DigitalSea
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China's Rise: Quantity vs. Quality

Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:18 pm

It's clear to everyone at this point that China is planning on expanding its military for a global presence similar to that of the United States, if not greater. This is evidenced by the massive investment in civilian/military R&D that is filtered to the PLA, increased defense spending, and the aggressive stance on fielding new systems as soon as possible. America on the other hand is currently suffering from victory disease after the collapse of the Soviet Union, leading to things such as being focused on limited quantity, high price tag systems. Critics want to say that while China is building up at an alarming rate, their quality is still inferior to the United States. But is quality everything? In a conflict, if you can overwhelm a force and use mass numbers as a strategic advantage, what's the point of having high quality/low quantity systems?

I think it's inevitable that the United States and China will clash at some point in the future. Years down the road when China's military is more formidable, would the United States have the numbers to hold back China in any type of conflict? Will the US start mass producing more platforms to keep up with China? Focus being on Tactical/Strategic & Naval assets.
 
Andre3K
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Re: China's Rise: Quantity vs. Quality

Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:06 pm

And in your scenario why exactly would China and the US be at war?
 
DigitalSea
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Re: China's Rise: Quantity vs. Quality

Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:19 pm

Andre3K wrote:
And in your scenario why exactly would China and the US be at war?


Why else is China investing so much in building up their military? Their version of state-sponsored Capitalism will allow them to compete with the United States on a level that the USSR never could. All of our ace-in-the-hole black projects aren't going to mean anything when their education/R&D subsidization starts producing results 5-10 years down the road. We've practically left the backdoor open since the Cold War and allowed them to steal a substantial amount of our technology. All because we underestimated them and continue to underestimate them.
 
Andre3K
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Re: China's Rise: Quantity vs. Quality

Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:41 pm

DigitalSea wrote:
Andre3K wrote:
And in your scenario why exactly would China and the US be at war?


Why else is China investing so much in building up their military? Their version of state-sponsored Capitalism will allow them to compete with the United States on a level that the USSR never could. All of our ace-in-the-hole black projects aren't going to mean anything when their education/R&D subsidization starts producing results 5-10 years down the road. We've practically left the backdoor open since the Cold War and allowed them to steal a substantial amount of our technology. All because we underestimated them and continue to underestimate them.



You still didn't answer my question. Are you delusional enough to think they would try to invade the US? Remember behind every blade of grass is a 2nd amendment American with a gun.

If not an invasion then what in the world are you talking about? We can't stop other countries from developing their economy, and we certainly can't stop their military progress. The bigger you get the more vulnerable you are.
 
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SamYeager2016
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Re: China's Rise: Quantity vs. Quality

Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:46 pm

Andre3K wrote:
Are you delusional enough to think they would try to invade the US? Remember behind every blade of grass is a 2nd amendment American with a gun.

If not an invasion then what in the world are you talking about? We can't stop other countries from developing their economy, and we certainly can't stop their military progress. The bigger you get the more vulnerable you are.


Just as a WAG perhaps China's build up is more to make (en)sure the US won't (can't?) intervene if they invade somewhere else? For instance Taiwan is an obvious choice. Enforcing maritime control over the sea lanes off their coast is another possibility. After all they're already claiming sovereignty over a large chunk of it already. Just a few thoughts that occurred to me..
 
DigitalSea
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Re: China's Rise: Quantity vs. Quality

Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:10 pm

Andre3K wrote:

You still didn't answer my question. Are you delusional enough to think they would try to invade the US? Remember behind every blade of grass is a 2nd amendment American with a gun.

If not an invasion then what in the world are you talking about? We can't stop other countries from developing their economy, and we certainly can't stop their military progress. The bigger you get the more vulnerable you are.


You can look at a hypothetical situation involving conflict in the Taiwan Strait. Do you think China has any plans to take Taiwan back by Force if necessary? I do and the US just built a de facto embassy there so I don't think Taiwan will kowtow to China anytime soon. What about if China gets more cavalier with their land grabbing? Their development on the Scarborough Shoal shows they have no problem telling the world they aren't militarizing the South China Sea while doing the complete opposite. What's going to stop them from taking another step in that direction when their military becomes more formidable?

What I'm fearful of at the moment is that the US is too locked into high tech platforms and it may be an Achilles heel. Who knows what plans they have in their future or what their doctrine will develop into but I find their rate of development to be extremely alarming. I still do not think the world is free of major Wars, we were just really lucky nothing significant developed out of the USSR v US tension.
 
