Although the Chinese notion on the emergence of China as a global power is quite liberal in perspective, as they believe in a peaceful rise and assuring no intentions of replacing US hegemony, however, the mere motive for the acquisition of power highlights the internal political beliefs. According to which, China obviously recognizes the anarchic state of nature of the world politics and that is why the state cannot trust any other state to the fullest, meaning that China is willing to take strong actions against any state that tries to threaten its sovereignty or other national interests. Power maximization under the core classical realists’ concept of offensive realism provides a logical theoretical framework to best describe China’s national motives and actions, however, Mearsheimer failed to provide argumentative support to the long-standing concept of power maximization under the economic sense. It is believed that China can provide an alternative and improvised theoretical framework on the concept of power maximization in the economic sense, as they believe that economy is a crucial contributing factor to a state’s actual power. The Chinese consensus in the last two decades is quite similar to the theories of Alfred Thayer Mahan, with a special focus on sea and economy. According to Mahan, the strength of a nation’s navy is the key to a strong foreign policy and economic achievements. These two concepts collectively makeup a theoretical framework for China’s power struggles during the recent decades.
With the course of time, a state’s national interests can change and so can the execution of its national policy. China in the recent decades have withered and recovered from the ‘Hundred years of humiliation’, in a constant struggle to revive its lost status of a great power. The reason why China has managed to strengthen its economy and improvise its political structure is because China has learnt from its past mistakes, dicey decisions, structural problems, long-standing political (and cultural) beliefs and ultimate failures. By deeply analysing the courses of actions, the state managed to uproot its biggest failures, mistakes and structural blunders, and yet continues to improve its national and foreign policy. United States of America on the other hand, ever since the Obama Administration’s indication of a shift to Asia, has been on a close watch for China’s surveillance. His predecessor, George W. Bush, was all about the ‘War on Terror’ and paid zero to none attention in the overall foreign policy of the United States of America. This paper examines the decades-long Chinese modernization, structural reforms and the current role of PLA in the national security of China and reveals answers to questions; what is the progressive international political hype for China all about? What are the assumed and announced PLA objectives? Why there was need for modernization? And how does China plan to be a world class force by 2049? As China has always remained opaque in terms of courses of action, so there’s a whole lot of ambiguity in the matter as well, however, the research of this paper thoroughly examines the areas under tension and provides a rough outlined sketch to best understand mysterious nature of Chinese orthodoxy.
Chinese National Security
National security, alongside state sovereignty, is a sub-component of the state’s grand strategy. A grand strategy incorporates tools of power such as economy, diplomacy, military and natural resources, in the formulation of the overall, core objective of the state. Every nation strives for power, making power acquisition and dominance, the core components of their grand strategy. China’s national security strategy can be derived from the three core national objectives of the state; sovereignty, modernity and stability. The aim of a state’s national security is to secure its national objectives, using necessary means and ends.
According to the Meriam Webster’s dictionary, sovereignty is defined as the supreme power of the state over itself and the freedom from external control. China has been claiming that it has never fought a war of aggression ever since its independence in 1949. The period spanning from the mid-19th century and the mid-20th century, from 1840’s ‘opium war’ to the war against Japan dating from 1937-1945, is characterized by China as the ‘hundred years of humiliation’. Therefore, after independence, the state swore off wars of aggression and urged for structural and doctrinal reforms. All the major conflicts and Chinese interventions (Chinese intervention in Korea-1950, War against India-1962, Sino-Soviet skirmishes in the late 1960’s and the infamous Vietnam War-1979) after 1949 are claimed to be responses to bulging threats to the state sovereignty.
Modernity implies a steady compliance with advancements of the technology, strategic environment and addressing outdated structural and institutional issues. In the closing decades of the 20th century, there was s strong emphasis on strengthening the economy and beyond the tangible, cultural, social and political reforms. The aim of modernity has shifted from ‘strengthening the economy’ to ‘strengthening the military’ during the last 3 decades. For example, in the late 90’s China was not willing to participate in joint military exercises and in the recent years the state has ironically sent PLA troops to various joint military exercises in order to compensate the deficit of its combat capabilities, since the state has not entered a war for a very long time.
Lastly, by stability, it does not mean a mere territorial stability but the internal and international- environmental stability is also a major concern of the People’s Republic of China. In 1998, Jiang Zemin at the 15th Party Congress said “. . . it is of the utmost importance to correctly handle the relations between reformand development on one hand and stability on the other so as to maintain a stablepolitical and social environment. Without stability, nothing can be achieved”.
All three of the above-mentioned objectives make up the entire national and foreign policy of the state, including the national security strategy as well. The objectives of a state’s national interests can predict its overall political and military policy through the courses of action highlighted by the developmental strategy of their military doctrine.
