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Is China's Naval (And Space) Buildup Similar to Germany's Prior to World War I?

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  • Is China's Naval (And Space) Buildup Similar to Germany's Prior to World War I?

    My question is: Is China's naval and space buildup similar to Germany's prior to World War I? I think that for the most part it is, but there are some differences.

    I think that it is fundamentally similar, in that they are challenging the great naval power in an attempt to become the greatest power, or at least a co-equal power. And I think this comes partly from arrogance - they are already the great land power, immune to land attack pretty much. But they aren't satisfied with that; they seem to believe their PR that China has always been the center of the world, etc. That seems similar to when Bismarck warned against trying to challenge Britain at Sea.

    The Chinese naval buildup seems to have two goals - one is to completely dominate off their coast, with the ultimate goal of regaining Taiwan, and the goal of neutralizing Japan and South Korea. That seems like something they can achieve - and they have made a good start on it. However, I'm assuming they would never actually invade Taiwan, as that would be a bloodbath. They are doing a slow squeeze on Taiwan for sure - they are constantly flying planes at Taiwan, forcing Taiwan to use up its Air Force intercepting them. The Taiwanese have been having great difficulty buying new planes and spare parts. And Japan, as the country with the 4th largest military budget, and I would say the 4th strongest power aside from nuclear weapons, will not just roll over and die. And of course the US has a "tripwire" with its forces in Japan and South Korea. And of course those courses have great capability.

    Their other goal is to dominate the resources to the South - Spratly Islands etc. - this is where I think they will overreach. They will have to project their power quite a long way, which they have only done in a minor way to date. They have alienated the other countries in the area. I believe the over-all strategy will be to force China to use a lot of its resources in the Spratly Islands etc. conflict - to make them use up their weapons, their people, etc. These weapons are new, they don't have the experience of maintaining the ships, submarines, and planes, etc. like the US does - for example with the Air Force and Naval Air depots where planes and engines are repaired and updated. This strategy would be a more complicated one, but similar to, the CCP strategy to use up Taiwan's resources. I believe that the situation is similar to when Germany built it great fleet - the ships were designed for less time at Sea than Britain's; the focus was more on guns and firepower. And the Germans were trying to do two things - prepare to win "the decisive battle" in the North Sea, and then to control or challenge the rest of the seas. The Chinese also have to prepare their Navy for different goals.

    Regarding Space, the official and semi-official US info is that the US and China are in a fight for control of space, the US is ahead overall, but China is ahead in counterspace or counterforce capability (knocking out satellites). This sounds to me like another "bomber gap" or "missile gap." The US isn't stupid - with a giant "Black Budget", what would be a more important capability than counterspace?

    Any thoughts?

    Edit - I was wrong about Bismarck being against the buildup of the Navy - in fact, it seems it happened after he was removed from power. The heads of the army were against it, thought, figuring it took money away from the army.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_German_Navy

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    Map from the World Health Organization


    Last edited by lakechampainer; 22 May 20, 11:32.

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