Ozair
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Re: China's Rise: Quantity vs. Quality

Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:05 pm

DigitalSea wrote:
It's clear to everyone at this point that China is planning on expanding its military for a global presence similar to that of the United States, if not greater. This is evidenced by the massive investment in civilian/military R&D that is filtered to the PLA, increased defense spending, and the aggressive stance on fielding new systems as soon as possible. America on the other hand is currently suffering from victory disease after the collapse of the Soviet Union, leading to things such as being focused on limited quantity, high price tag systems. Critics want to say that while China is building up at an alarming rate, their quality is still inferior to the United States.

We don’t know what money China is funnelling though its different armed services or the R&D areas. I agree it is a lot and certainly they have an actual military budget that is probably much bigger than their declared budget but there are probably too many gaps to know for certain how much it actually is.
DigitalSea wrote:
But is quality everything? In a conflict, if you can overwhelm a force and use mass numbers as a strategic advantage, what's the point of having high quality/low quantity systems?

At this point in time quality likely succeeds quantity (within limits) but those scales tip back and forth and have done so over the past 150 years.

DigitalSea wrote:
I think it's inevitable that the United States and China will clash at some point in the future. Years down the road when China's military is more formidable, would the United States have the numbers to hold back China in any type of conflict? Will the US start mass producing more platforms to keep up with China? Focus being on Tactical/Strategic & Naval assets.

This is where I don’t consider your argument as valid. China is not currently out producing the US so in that context the US today, and for the foreseeable future, will have both a quality and quantity advantage.

Take air platforms as an example. The US currently has four fighter jet production lines (F-35. F-18, F-16, F-15) ranging from updated 4th gen aircraft to the latest 5th gen fighter. If they decided to run all production lines at rate they could easily take 200+ fighter aircraft a year, likely over 300 and perhaps even 350. What production lines does China currently operate? J-10, perhaps J-11 and it modifications (J-15, J-16), JH-7 and J-20. I’ve seen reports the J-10 produces about 24 a year, the J-11 and variants probably 24 as well and likely not that many J-20s. If we said perhaps 150 fighter aircraft a year we would be giving them a lot of credit.

Naval vessels are likely similar. China are probably manufacturing a few more smaller surface combatants per year but in the destroyer and above size range the USN has a steady production of high quality DDG-51 vessels, decent high quality carrier production including both large and amphib as well as a sizeable and fleet renewing of amphib vessels. The US maintains both a quality and quantity advantage with submarines and will likely remain so.

At some point in the future we will likely see mass production of drones (land sea and air) and other AI controlled systems and the scales may tip towards quantity but I don’t see any reason the Chinese will out produce the US in those areas.

Unlike China the US is energy independent, hence its economy could run comfortably without middle east oil, while the US has a wealth of natural resources (including food and water) that China doesn’t have and would have to acquire. Most nations today have structural problems with their economies but China’s are worse and with an aging workforce, high debt and manufacturing moving from the country I don’t see China being able to out produce anytime soon.

Finally, the Chinese military, as evidenced by the comparisons previously, are themselves moving towards a quality over quantity military. They have significantly less platforms today than they did 10 years ago and will continue to reduce in size but increase in quality, that is their stated intent. Quality typically takes more time, takes more money and for now appears to be worth it. Quantity works in certain scenarios, for instance land based where numbers can be massed for use, but typically in air and naval scenarios where China and the US would likely interact, there is a finite number of platforms that can be maintained in contested areas before they start conflicting with each other.
 
DigitalSea
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Re: China's Rise: Quantity vs. Quality

Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:39 am

Ozair wrote:
Take air platforms as an example. The US currently has four fighter jet production lines (F-35. F-18, F-16, F-15) ranging from updated 4th gen aircraft to the latest 5th gen fighter. If they decided to run all production lines at rate they could easily take 200+ fighter aircraft a year, likely over 300 and perhaps even 350. What production lines does China currently operate? J-10, perhaps J-11 and it modifications (J-15, J-16), JH-7 and J-20. I’ve seen reports the J-10 produces about 24 a year, the J-11 and variants probably 24 as well and likely not that many J-20s. If we said perhaps 150 fighter aircraft a year we would be giving them a lot of credit.

Naval vessels are likely similar. China are probably manufacturing a few more smaller surface combatants per year but in the destroyer and above size range the USN has a steady production of high quality DDG-51 vessels, decent high quality carrier production including both large and amphib as well as a sizeable and fleet renewing of amphib vessels. The US maintains both a quality and quantity advantage with submarines and will likely remain so.

At some point in the future we will likely see mass production of drones (land sea and air) and other AI controlled systems and the scales may tip towards quantity but I don’t see any reason the Chinese will out produce the US in those areas.