PLA’s Evolutional Journey
Preceding the actual evolution of People’s Liberation Army, China has made massive blunders and evaluated its failures very closely. After its foundation in the late 1920’s the guerrilla (mobileoperational-style) warfare, used by the state in the mountains of Jing gag, proved to be a significant warfare tactic required for state’s survival. Following the war in the 1920’s, the war against Japan in the 1930’s and 40’s made the state to fall on its knees. All was not lost, as the Chinese troops and citizens, collectively paid their homage and best wishes to the soldiers (and their families) who embraced martyrdom. This sacrificial spirit and emphasis on the guerrilla warfare, led to the Mao’s concept of ‘people’s war’ that advocated a ‘a sea’ of soldiers in order to defeat the enemy’s forces. However, things were not expected to worsen when the Chinese military decided to enter a war against Vietnam in 1979. An estimated 100,000 Vietnamese troops trolled the ‘twice-their-size’ 200,000 Chinese troops and that pushed China to ponder on the restructuring and advanced training methods of its military. This was not yet the ‘severe blow’ that laid out strong emphasis on modernization. After the Gulf war erupted in the early 1990’s, it was the first time that US had fought directly with coalition forces, therefore, their display of advance technology, equipment and advanced combat skills stunned the Chinese policy makers. Even though the state made massive reductions to its military force, after 1979, the Iraqi invasion was the actual turning point for the military strategy of the state, as it was a display of technological sophistication for the PLA and reflection of its capabilities at that time.
In 1993, the China Communist Party rolled out a set of reforms that accentuated the modernization of the People’s Liberation Army, it was the first time that the Chinese strategists had abandoned Mao’s concept of ‘people’s war’, which was a derivative of the total war doctrine. The Chinese strategists replaced the long-standing ‘total war’ doctrine with the ‘limited war’ doctrine. Although there was a stronger military modernization emphasis during the late 90’s however the actual developments were made in the economic realm. In 2001, after China became a member of the World Trade Organization, new economic opportunities paved a way for a prosperous economic growth for the state.
After all those years, the year 2012 proved be another major turning point for the PLA’s steps toward modernization. In 2012, president Xi Jinping took charge, he advocated a ‘Chinese Dream’ of making the state a world-class force by its 100th independence anniversary, which is 2049. This ‘Chinese Dream’ envisaged the restructuring, re-grouping and modernizing its armed forces. In 2015, China introduced two more forces to its service branches, namely Strategic Support Force and the Rocket Force (Strategic Missile Force). Following the year, in 2016, the government announced “the downsizing of 300,000 troops”, eradicating the former ‘the more, the merrier’ political belief, implying a focus on quantity rather than quality of the troops.
China’s overall military expenditure has also increased every year, progressively since the early the 2000’s. According to the 2019 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Yearbook, “the Chinese military expenditure, recorded in 2018, was around 250 billion US-Dollars, while the US military expenditure was around 649 billion dollars”, still not as much as United States, however, China has come very close in compared to the rest of the states in the world, that could compete with the United States, in the economic sense. Therefore, there is a clear priority of national security for China, as a globally-chaotic political environmentcould suppress the state’s rise as a respected super power, which is why the capabilities of PLA has gotten the centre stage in the state’s national security.
PLA’s Force Structure
China has a coast line of about 18000 kilometres, however, its Exclusive Economic Zone is of 200 nautical miles, same as its strategic partner Pakistan, but China also claims over more than 6000 islands as a part of its territory. The state has five regions of commands;
- Central Command; Beijing and security for China Communist Party leadership.
- Eastern Command; Taiwan, East China Sea, Disputed Islands and Japan.
- Northern Command; Korean Peninsula and borders with Russia, Mongolia and the Yellow Sea.
- Southern Command; South China Sea and borders with South East Asian countries.
- Western Command; Borders with India and a fight for counter-terrorism.
These above-mentioned areas of commands are the responsibilities of People’s Liberation Army and which is why the PLA was re-structured into the following five group of forces;
- PLA Ground Forces/Army; has approximated of 975,000 troops in service.
- PLA Airforce; has approximated of 395,000 troops in service.
- PLA Navy; has approximated of 240,000 troops in service.
- PLA Rocket Force (Strategic Missile Force); has approximated of 100,000 troops in service.
- PLA Strategic Support Force; has approximated 175,000 troops in service.
China having the world’s largest population, has no shortage of troops, other than a total over 2 million personnel in service, China also has other 150,000 of militia and about 500,000 in reserve. On its first Independence Day parade, the state only had a few capabilities and most of them were captured. The shame was felt so deep that had to expand its military capabilities, and after decades of blood and sweat, China managed to develop the following capabilities;
- Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (70 in stock).
- Bomber Aircrafts (162 in service).
- Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicles (3,860 in service).
- Main Battle Tanks (6,740 in service).
- Attack guide missile Submarines (57 in service)
- Aircraft Carriers (1 in service).
- Cruisers, Destroyers and Frigates (82 in service).
