I don’t know whether you caught the reports of a rather bellicose comment by a Chinese admiral. From Navy Times:

Another Beijing official has sounded off about the communist nation’s perceived dominance of the South China Sea region, this time coming as an alarming threat of inflicting mass casualties on the U.S. Navy.

During a Dec. 20 speech to the 2018 Military Industry List summit, China’s Rear Adm. Lou Yuan, the deputy head of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, added fuel to the South China Sea fire when he stated the key for Chinese domination in those hotly contested waters could lie in the sinking of two U.S. aircraft carriers, according to a report by Australia’s

“What the United States fears the most is taking casualties,” the admiral said, before adding that such an attack on two of the U.S. Navy’s steel behemoths would claim upwards of 10,000 lives.

Lou went on to call America’s military, money, talent, voting system and fear of adversaries the five U.S. weaknesses that can be easily exploited, according to the report.

“We’ll see how frightened America is,” he said.

It should be noted that Adm. Lou Yuan is an academic rather than a line officer and has something of a history of making outrageous requirements. But such comments on the part of Chinese military officers are not particularly unusual, particularly in the Chinese language media. I’ve commented on them from time to time in the past before.

I don’t know what the U. S. would do if the Chinese Navy were to sink a U. S. aircraft carrier. I suspect they would not make the appropriate response but truly do not know.

I also do not know what the Chinese military fears most. I suspect it is that their military doctrine is so very untested. Maybe they are self-reflected enough to think that.

6 comments… add one
  • Gray Shambler Link

    Chinese Navy were to sink a U. S. aircraft carrier.

    Can’t imagine what would lead to that. And maybe they couldn’t anyway. They’re not cruise ships. And they travel with a battle group. But if they did, I think that’s war.

    If people think we’ll never have another major war, they’re delusional. History is full of the war to end all wars. All wrong.

  • Guarneri Link

    “I suspect they would not make the appropriate response but truly do not knot know.”

    I of course saw that article, and related commentary. Yes, he’s just an academic, so he can flap his lips. And the real military may simply view him as a useful idiot. But what if they tried, or did?

    I’m not sure what you mean by “appropriate” response. I think the military response would be quick and extremely aggressive. Lots of shit would be broken and the message sent would be clear: “don’t do that shit ever again.” More interesting is the economic response. I just don’t think people fully grasp what would happen to China if we said “good luck collecting on your US bond holdings. Not going to happen. Trade? You must be joking.”

    We can survive a calamitous event like that, although with great pain. It could be terminal for 50 years with China. Hence, I think Mr Lou is just talking jive like a drunken sailor.

  • steve Link

    The historical tendency on the part of the US is to overreact. If this happened I would expect that all Chinese shipping would then become targets.

    OT, but foreign policy related. Looks like we arent really pulling out of Syria. As I said when Trump made his announcement, who knows if he doesn’t change his mind? He made a big announcement, but what will really happen? I would contend that even with this retraction, we still won’t really know for a couple of years when we can look back and se what really happened. This is not a competently run government.

    “President Trump’s national security adviser sought to reassure allies Sunday that the United States would be methodical about withdrawing troops from Syria, promising that the pullout would not occur until the Islamic State was fully eradicated from the country and Turkey could guarantee the safety of Kurdish fighters….“There are objectives that we want to accomplish that condition the withdrawal,” Bolton said while speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, on a trip intended to allay Israeli leaders’ concerns about Trump’s announcement. “The timetable flows from the policy decisions that we need to implement.”

    I know that if I were a Kurd I would be feeling really good knowing that the Turks were responsible for my safety!


  • TastyBits Link

    @Gray Shambler
    … And maybe they couldn’t anyway. They’re not cruise ships. And they travel with a battle group. …

    Unless the waters off of China have been seeded with listening devices, diesel-electric subs would most likely not be detected.

  • Andy Link

    I read about this a couple days ago and it amazes me that there are still people that believe the trope about US casualties. Yes, we do not consider our troops cannon-fodder and we emphasize quality over quantity. That doesn’t mean the US will limp away and cry mercy if we get punched in the nose. If the Chinese did sink 2 carriers the result would be the opposite – reciprocity and payback.

    Secondly, I’ll just make a point I’ve made before – the Chinese are building military capabilities that are specifically designed for a war with the United States. That is much more telling than any rhetoric.

  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    I tend to be sanguine about this; the party controls the military (and Xi has appointed all the personnel to ensure that). And Xi is paranoid about keeping him and the party in power – and a risky military conflict is a common cause that brings a dictatorship down; see Soviet Union, Germany, Japan, Argentina, Iraq.

    The only circumstance where that caution changes is if Xi loses touch with reality (may happen as he grows very old) or domestically things turn sour so it’s war or the collapse of the party.

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