Unlike China the US is energy independent, hence its economy could run comfortably without middle east oil, while the US has a wealth of natural resources (including food and water) that China doesn’t have and would have to acquire. Most nations today have structural problems with their economies but China’s are worse and with an aging workforce, high debt and manufacturing moving from the country I don’t see China being able to out produce anytime soon.

Finally, the Chinese military, as evidenced by the comparisons previously, are themselves moving towards a quality over quantity military. They have significantly less platforms today than they did 10 years ago and will continue to reduce in size but increase in quality, that is their stated intent. Quality typically takes more time, takes more money and for now appears to be worth it. Quantity works in certain scenarios, for instance land based where numbers can be massed for use, but typically in air and naval scenarios where China and the US would likely interact, there is a finite number of platforms that can be maintained in contested areas before they start conflicting with each other.


They are looking to grow their military to project power around the globe, I don't think that will involve a reduction in platforms. The only indication I've seen with regards to downsizing anything is with PLA troop numbers. China can and will increase the production rate of their aircraft as they continue to modernize, they've shown no reluctance in holding back on fielding the new systems they are developing. As for their focus on naval combat, they are estimated to have a pretty healthy fleet of diesel submarines with more in the pipeline and are looking to have a much larger carrier presence around the globe. They understand CAG are a source of strategic strength for the United States and they are developing their forces accordingly to be able to specifically counter that threat.

The United States isn't currently in a military build up stage and has had no reason to be since the USSR declined rapidly in the 70s and the 80s. I just hope we can stay on point enough to make the necessary changes in production and modernization if another is needed. We are slowly entering the next Cold War and China's hit the ground running. Trying to take comfort in any secret technological advantages we may have over China will only suffice for so long and there will come a turning point where that will no longer hold enough weight to keep the United States on top. This has been acknowledged repeatedly but unfortunately, as I keep pointing out, I think people are still underestimating China. Some still view them as a happy/friendly international trade partner with no ulterior motives and that perception needs to change.
 
Ozair
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Re: China's Rise: Quantity vs. Quality

Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:54 am

DigitalSea wrote:

They are looking to grow their military to project power around the globe, I don't think that will involve a reduction in platforms. The only indication I've seen with regards to downsizing anything is with PLA troop numbers.

Today the PLAAF is a significantly smaller force than it was 10 years ago let alone 20. The vast fleets of J-6 and Q-5s are gone, even the J-7s are in much smaller numbers. Replacing those are generally higher quality more capable multi-role aircraft. Yes the current force is more capable than the previous generation but it has brought that about by employing fewer more capable aircraft.

A quote from a research paper from 2010,
The Chinese vision for a new PLAAF embraces a highly trained modern Air Force equipped with high tech aircraft, advanced precision-guided munitions, support aircraft that serve as force multipliers, and networked command, control, and intelligence capabilities that allow the PLAAF to fight and win a high-tech war under informationalized conditions. This force would not only be more capable of carrying out traditional missions such as air defense and support for ground forces against a modern adversary, but could also undertake offensive strikes against ground and naval targets further away from China’s borders. The new PLAAF will be a smaller force, but composed primarily of more advanced third- and fourth generation multirole fighters and fighter-bombers.

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... _Air_Force

The above is demonstrated in the following graphic clearly showing how China has reduced from a large quantity force to a smaller quality force.

Image

DigitalSea wrote:
China can and will increase the production rate of their aircraft as they continue to modernize, they've shown no reluctance in holding back on fielding the new systems they are developing.

What is your evidence for this claim? We see new Chinese aircraft being manufactured but so not in the numbers of previous generations. Why aren’t there a thousand J-10s today instead of the 350 or so currently manufactured? If quantity is important why aren’t China inducting large numbers of FC-1? Chinese H-6 bombers continue to be manufactured but there is no massive fleet increase, just older airframes are being retired for new builds.

DigitalSea wrote:
As for their focus on naval combat, they are estimated to have a pretty healthy fleet of diesel submarines with more in the pipeline and are looking to have a much larger carrier presence around the globe. They understand CAG are a source of strategic strength for the United States and they are developing their forces accordingly to be able to specifically counter that threat.

Yes they are increasing in capability and yes are seeking to become a true blue water navy but they are a long way from challenging US naval superiority. A large increase in Chinese carrier construction would likely result in a reciprocal increase from the US side, negating any attempt to reach parity. Even today, new Chinese carriers carry less than half the aircraft of a Nimitz.

Look at this graphic for the overall increase and modernisation of Chinese forces. They are trading off legacy numbers for modernized platforms.