- Principal Amphibious Ships (4 in service).
- Tactical Aircrafts (1,966 in service).
- Attack Helicopters (246 in service).
- Satellites (77 in orbit).
All of these capabilities were created by the state itself, setting afoot to the journey to revive the lost status of a great power. In the early 1960’s the PLA made a shift towards building a strong Airforce, with a constant focus on the ground forces, however, the last two decades marked China’s shift towards the maritime development and security. The heavy naval build-up illuminates that not only does the state need to secure its territorial boundaries, but also to protect its mega-economic Belt and Road Initiative project, not because of the fact that it will cost the state more than just a couple hundred billion US-Dollars, but the trade it will hold and the regional connectivity that it will provide, may change the entire international order.
PLA and National Security:
People’s Liberation Army has a direct involvement in national security, because the military doctrine/strategy of a state is derivative of the state’s national interest, implying that the PLA is a mere tool in the execution of the grand strategy of the Republic of China. With rapid developments to the system the first major achievement for the state’s grand strategy is the transition of the state profile towards a ‘global power’ from a ‘regional power’ and such transitions are followed by a number of threats. Given the complicated globalised strategic environment, the national interests have also expanded, despite their developmental strategy, indicating a strong maritime force, there’s much ambiguity in the predictability of the executional strategy.
The China’s external threats are of two sorts; territorial and diplomatic tensions. Territorial disputes in South and East China Sea, over various islands, in particular the infamous Senku and Diaoyu islands, attracts much attention. If a proper military infrastructure is installed on the islands, it can prevent US involvement and also, most importantly, Taiwan’s independence. Diplomatic tensions can also result from territorial disputes in a region, such as with Japan. Other diplomatic tensions are merely out of spite, for example, China’s emergence as a global power is unbearable to the US’ hegemony and world recognized prestige. That is why China has been observing and acting upon improvements over its military capabilities and strategy. In April 2020, China constructed a second Type 075 warship, a class designed to compete in amphibious capability with the American Wasp class ships. Two more are anticipated, as are two more aircraft carriers. These are clearly designed to match American warships, and raise interest in China’s ability to sustain distant interest by sea, most obviously in the Indian Ocean, but also wherever Chinese geopolitical concerns may be favoured by naval power projection.”, said professor Jeremy Black of the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
Other than United States, Japan and Taiwan, Russia is also a great threat to the national interests of the state. The increased strategic cooperation does not imply that Russian strategists do not consider China as a major threat as well, in fact, it is quite the same on the other side of the fence. The Russian inclusion in the Caspian Sea, makes the Central Asian states vulnerable to Russian pressure, which could seize a major part of the entire BRI project.
Furthermore, the internal security threats are not the responsibility of the PLA, People’s Armed Police is assigned for internal security matters, however, if there occurs a situation of civil unrest or uprising, particularly in the Tibet and Xinjiang, then the PLA would most likely answer to the call of duty.
Conclusively, there is a direct role of the People’s Liberation Army in the Republic of China’s national interests and ultimately its national security. Although a number of modernizations and reforms were mentioned in this paper, there still is a lot of modernizations that are being kept confidential to the public and with opaque nature of matters, one cannot exactly predict where this will lead to. There are a number of global implications over the topic under discussion, such as the most likelihood of a third world war. This possible implication, is the most debated possibility in the current academic consensus over the matter, this is because the United States of America sees the Republic of China, as a ‘revisionist power’ and the hegemonic influence has strengthened its allies over the course of time, which is why China also takes it into account and keeps expanding its maritime territory to assert dominance in the Indo-Pacific region. Although China has claimed not to build offshore military bases, the naval base in Djibouti and the second under construction in Cambodia is a serious concern for the United States.
Regardless of the heavy criticism, China still believes in a peaceful and prosperous economic and prestigious rise. Not to blame the state, but if mere claims and assurances were enough to influence the global political assessments, then China may not get to that point of development. That is why the state has setup a heavy navy build-up and it aims to deter US and coalition forces. Assumingly, if the state manages to score a peaceful rise in the era of complex nature of warfare and false flags, then it could provide a new and improved vision for the world order. Henceforth, protecting the rule of the China’s Communist Party, is on the top of the priority shelf of the People’s Liberation Army and after that, 95 % of the threats that the PLA would provide a shield against, are the external threats of all sorts. In this automized information age, the purpose of expanding PLA’s service branches to Rocket force and the Strategic Support Force was mainly to have a separate supervision for the nuclear arsenals and also to fight cyber-terrorism threats.
Mulvenon, C., James and Yang, H., Richard.” The People’s Liberation Army in the Information Age.” Rand Corporation, no. 1(1999):5-10.https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/conf_proceedings/CF145/CF145.chap7.pdf.
Mulvenon, C., James and Yang, H., Richard.” The People’s Liberation Army in the Information Age.” Rand Corporation, no. 1(1999): 10-20. https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/conf_proceedings/CF145/CF145.chap7.pdf.
