China, U.S. Vow to Deepen Military Relations…..Already Practice War Games….Communicate Satellite Data

Posted: January 28, 2015 in War Is The New Economy

SEE ALSO:  China’s Top Commander Tours San Diego

SEE ALSO:  U.S. Army Seeks Better Ties With China’s Military


China, U.S. vow to deepen military relations | 2015-01-29

BEIJING, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) — Vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission Fan Changlong met with Michael Vickers, visiting U.S. under secretary of defense for intelligence, on Wednesday, vowing to enhance their military ties.

Fan said China-U.S. military ties have enjoyed sound development under the efforts of leaders of both countries.

He cited “two confidence-building agreements” the defense ministries signed in November, saying the move is a new highlight of China-U.S. military ties.

Under the two agreements, Chinese and U.S. militaries will establish a mutual reporting mechanism on major military operations and a code of safe conduct for naval and air encounters.

“In the new year, I hope we will work together to enhance exchanges and coordination,” Fan said.

“In particular,” he said, “the U.S. should respect China’s core interests and major concerns and appropriately handle Taiwan-related issues.”

Vickers said both armed forces will benefit from a new model of military relations, and he expected the concrete implementation of the leaders’ consensus.



Japan Welcomes China at U.S.-Led Naval Drills, From a Distance
Photographer: Audrey McAvoy/AP Photo

Chinese and Japanese ships encounter each other almost daily around waters off contested islands in the East China Sea. As both align for multinational naval exercises under way in Hawaii meant to build trust, the two sides have barely made contact.

Rear Admiral Yasuki Nakahata, the Japanese commander, welcomed China’s presence for the first time in the biennial U.S.-led drills. Their involvement will create a “better international security environment” at sea, he said in an interview on Ford Island, Pearl Harbor.

China has sent four ships, the second-largest fleet, to the five-week-long Rim of the Pacific Exercise, or Rimpac, while Japan dispatched two destroyers. Yet the two sides have had no planned meetings or joint drills, Nakahata said. The closest they came was when he exchanged a verbal greeting with the commander of a Chinese ship, he said.

“This is just the beginning,” said Nakahata, at the military base where fighter jets whoosh overhead and helicopters ferry military officers to warships in the Pacific. “Facing the same direction is good for all of us.”

China’s Rimpac debut is a chance to show its rising prowess as well as improve strained ties with the U.S. as tensions run high in the Asia-Pacific amid its muscular approach to territorial disputes with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. The most fractious relationship is with Japan, with China sending regular patrols to islands in the East China Sea that its World War II foe administers.

Defending Allies

In July, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to expand the role of Japan’s military to include the defense of allies, passing a resolution to reinterpret the pacifist constitution. The move brought a rebuke from China which warned against a return to militarism and for Japan to reflect on its past aggression. Abe has been rebuffed in his efforts to hold a summit with China since coming to power in December 2012.

Japan did take a leadership role in a large international drill for the first time, when Nakahata led a mock “humanitarian assistance disaster relief” operation earlier this month in Hawaii. The virtual exercise, which simulated a typhoon striking a small island, also involved the U.S., New Zealand, Indonesia, Australia, and Canada.

Japan will actively contribute or take leadership roles in further non-combat military operations, Nakahata said. “It’s a great step for Japan.”

India Drills

Japan has also been invited to join separate military exercises with the U.S. and India in the northern Pacific this month, Amy Searight, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, told a congressional hearing last week.

Source: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

It’s good for Asian countries to take a greater role protecting security in the region, Commander Rear Admiral Gilles Couturier of the Royal Canadian Navy said in a separate interview at Ford Island.

“We’re happy that the Japanese are looking at more ways to contribute to what’s happening in the world right now,” he said. “They are in the region, nobody in the region has no challenges. It’s a good thing if they rise up and try to deal with some of those situations.”

Japan’s raised visibility comes as it faces an expanding Chinese navy, with President Xi Jinping vowing to restore the nation as a maritime power. China lost a 1895 naval battle to Japan, then was invaded by the country’s troops in 1937, before World War II.

Defense Spending

Disputes over Japan’s wartime past have further soured relations as their militaries chase each other around the East China Sea. While China has boosted its defense spending by an average annual pace of more than 10 percent during the past two decades, Abe ended stagnation in Japan’s military budget with increases in the past two years.

In August Japan unveiled the 19,500-ton Izumo, the largest Japanese military ship produced since World War II, and it will start building two Aegis destroyers equipped with advanced missile-defense system from fiscal 2015, Yomiuri newspaper reported yesterday, without citing anyone.

Jets from Japan and China flew within 50 meters of one another on May 24, during the first joint naval exercises between China and Russia in the East China Sea. Nakahata says the closest he expects to come to his Chinese counterpart at Rimpac is at the closing ceremony on Aug. 1.



U.S. To Expedite Orbital Collision-avoidance Warnings to China
“It takes a long time to get through that process. Sometimes too long,” U.S. Air Force Gen. John Hyten said. Credit: Jose Morales, Xinia Productions photo

WASHINGTON — The Chinese government has asked the U.S. Air Force to send warnings of potential satellite collisions directly to its space operators, with no detour through the U.S. State Department, the service’s top space official said Dec. 5.

Speaking at a breakfast at the Capitol Hill Club here, Gen. John Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command, said the Air Force has long provided data on any potential on-orbit collisions to the parties involved. In the case of China and Russia, however, that data must be routed through the State Department, and often through the Chinese and Russian foreign ministries, before reaching their military satellite operators.

China recently asked that the data be sent directly to its satellite operators in the name of expediency and Hyten said the Air Force would comply the next time it spots a potential collision involving Chinese space hardware.

“It takes a long time to get through that process. Sometimes too long,” Hyten said. “The Chinese just a little while ago said, ‘We’d very much like that data direct.’”

Hyten acknowledged that providing the data itself is not a fundamental change, but said the new procedure would avoid bureaucratic holdups and enable quicker action by Chinese operators, such as maneuvering their satellites out of harm’s way.

“To me it’s a big deal. It’s a big deal because they asked,” he said. “We want to space to be a safe place.”

During a July meeting between U.S. and Chinese officials in Beijing, the two sides committed to continuing discussions on a way for China to access more detailed technical collision avoidance information from U.S. Strategic Command, according to a July release on the U.S. State Department. That information would come through Strategic Command’s Spacetrack website, which provides basic satellite catalog information, including positional data and background information.

The new arrangement does not cover more specific space situational awareness data, Hyten said.

The Defense Department operates the world’s most sophisticated space surveillance system and has long been the de facto provider of collision-avoidance and other types of data to other spacefaring nations, many of which are beefing up their own capabilities. Defense Department officials in September said the U.S. government has signed nearly 50 broader data-sharing agreements with other governments and private-sector entities. 

Hyten acknowledged China is a bit of an unlikely partner. 

In January 2007, China’s military deliberately destroyed one of its defunct weather satellites known as Fengyun-1C using a ground-based ballistic missile. The action left a cloud of potentially hazardous debris in a heavily used belt of Earth orbit and was widely condemned internationally.

This past August, the State Department said the Chinese government conducted another, albeit nondestructive, anti-satellite test, and senior Pentagon officials have warned in recent months about growing threats to U.S. national security space assets from China and Russia.

But data on impending close orbital encounters, known as conjunctions, is widely shared under the premise that any collision would generate more debris, creating a more dangerous environment for all spacecraft.

Hyten called the change “tremendous” and “awesome.”

“That is [an example of] the kind of international partnerships we need to think about,” he said.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s