Image


DigitalSea wrote:
The United States isn't currently in a military build up stage and has had no reason to be since the USSR declined rapidly in the 70s and the 80s. I just hope we can stay on point enough to make the necessary changes in production and modernization if another is needed. We are slowly entering the next Cold War and China's hit the ground running. Trying to take comfort in any secret technological advantages we may have over China will only suffice for so long and there will come a turning point where that will no longer hold enough weight to keep the United States on top. This has been acknowledged repeatedly but unfortunately, as I keep pointing out, I think people are still underestimating China. Some still view them as a happy/friendly international trade partner with no ulterior motives and that perception needs to change.

The Pacific regional powers do not see China as a happy friendly trading partner and the pivot of the US to the Pacific is clearly with the intent to provide a response and presence to increases in Chinese regional aspirations. To match the combat strength of the US China has a long way to go and we are likely to see significantly changes in warfare, around cyber and its use on the battlefield and the homefront, that will make a quantity vs quality debate somewhat moot.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: China's Rise: Quantity vs. Quality

Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:47 pm

Any conflict between China and the US will not be direct. The question is will China be able to sustain a prolong war with Taiwan, Vietnam or India. Both India and Taiwan will benefit from strong supply line from the US (and the rest of the world). Remember, China can exert all the political influence on the rest of the world as much as they want. But when the shooting start, the would no longer have that political card to play.

Vietnam will also benefit form non-military support from the US to sustain a prolong war. And as we all can attest, advanced in technology will help but not be sufficient to win you a non-conventional war, whether in South East or South West Asia.

So, the US does not have to confront China directly in such a war. Economically, which of the two nations can sustain a prolonged conflict? I would suggest you look at the food production capacity of each country as the leading indicator as opposed to how advanced or how many weapon either side have.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: China's Rise: Quantity vs. Quality

Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:45 pm

Its not just food production, its logistics. What makes a country able to project power is much more than the ability to produce food and munitions, it also about the ability to get that food and munitions far away and into the hands of the troops that need it. While China absolutely has a massive fleet of cargo vessels, their military sealift is still not yet to the quality or proportional size that the US has. It's arguable that the US, after decades of projecting power, has mastered the art of logistics with respect to getting troops on the ground and keeping them supplied. Is the US perfect there? No, not hardly, but they have a boat load of experience with it. This is something that China will be learning over the next decade with their ever growing involvement in Africa

As it stands right now, though, the US knows that they will have a very limited ability to project power into the region of influence of China going forward. China has the ability to make any such effort a VERY expensive affair in both monetary cost and especially in blood. China also has a generation of males that have no real hope of having a family of their own domestically as their birth rate controls have resulted in a significant disparity in the gender mix of their population. While I don't expect them to just throw them away, those men will definitely be more inclined to participate in foreign service while the mainland will not "statistically and scientifically" miss them if something happens to them.

Given the financial influence that China has, the interplay between the US and China will be vastly different than what went on between the US and the USSR during the cold war.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: China's Rise: Quantity vs. Quality

Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:30 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
Its not just food production, its logistics.


True, with the exception of a conflict with Vietnam, China will have to deal with significant logistic headache (Taiwan has the straight and India has the Himalayas).

The biggest commodity that China will have to deal with will be oil/fuel.

LightningZ71 wrote:
China also has a generation of males that have no real hope of having a family of their own domestically as their birth rate controls have resulted in a significant disparity in the gender mix of their population.


This is where having excess quantity is not of benefit. To many soldiers means too many mouths to feed and your supply chain grows . . .

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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keesje
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Re: China's Rise: Quantity vs. Quality

Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:17 pm

Look, they might do the same we have been doing for decades. Shame on them, we have spend even more on defense. Hurray.

https://media.nationalpriorities.org/up ... _large.png

I guess you to be raised like that, to fly in formation with this stuff.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
DigitalSea
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Re: China's Rise: Quantity vs. Quality

Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:10 am

I honestly don't care what Ozair has to say - China and the Western Pacific/Indian Ocean are the scenario for the next Cold War. The Chinese are adamant on dominating the US, let's see how everything rolls out. More than anything, I just want posters on this forum to be more aware of the threat from the Far East. In the 90s, the US recognized China as the next great threat but this got swept under the rug after 9/11 happened. Let's not make that mistake again, stay vigilant.
 
Ozair
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Re: China's Rise: Quantity vs. Quality

Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:02 am

DigitalSea wrote:
I honestly don't care what Ozair has to say

Its a forum mate, you don't have the agree with what I write or even acknowledge it. In fact you can add me to your foe list and then you won't have to read anything I post on here again.

DigitalSea wrote:
More than anything, I just want posters on this forum to be more aware of the threat from the Far East. In the 90s, the US recognized China as the next great threat but this got swept under the rug after 9/11 happened. Let's not make that mistake again, stay vigilant.

If that is your intent perhaps Non-Av is a better location for this topic?

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