Mulvenon, C., James and Yang, H., Richard.” The People’s Liberation Army in the Information Age.” Rand Corporation, no. 1(1999): 20-30. https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/conf_proceedings/CF145/CF145.chap7.pdf.
SIPRI.” Armaments, Disarmament and International Security.” SIPRI Yearbook 2019, (2019): 6-10. https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/2019-06/yb19_summary_eng.pdf
Maizland, Lindsay.” China’s Modernizing Military.” Council on Foreign Relations. Accessed on August 5, 2020. https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/chinas-modernizing-military.
İlhan, Bekir.” China’s Evolving Military Doctrine After the Cold War.” SETA Analysis, no. 59(January,2020): 11-12. https://setav.org/en/assets/uploads/2020/02/A56En.pdf.
İlhan, Bekir.” China’s Evolving Military Doctrine After the Cold War.” SETA Analysis, no. 59(January,2020): 12-13. https://setav.org/en/assets/uploads/2020/02/A56En.pdf.
İlhan, Bekir.” China’s Evolving Military Doctrine After the Cold War.” SETA Analysis, no. 59(January,2020): 13-14. https://setav.org/en/assets/uploads/2020/02/A56En.pdf.
Black, Jeremy.” China’s Military Capabilities and the New Geopolitics.” Foreign Policy Research Institute. Accessed on August 5, 2020. https://www.fpri.org/article/2020/05/chinas-military-capabilities-and-the-new-geopolitics/.
U.S Vs China view on the Iranian nuclear proliferation risks
The Chinese view and philosophy on Iranian nuclear proliferation can be understood through (the Chinese emphasis on the current global security situation and its passing through complex and profound changes, and the challenges of curbing and exacerbating proliferation and nuclear security are exacerbating, while the threat of nuclear terrorism cannot be ignored), which it overlooked and ignored the Western powers and American policies themselves, contrary to the Chinese vision.
The Chinese understanding regarding confronting the US pressure on Iran over its nuclear program is characterized by the mechanism of Iran’s regional positioning in the Middle East and making it a major regional power, especially after the “strategic partnership agreement with Iran for 25 years in March 2021”, with China intensifying its partnership efforts with other powers to mobilize them and recruit them to the Chinese side to exert collective pressures on the United States of America regarding forcing it to accept the Iranian conditions on negotiating the nuclear proliferation file, and the importance of Washington making concessions in favor of Tehran, especially related to lifting and easing US sanctions imposed on Iran.
And what can be emphasized here, that it seems important here, in light of the growing competition between the United States and China, that (the countries of the region pay attention to bridging the gaps, liquidating regional conflicts, rebuilding strategic alliances and security initiatives), which makes the region a difficult figure in the face of (all Attempts to employ it in the context of the conflict between the major powers). The countries of the region should also deepen their relations with the countries and partners of the middle and influential powers in the international system, especially those countries that have permanent membership in the UN Security Council, as well as the European Union, so that there are (alternatives and front lines of defense on the part of these powers to defend their interests in the region And to impose a balanced equation that prevents exposure to the effects of any new cold war that may affect the region, due to the policies of US-Chinese competition).
In my personal opinion, that (the Iranians may have another opportunity to negotiate about it by turning back the movement of history), and what I mean here is (Iran’s presentation during the rule of former President “Mohammed Khatami” and after the United States invaded Iraq after 2003, a generous offer to the West from During what is known, as (Swiss diplomacy), where that show was known at the time, as the “Grand Bargain Deal”).
By that (Swiss diplomacy) means the (Iranian pledge to be fully transparent about its nuclear file, and to prove stopping its support for Hamas in Palestine and Hezbollah in Lebanon, in return for full security guarantees from the United States of America, and full normalization of relations with it), and I believe that Iran according to that Swiss diplomacy will win the ranks of the international community, including (Israel and the Arab Gulf states as Iran’s staunch enemies in the Middle East).
China also wants, with the Iranian side, to stick to the 2015 negotiations, known as the “5+1” Group”, which includes: (USA, France, Britain, Russia, China, in addition to Germany with Iran). But, the US withdrawal came unilaterally during Trump’s term in 2018, which formed a series of tensions about the reasons for this American withdrawal in the media and diplomacy, and China’s constant question about (the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in confronting Washington and its unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear agreement that the USA has signed with Iran in 2015).
I can also stop here on a serious issue that is rarely touched upon, regarding (the role of the Western, American and even the Israeli media itself towards Iran and mobilizing the whole world against it, by accusing Iran that it is months away from manufacturing the first nuclear weapon, which represents real pressure on the work of the Agency). In my personal opinion, Iran still needs long-term years to complete its nuclear project, especially in light of the severe economic crisis that the Islamic Republic of Iran is suffering from, which lacks sufficient financial, technical and psychological resources and the final decision to possess this nuclear weapon in its final form.
