søndag 26. mai 2019

Vietnam Is the Chinese Military’s Preferred Warm-Up Fight

At some point, the Chinese military will need to test its new capabilities – and Vietnam is likely the preferred adversary.

History looms large on Xi Jinping's mind. The last major war China fought was against Vietnam in 1979 at their border and it resulted in embarrassing defeat. 

Furthermore, the war was predominantly a ground forces conflict and not the warfighting Beijing expects to face from a variety of current possible scenarios, whether against Taiwan or another regional opponent in the South China Sea or East China Sea, as all would near-exclusively take place in the air and naval domains. 

Thus, Beijing’s last major war experience gave it virtually zero lessons learned to apply to future armed conflict — a critical and alarming gap in the PLA’s understanding of how it might perform when supporting Xi’s signature Chinese national security objectives.