims Anders Corr, publisher of the Journal of Political Risk and Principal at Corr Analytics, said: “China’s ultimate aim, driven by the CCP, is to become hegemonic on a global level.”
Speaking to Express.co.uk he added: “The CCP is most dramatically seeking to do this through territorial incrementalism, for example by taking Taiwan, neighbours’ islands, strategic Indian hilltops in the Himalayas, but also by taking control of UN organisations and the elite capture of leaders and their closest advisers through economic influence in countries around the world.”
Doctor Corr referred to the CCP’s naval strategy as being aimed at “global dominance, including through taking Taiwan, its main “internal” democratic irritant,”.
The geopolitical analyst continued to expand on China’s ambitions beyond reunifying with Taiwan.
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He added that China would seek to protect “its maritime trade routes and supply lines against the risk of a naval barricade during wartime”.
Beijing would then begin to extend “territorial dominance over the South China Sea and beyond along its Belt and Road Initiative ports that string all the way to Africa”.
This would begin a process of “replacing Western navies in the provision of international law on the high seas, including against piracy and providing not only a survivable nuclear deterrent but a means of pressuring foreign countries through a nuclear-armed blue water People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)”.
Doctor Corr added: “China has already threatened war, explicitly or implicitly, against the US, Australia, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
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“As its naval power grows, these threats will increase geographically, and in frequency and intensity.”
At the beginning of October, Taiwan’s defence chief warned China could be capable of mounting a “full scale” invasion of Taiwan in three years time.
Chiu Kuo-cheng said tensions between Taipei and Beijing are now at their worst in more than 40 years.
He warned there was a growing danger of an accidental “misfire” across the sensitive Taiwan Strait.
Such an incident could suddenly escalate hostilities.
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