China is seeking to reach an agreement on a tight and comprehensive framework on the Iranian nuclear program, which guarantees (complete and free international control without US, Israeli or international pressures on uranium enrichment and plutonium residues), which may block any endeavor to manufacture a nuclear weapon, according to the assurances of the American experts themselves in the nuclear technicians file.
Here, China insists on a number of terms and conditions in advance, regarding the new mechanism relating to (the renegotiation of the Iranian nuclear file against the United States of America), which are:
Calling on China to (lift the economic sanctions imposed by Europe and the United States on Iran), as a prerequisite for goodwill towards Iran.
China understands the International Atomic Energy Agency’s long-term restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, but China supports the (continuation of uranium enrichment in small, identifiable proportions, for the purpose of Iran’s peaceful nuclear uses in legitimate work such as electricity generation), and so on.
China’s support for the efforts of (reducing the number of Iranian centrifuges by two-thirds, while keeping the rest and monitoring the nature of its peaceful uses).
China’s monitoring and supervision of the activities (disposal of enriched Iranian uranium under the supervision of the supervisors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, without American pressures), which may be exercised on them to random level of accusations against Iran.
China agrees with the Iranians not to export nuclear fuel in the coming years, and support (the strategy of not building Iranian reactors that may operate with heavy water generating dangerous nuclear uses, and China’s support for the IAEA’s scarcity of not transferring Iranian equipment from one nuclear facility to another in Tehran for a period of approximately 15 years, in order to ensure integrity and transparency).
The Iranian allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to enter all suspected sites, including: the Iranian military sites, but this is done after “consulting with Tehran itself out of respect for its internal affairs and sovereignty”.
The necessity of maintaining (the ban on the import of Iranian weapons for an additional five years, and eight years for ballistic missiles).
China’s requesting from the US and the international community to (release of Iran’s frozen assets, which are estimated at billions of dollars), in order to restore the wheel of development and economic growth for the benefit of the Iranian people themselves.
China is demanding to (lift the ban on Iranian aviation, as well as on the Central Bank and Iranian companies).
China’s call to the International Atomic Energy Agency to cooperate with Iran internationally in (the areas of its superiority in energy and technology to benefit from it on the one hand and to integrate and qualify Iran to win the affection of the international community on the other hand).
Here, we find China’s keenness to (the success of the negotiations of the Iranian nuclear agreement, as a Chinese diplomatic success and victory in the face of Washington), and this was demonstrated through the previous Chinese proposals, which (included a negotiating framework based on mutual concession step by step to make it a success, meaning Iran’s concession in exchange for the concession of the United States of America and IAEA negotiators).
The Chinese long-term vision is represented in proposing and negotiating all endeavors, proposals, and solutions regarding the Iranian nuclear file, in order to (gain a double international political weight for Beijing as a superpower in the face of American and Western policies, and in support of the Chinese position calling for international pluralism and the existence of a multilateral system that is active in it). If this is achieved, Beijing will be the (first and most international beneficiary of the completion of the Iranian nuclear agreement on conditions satisfactory to all), whether on the political or economic level, and without leaving any clear negative repercussions on the Chinese side itself in the future.
During the various stages of the negotiations, China also made unremitting efforts to resolve the differences between Washington and Tehran, especially (encouraging Beijing to adhere to the international joint plan of action, which China proposed as a solution to the problem of the Iranian nuclear file), known as: “JPOA”
The most prominent (proposals for the formulation of the Chinese negotiating framework towards Iran and the international community) to reach a comprehensive solution are the development of Chinese proposals, based on five points, as follows:
- Ensuring commitment to dialogue between the (5+1) group and Iran.
- Seeking a comprehensive, fair, appropriate and long-term solution.
- Follow the principle of solution step by step and alternately.
- Creating a suitable atmosphere for dialogue and negotiation.
- Ensuring a comprehensive approach to address the symptoms and root causes of the crisis.
The “Chinese comprehensive solution strategy towards the Iranian nuclear crisis”, is also based on China’s proposal for a comprehensive solution based on four points, the most prominent of which, represented in:
It is necessary to activate political decisions with Iran, and not just rely solely on technical solutions, given that the (Iranian nuclear file has a political-security character).
All international parties must meet and move with each other in the middle of the road to achieve the necessary flexibility, and this requires (accepting settlements from all international parties, including Iran).
Follow the principle of “step-by-step and reciprocal solution”, which is the common item in all the internationally proposed Chinese proposals.
Thinking outside the box to find a comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis, meaning: reaching solutions that may be (new, innovative, technical and technical), as steps in achieving negotiations with Iran.
The most prominent of these innovative, new and unconventional Chinese solutions for the step of resolving the nuclear crisis with Tehran, is (China’s proposal for a solution that includes redesigning the core of the “Arak Heavy Water Facility” reactor, which will distance it from the nuclear problem by reducing its consumption and reducing the efficiency and degree of its work to the maximum extent), and here, we can note that the Iranian Arak nuclear facility is capable of producing plutonium, a dangerous substance that is usually used to make a nuclear bomb, that is, for military uses. The (Iranian Arak reactor) was a serious obstacle to the progress of negotiations with Iran, until China proposed an innovative solution outside the box, it is (the idea of redesigning the Iranian reactor core so that it is unable to produce plutonium for military purposes).
China adheres here, in accordance with the text of the previous nuclear agreement with Tehran in 2015, to establish (a mechanism that guarantees common responsibilities among all, especially the group of negotiating countries (5+1), which are the countries that participated in the negotiations with Iran for the purpose of reaching the nuclear agreement), especially at the invitation of China towards a step of the (international integration of Iran in the fields of peaceful nuclear cooperation, as well as providing technical and technical assistance to Iran for peaceful purposes). Hence, China will have a leading role in achieving the future negotiation plan with Iran.
According to the official Chinese vision, (setting a condition for lifting the sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and the United Nations, in exchange for Iran imposing long-term restrictions on its nuclear program), that the West suspects is aimed at making an Iranian nuclear bomb in the long run, with China constantly launching a major diplomatic offensive to counter all the unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States and Europe.
An official Chinese assertion came, through (a major report issued by the “Chinese People’s Daily”, which is the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party of China, which confirmed that “China’s leadership of talks with Iran has sent a message of hope to the world about the success of Chinese diplomatic efforts towards the solution step”. The Chinese newspaper emphasized the result, by emphasizing of “The facts are now showing that dialogue and negotiations were the only correct and effective path to an appropriate solution to the Iranian nuclear issue, and that a particular country’s threat to use force against Iran and impose unilateral sanctions is unacceptable”. The Chinese People’s Daily concluded its directed primarily speech to the international community, by emphasizing that: “China is one of the main advocates of the principle of searching for political solutions regarding Iran, and that Iranian talks, according to Beijing’s vision and philosophy have always demonstrated the importance of this philosophy”.
The confirmation made by the current Chinese Foreign Minister, (Wang Yi) who has assured that: “China and the United States of America bear great responsibilities in protecting the international regime for nuclear non-proliferation, so they should remain in good contact during the negotiations, and trying to instill positive energy towards the negotiation file with Iran”.
China is trying (to prove its ability before the International Atomic Energy Agency and the international community to convince the Iranians of appropriate solutions, through China’s supervision of the formulation of a neutral agreement that satisfies all parties, through China’s continued close coordination with all relevant parties, including the United States of America itself), and the Chinese attempt to supervise on all arrangements and play a constructive role during this process. This is despite the differences between China and the United States of America on everything, starting with (the United States of America signing the AUKUS Defense agreements and the Quad agreement to confront China, electronic security differences between the two parties, the dispute over the value of the Chinese currency, trade differences, and the United States’ ban on dealing with the Chinese company of “Huawei” to introduce the fifth generation of the networks)….etc.
War Between Russia and Ukraine: A Basic Scenario?
Concern is growing in the Western media over Russian military activity in the southwestern theatre. There are opinions that Russia is preparing a military campaign against Ukraine. The supposed goal is to break the deadlock of the Minsk Agreements, to impose further coexistence conditions on Kiev and its Western partners, to prevent the US and NATO from “developing” the territory of Ukraine for military purposes, and also to reformat the country’s political system and its state structure. Such rumours are spreading quickly, causing alarm among the political leaders of foreign countries as well as latent, albeit tangible fears in the business community. However, it is still premature to consider such a development as a baseline scenario.
Several circumstances speak in favour of the military scenario outlined by foreign commentators. The first is the recent experience of the Russian armed forces and the political consequences of their use. Moscow intervened in Georgia’s conflict with Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008, quickly changing the situation and recognising the two autonomies as independent states. In 2014, Russia carried out a lightning-fast operation in Crimea, creating conditions for the subsequent referendum on reunification. Later, the Ukrainian army was defeated in Donbass, and the political consequence was the formation of the LPR and DPR. In 2015, Moscow radically changed the military situation in Syria by deploying a compact but highly effective air group. The political result has been the preservation of power in the hands of the Assad government and the defeat of a number of terrorist groups. All these events indicate that Russia is ready to use force suddenly, in a concentrated manner and at the same time to seek concrete political changes.
The second circumstance is that the international political consequences for Russia which resulted from the military campaigns were relatively insufficient. No foreign state has intervened openly in these conflicts. Foreign military aid does not radically alter the balance of power. Economic sanctions in their current form harm the Russian economy, but they are still not the main factor contributing to existing problems. The economy itself is stable. In short, there are no major checks and balances on a new military campaign.
The third circumstance is that Russia is not ready to bear with the existing status quo in relations with Ukraine. Kiev is almost openly talking about sabotaging the Minsk agreements, and is not ready to implement them. The US and the EU cannot or do not want to change this; while at the same time they are verbally calling on Russia to abide by the agreements. Ukraine itself, after 2014, for obvious reasons, has been pursuing an anti-Russian line. The events of 2014 significantly strengthened the position of the nationalists. Any attempt to pursue a political dialogue with Russia is deemed unacceptable. A “mopping-up” of politicians who are in any way loyal to Russia is under way. Militarily weak and fearful of further complications with Moscow, Ukraine is seeking to deepen its defence ties with the United States and its allies, as well as trying to expand military aid and supplies. In Moscow, this is perceived as the “utilisation” of the territory of Ukraine by Western countries and is accompanied with subsequent threats to the strategic interests of Russia. Moscow considers the emergence of Western military infrastructure in Ukraine only a matter of time.
Taking into account these circumstances, a scenario where Russia takes action can be hypothetically considered in the West and in Ukraine in the following vein. With a sudden and decisive blow in several directions at once, Russian troops dismember the armed forces of Ukraine in the East of the country, surround separate groups, or press them against the Dnieper river. The actions of tank and motorised units are accompanied by powerful air, missile and artillery strikes. The Russian Aerospace Forces seize air supremacy. The apotheosis of the operation should be the encirclement and the subsequent capture of Kiev, and the stabilisation of the front line along the Dnieper. The creation of a new Ukrainian state with the capital in Kiev would be announced and recognised by Russia. It would include the previously-independent DPR and LPR. Russia thereby resolves several historical problems at once. The immediate threat to the southwestern borders is removed. Full control over the Sea of Azov and a land corridor to the Republic of Crimea are ensured. Two Ukrainian states appear on the map, one of which should be “friendly and fraternal”.
Even if one fails to write off this scenario as a reflection of existing phobias and nationalist complexes, it still seems unlikely for a number of reasons.
First, such a military conflict is unlikely to culminate in any intelligible agreement. A victory over the armed forces of Ukraine will not by itself lead to a fast peace. The war could develop into a long and sluggish confrontation, especially if part of the territory (for example, Western Ukraine) remains under the control of the Ukrainian armed forces. Capturing the whole of Ukraine is technically possible. However, it will be more costly, and subsequent control would be much more difficult. The option of “two Ukrainian states” would allow Russia to squeeze nationalists out by sending them West. Under a “one Ukraine” scenario, this would be impossible, given all the ensuing consequences.
Second, the conflict would inevitably lead to a sharp change in the Western approach toward providing Ukraine with modern weapons and military equipment. In the United States and in the West as a whole, the new situation would be considered as an emergency and they would not limit funds to support the armed forces of Ukraine. Moreover, in this case, all possible types of conventional weapons will be supplied. Large-scale military aid from the West would prolong the conflict. Russia would not be able to block such supplies. The United States and its allies will not enter open military confrontation with Moscow. However, the level of support for the Ukrainian army will grow significantly.
Third, regarding the Ukrainian issue, Russia would find itself in diplomatic isolation. It is unlikely that any country would voice support for Moscow’s actions. Unlike Crimea and Donbass, we’re talking about a large-scale and open clash between the armed forces, that is, about a full-fledged war. Russia would certainly be on the offensive. This would allow its actions to be classified as aggression without any problems. While the situation in Crimea and Donbass arose against the backdrop of revolutionary events in Ukraine and could be construed as part of a civil conflict, then in this scenario, such conditions are not visible. At the moment, there is no obvious conflict between the East and West of Ukraine. The legitimacy of Moscow’s actions in this case would be extremely weak, if not entirely impossible. In addition, Russia would have to bear responsibility for the civilian casualties, which would be inevitable in a large-scale conflict.
Fourth, all key Western players would introduce qualitatively new sanctions and restrictions against Russia. These would harm a number of Western countries and cause temporary shocks in world markets. But in an emergency situation, the West would take such measures, despite their economic cost. Possible measures include blocking sanctions against all Russian banks, including the Bank of Russia. This would largely cut Russia off from the global financial system. Another possible measure is a ban on the purchase of Russian oil, and then gas. Such bans can be increased gradually in order to avoid crisis situations with fuel supplies in the West itself. But in the event of a war in Ukraine, the West would take these measures. Other, more focused restrictions would be applied to imports and exports of oil and gas. The cumulative damage to the Russian economy would be colossal in scale.
Fifth, controlling Ukraine, even its eastern part, could be problematic. Taking into account the Western sanctions blockade, any transactions with the territories of Ukraine under Russian control would be impossible. Russia would have to take on a huge territory. The big question is whether the Russian market, in the grip of new sanctions, would be able to compensate for the damage to the Ukrainian territories under Russian control. The seizure of territories wouldn’t solve any of the problems facing the Russian economy today.
Sixth, the loyalty of the population of Eastern Ukraine to Russia is not obvious. Despite all the internal disagreements, over the past 30 years Ukraine has developed its own civic identity. The population of the eastern regions may have a negative attitude towards excessive nationalism. However, this does not guarantee their loyalty to Russia. Moreover, the war could finally undermine sympathy for Russia, which has already dwindled over the past six years.
Finally, seventh, the war is fraught with destabilisation of the situation inside Russia itself. There is no demand in society for a war with a neighbour, even despite the odiousness of the anti-Russia discourse in Ukraine. It is quite possible that Russian troops would be able to inflict resounding defeats on the armed forces of Ukraine and push them to the West. The losses, however, would still amount to hundreds, and possibly thousands of fighters. In the event of a possible prolongation of the conflict, human losses would become a permanent factor. Combined with a possible economic crisis, these are not the best conditions for generating public support. While reunification with Crimea was accepted with enthusiasm in Russian society for many reasons, a big war is unlikely to find such support.
In other words, the costs of a possible war far outweigh the benefits. The war is fraught with significant risks to the economy, political stability and Russian foreign policy. It fails to solve key security problems, while it creates many new ones.
The question arises—to whom and under what conditions is this scenario beneficial? First of all, it is attractive precisely as a hypothetical rather than a real situation. In this form, it makes it possible to consolidate Ukraine on an anti-Russian basis, to seek the expansion of Western military aid, and to justify such aid to the West. The threat of war and an exercise of power can also be used by the Russian side. Moscow shows that it is technically ready for a radical scenario and will not allow its “red lines” to be crossed. These “red lines” include a military solution to the Donbass problem. In other words, the scenario has a practical meaning as a tool for information warfare and political signals.
From the point of view of the balance of benefits and losses, neither side is interested in a real war. Therefore, it is hardly worth considering the war scenario as a likely one. However, history knows many examples when rational calculations have failed to put an end to escalation. There is only the hope that this isn’t the case here.
From our partner RIAC
Contemporary World and the Era of Hybrid Warfare
From the start of time, mankind is involved in many wars and conflicts for different reasons. Not so far, in the 20th century World has witnessed two major Wars of Human History also known as the World Wars, where every country was fighting either directly or indirectly with its opponent to serve their self-interests. It is a matter of fact that only World War-I caused around 40 Million Civil and Military casualties around the globe out of which 20 Million deaths were reported and 21 Million wounded cases were reported.
Similarly, World War II caused the death of around 75 million people out of which 20 Million Military and 40 Million Civilian deaths were reported. Not only was that but there were also some 10-15 Million deaths that were caused by war-related disease and famine. But with the start of the 21st century, the new concept of hybrid warfare is introduced in the strategic community that not only covers the traditional means of warfare but also involves the non-traditional means such as proxies, exploitation of population, trade, and economy.
The point to understand is, traditional wars were based on only state-centric approaches, but the hybrid war is not only limited to the state-centric approach as it can also target the individuals of any country easily to serve its interests.
Considering the tools of Hybrid Warfare and Pakistan’s internal security, the importance of drugs and Narcoterrorism cannot be ignored. Pakistan is sharing a border with Afghanistan that is well known for its opium production. Unfortunately, Afghanistan soil was used against Pakistan during recent years under the influence of India and it was reported that several drug trafficking and narcoterrorism activities were conducted by Indian sponsored groups. However, The Taliban Government has announced that they will no longer support the opium production on their land.
But this confirmation from the Taliban Government is not enough to maintain the internal security of Pakistan. Pakistan needs to protect its young generation from this narcoterrorism as the young generation of Pakistan is also one of the most important assets of the country and to whom the future of Pakistan belongs. No doubt, Pakistani Law enforcement agencies are playing their vital role to control drug trafficking but there are numerous weak points in the system that are affecting the whole infrastructure.
According to recent reports, almost every educational institution in Islamabad is a haven for drug dealers and drug suppliers where they are easily targeting the young minds of Pakistan. It’s a matter of fact that authorities are not successfully getting hold of these drug dealers as easily as a young college-going student can easily find them. And in the end, these drugs and narcotics not only affect the mental and physical health of young students but also cost them financially, emotionally, and socially by lacking their confidence and competitiveness.
Authorities need to handle this security threat to the young minds of the nation by controlling the spread of drugs and narcotics in educational institutions. A drug test should be mandatory in educational institutes with strict compliance to be followed. Authorities should also need to engage youth in more extracurricular sports activities by encouraging them with rewards on the national level so that they may find the true reason to stay away from the company of drugs and narcotics. And on the least level, authorities with the contribution of Parents and Teachers, need to share the consequences of drugs on life and a healthy body as an awareness campaign on every platform so that we can make sure that we are protecting our young generation from the silent yet destructive tool of hybrid warfare in the contemporary world.
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